If you choose to earn a degree in history, you should know there are many educational paths for you to follow. For starters, you can opt for an associate’s degree in history, and while this educational path is only about two years in length, it is important to remember a bachelor’s or master’s degree will likely lead to a higher-paying career. Sure, earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree typically takes anywhere from four to six years, but your career options will be extremely broadened and you will find it easier to secure a job you are truly passionate about. The Vanderbilt University History Department conducted a study on their alumni and found that “90% of graduates reported back that their History degree was directly useful to them in their positions.” Let’s take a quick look at the top eight careers for history majors and how long it takes to earn the appropriate degree.
1. Postsecondary Education Administrator
You are going to need a doctorate degree to enter into this line of work, so you can expect to spend anywhere from eight to 12 years in college. Your salary, however, will more than make up for the time you spend studying. In fact, as a postsecondary education administrator, your history degree can land you a job making upward of $102k a year. Some schools may hire you for this position if you have only a master’s degree, but because competition is fierce in this line of work, it is highly suggested that you pursue an advanced degree in history to become a postsecondary education administrator.
2. Communications Officer
You may have not set out to earn a history degree to become a communications officer, but this career can be extremely rewarding. Most communication officers work for the government, meaning you will have access to a nice pension as well as work short hours and have lots of vacation time to take advantage of. As a communications officer, your duties will typically consist of researching, writing, creating press releases, developing web content, providing social media updates, and more. The average pay for a communications officer is about $53k a year.
Did you know that a lot of people who major in history don’t actually go onto to become an actual historian? If this is a line of work, though, that you are interested in, then you should definitely follow the appropriate career path. You will need a master’s degree to become a historian, however, some employers require only a bachelor’s. If possible, you should consider earning a PhD in history to become a historian because the pay is much higher than that of a person who has only a bachelor’s or master’s degree. With a bachelor’s or master’s degree, you can expect to make about $53k a year. With a PhD, though, you can expect to make more than $100k a year.
4. Museum Curator
Curators are responsible for handling both the administrative and artistic activities of a museum. Commonly referred to as a museum manager, curators do everything from designing and researching exhibits to purchasing art pieces to fundraising and much more. You don’t have to go to school for a long time to become a museum curator, with most museums requiring only a bachelor’s degree. Some smaller museums may not even require a bachelor’s. Instead, an associate’s degree may suffice. Working in this field will earn you about $42k a year.
The sole purpose of an archivist is to preserve the information found in museums and libraries. Employment as an archivist can be found within both the public and private sectors, including for nonprofit organizations as well as government entities. You will need only an associate’s or bachelor’s degree to become an archivist, and you can expect to earn close to $50k a year.
Most people don’t even know what an anthropologist does, but if you are interested in earning a degree in history, then you should definitely give this career path a thought or two. As an anthropologist you will teach human culture and language. Some anthropologists work in a school setting, while others work for museums and nonprofit organizations. If you have a passion for the humanistic part of history, then this line of work will likely suit you well. To become a teacher of anthropology, you will need a master’s degree and you can expect to make close to $60k a year. However, the more the prestigious the institution or school you teach at, the more you can expect to make.
As a paralegal you will be performing many of the same duties that an attorney or lawyer performs. In fact, you may be performing all of the same duties expect representing clients in the court. A paralegal studies law and conducts a massive amount of research to ensure all clients receive the best possible outcome for their cases. With a degree in history you will find it fairly simple to land a job as a paralegal, and if you choose, you can always continue your studies and become an actual attorney. As a paralegal you will make upward of $45k a year. If you continue your studies and become an attorney, you will make around $100k a year.
8. Event Planner for Historical Organizations
When you go to earn a degree in history, becoming an event planner probably isn’t the first career choice that comes to mind. Truth is, though, many history majors love to go into the field of event planning because it allows them to get hands-on within the event planning of historical organizations. Event planning is also helpful for charitable organizations and is a great way to get outside of the typical history career arena. As an event planner for historical organizations you can expect to make anywhere from $25k to $82k a year.