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2021 History Degree Guide

Our society is built on thousands of years of history. Whether it is the countless wars fought, or the various cultural traditions, students will learn about past events and how they shape the present.

Students who study history will learn to interpret the past by analyzing, gathering, and criticizing evidence and theories of past events. Students will learn about various cultures, acquire problem solving skills and see common patterns repeated throughout history. There are many different concentrations within this major. Some of these are European History, Asian History, Canadian History, American History, Military History, Public/Applied History, and History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. While all these majors concentrate on different regions or subjects, they will all include classes on European history, American society, Middle Eastern society and culture, and World history.

#30 Most Popular Major
32.8k Degrees Awarded
0.5% Increase in Graduates

In 2018-2019, history was the 30th most popular major nationwide with 32,806 degrees awarded. This represents small change only 0.5% from the prior year's total of 32,644 history degrees awarded.

The United States has 1,404 different schools where you can get a degree in history. Our 2021 Best Colleges for History ranking analyzes 313 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for history students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of history programs later in this article.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in History

Students who enjoy reading and writing thrive in this major. Time management and curiosity will enable you to complete assigned reading on time. Analytical skills will help you discover patterns and connections between events.

In order to prepare for this major, students are advised to take prior courses in World religion, American history, European history, and geography. There is opportunity to gain a Master in History if you decide to further your education. Some programs allow students the opportunity to study abroad. This would allow students experience the culture and history first hand.

Prior Education for a History Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Specific history careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

History Degree Types

History degree levels vary. You can spend many years getting as high as a research / scholarship based doctorate's in history to something that takes less time like a associate's. The time it takes to complete a history degree varies depending on the program.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to history, with approximately 35.0% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for history workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 35.2%
Master’s Degree 33.9%
Doctoral Degree 12.3%
Post-Secondary Certificate 4.3%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 4.0%

About 85.4% of workers in careers related to history obtain at least bachelor's degree. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in history careers have.

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This of course varies depending on which history career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In History Graduate

Above Average Number of Jobs
$29.6k Average Starting Salary
8% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

There are many different career options that individuals can enter into with a degree in History. Many graduates pursue the field of education as Elementary, Middle, and High School Teachers. If teaching is not your passion, you can become a Librarian or Historian and work in interpreting, collecting and storing data from the past. Another option is to become an Anthropologist or Archeologist. Both of these fields examine the past of different cultures. As an Anthropologist you will examine the elements of human culture and society. As an Archeologist, you would examine the relics from the past to recreate the history and culture.

Growth Projected for History Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your history degree? History careers are expected to grow 7.9% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to history.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
High School Teachers 1,095,500 7.5%
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
History Professors 29,700 10.4%
Curators 14,100 13.7%
Museum Technicians and Conservators 13,300 12.7%

How Much Money Do People With a History Degree Make?

History graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $29,593 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $15,700 to as high as $57,700. As you might expect, salaries for history graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

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High Paying Careers for History Majors

Salaries for history graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers history grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Managers $115,590
History Professors $83,990
Historians $66,380
High School Teachers $64,340
Curators $58,490

Getting Your History Degree

With over 2,968 different history degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased history school rankings to help you with this.

One of 0 majors within the History area of study, History has other similar majors worth exploring.

References

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