Careers with a Master's Degree in History
The study of history provides students with a broad base of skills that are applicable in a wide range of professions, both inside and outside of academia. Businesses and government race to find candidates with the analytical, research and communications skills historians use every day. Some of the most popular jobs include:
Political Scientist or Consultant
Hired By: Think tanks, lobbying organizations, government, political campaigns
Politics and history are fields intimately related to one other. At the highest levels, political science is the study of how political trends evolve over time, while history is virtually impossible to analyze without a look at the politics of a given period.
Studying history prepares students for the rigors of political analysis, particularly when making generalizations about diverse data points. History graduates can point out the evolution of trends over time, or spot how present circumstances have been dealt with successfully or unsuccessfully in the past.
The world of political pundits is large, and there are always jobs available. Campaigns need strategists, media outlets need analysts, and lobbying groups need researchers who can draft the memos needed to make politics happen.
Hired By: Corporations, management consulting firms
Large companies rely on corporate trainers to ensure a well-trained and competent workforce, and history graduates are some of the most sought-after candidates for the job.
Historians are experts at reading and comprehending large volumes of information, then distilling that information for others to consume. As a corporate trainer, these same tasks are completed, only with corporate training documents and government regulations. Historians are equally attractive for their ability to create training programs from the new source material.
Since training is the most effective way of enhancing the productivity of the workforce, corporations will continue to pour money into training and employee development programs, creating a stable job market for those who want to enter the profession.
Hired By: Secondary schools and community colleges
There are plenty of teaching positions available for candidates with a graduate degree in history. Subjects, including social sciences, English, and law are grounded in a fundamental knowledge of world history. High performing public and private secondary schools are increasingly turning to teachers with master’s degrees in history to be the core of their staff.
The other teaching avenue history graduates may take is at the college level. In the United States, millions of students attend community and junior colleges to ease their way into post-secondary education, or to take some classes before completing a four-year degree. These two-year institutions often have positions available for teachers, especially in large urban areas, creating a strong demand for those with a master’s degree in history. Another factor that makes teaching at the community and junior college level so attractive is that instructors can often do this in addition to other personal or professional responsibilities.
Hired By: Colleges, universities, school districts
Colleges and universities are complex institutions that need administrators to coordinate departments and give students the best possible experience. History graduates are uniquely situated to become administrators at this level.
Administrators must excel at processing large amounts of information, and then draw well-reasoned conclusions based on the evidence. Historians hone their research and writing skills as students when completing papers and research projects, which can be a perfect match for decision making at the administrative level. Additionally, as post-secondary schools count on their administrators almost as much as they do their faculty members, a strong administrator can move up the ranks quickly within a higher education institution.
Hired By: Libraries, museums, galleries, historical societies
Curators work behind the scenes to make museums, libraries, and galleries run. Every day they carefully cultivate their collection and ensure they make the correct buying and trade decisions for the institution.
The diversity of institutions that need curators is vast, which enables interested historians to find a niche that they love. Fans of music may look for a job at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Historians who enjoy movies or television may apply for a job in the archives of one of the major studios or networks. Even video game enthusiasts have an outlet for their passion as curators at the growing number of video game museums.
Organizations seek out history graduates for curator positions, because of the student’s ability to assess items within the collection. Historians are well equipped to uncover the validity or authenticity of a potential piece of the collection. They are also able to craft interesting displays that pull together disparate artifacts to build a cohesive showcase, drawing public attention and donations that help keep the institution running.
Earning your master’s degree in history extends beyond learning about the past; it’s about developing research and analytical skills that are necessary for the modern economy. By building a diverse skill base through historical study, graduates can become very attractive to potential employers.
Norwich University is an important part of American history. Established in 1819, Norwich is a nationally recognized institution of higher education, the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), and the first private military college in the United States.
With Norwich University’s online Master of Arts in History, you can enhance your awareness of differing historical viewpoints while developing the skills you’ll need to refine your research, writing, analysis and presentation skills. The program offers two tracks – American History and World History, allowing you to tailor your studies to your interests and goals.
Political Scientists, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Training and Development Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Postsecondary Education Administrators, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, 25-4012 Curators, Bureau of Labor Statistics