Blast to the Past
Attaining history degrees at the college or graduate school level is a rewarding academic pursuit for people with a strong interest in how the past continues to shape the present. Earning undergraduate history degrees online or in class typically takes three to four years.
Earn History Education Degrees
History degrees cover a complete range of topics, from antiquity right up to the present. In the structure of a typical four-year undergraduate program, you’ll begin by taking broad introductory courses in your freshman year. These courses typically cover major historical periods and events, such as ancient Greece and Rome, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, colonialism and the First and Second World Wars. You’ll also be introduced to proper historical research and documentation methods, which you are expected to make use of in your academic work. Online college degrees in history cover the same set of topics as programs held in traditional schools.
If you proceed to do your master degree in history, you’ll have the opportunity to study a particular period or historical event in much more detail than you would in an undergraduate class. After completing an online master degree in history or a traditional graduate program, you can go on to study at the doctorate level. If you’re truly passionate about the subject, earning a PhD will be a labor of love, and it will give you the opportunity to become an authoritative expert on a subject that fascinates you.
Career Prospects for History Majors
If you want to make direct use of your history degree in your career, your best options are to become a high school teacher or to earn a terminal degree and become a history professor. Should you choose the former path, you’ll have to combine your history degree with an education degree, typically at the graduate level. History grads also tend to do well working in government positions, particularly in foreign services or as congressional aides.
Otherwise, you’ll have to get creative and find a career that makes use of the research and critical thinking skills you learned as a history major. Many librarians and archivists have history backgrounds. Alternately, you might become a tour guide or work for a travel company if you have an in-depth knowledge of the history of a particular region or city. If you have a particular interest in a given historical site, you may also be able to secure employment there.
History degrees are valuable pursuits for their own sake. If you’re fascinated by the past, learning more about it will only increase your passion.