Types of Degrees History Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many history graduations there were in 2020-2021 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What History Majors Need to Know
O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to history and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for History Majors
According to O*NET survey takers, a major in history should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- History and Archeology - Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
Skills for History Majors
The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to history:
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Abilities for History Majors
History majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
What Can You Do With a History Major?
People with a history degree often go into the following careers:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Museum Technicians and Conservators||12.7%||$43,020|
|Regulatory Affairs Managers||8.0%||$107,480|
|Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education||7.5%||$60,320|
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in History?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of history majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||1,171|
|Hispanic or Latino||3,642|
Students from other countries are interested in History, too. About 1.8% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- United Kingdom
- South Korea
How Much Do History Majors Make?
Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary
According to 2019-2020 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history have a median salary of $28,881 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $25,677 (25th percentile) and $32,827 (75th percentile).
Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a history degree.
Salaries According to BLS
History majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $56,400 to $83,990 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to History
Some degrees associated with history may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
Find out what the typical degree level is for history careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Less than a High School Diploma||0.6%|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||1.7%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||4.3%|
|Some College Courses||1.9%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||3.2%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||4.0%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||2.8%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||0.4%|
Online History Programs
In the 2020-2021 academic year, 1,485 schools offered some type of history program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||0||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||9||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||1||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||178||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||1||0|
Is a Degree in History Worth It?
The median salary for a history grad is $64,340 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 61% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $488,800 after 20 years!
Top Ranking Lists for History
Explore Major by State
District of Columbia
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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