Online History Degrees

If you have a thirst for knowledge and a knack for memorizing, analyzing, and researching historical events, an online history program may be your ideal academic path. History majors study the course of humanity’s past to interpret patterns and determine the causes and effects of major historical events and movements. By analyzing the past, historians also offer insights into the present; historians influence our current government, cultural trends, and ways of thinking.

History students gain valuable skills that are applicable to a range of jobs, including writing, critical thinking, intensive research, and the ability to understand events in historical context. Many graduates holding history degrees go on to work in academia, journalism, and politics, among other careers.

An increasing number of students now opt to earn their history degree online as an affordable and flexible alternative to on-campus learning. Read on to learn more about the layout of the history field, the different levels of degrees available through online history programs, and the varying types of careers you can pursue with a history degree.


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Degrees

Online History Degree Overview

Degree Avg Degree Cost Avg Loan Default Rate Time Commitment Early Career Pay Mid-Career Pay Unemployment Rate
Associate $8,833 17.4% 2 years N/A $43,000 8.4%
Bachelor's $15,054 9.7% 4 years $32,000 $57,000 5.8%
Master's $15,647 8.7% 1.5+ years $52,000 $73,000 3.6%
Whether you are new to the field, or looking to advance in your current career, you should weigh the costs and time of getting a new degree against its benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all degree. The best choice for you will depend on your current educational background, financial standing, employment history, and area of interest. For instance, those with no experience may want to consider an associate degree, due to its shorter time commitment and lower cost. If finances are tight for you, then you should prioritize the student loan debt and default categories, as you will want to choose a degree that offers you the best chance of improving your financial standing with minimal risk. If your employer or someone else is paying for your education, then you might want to consider the degree that will offer you the highest salary. All salary information is sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and/or PayScale

An online bachelor’s in history is enough for some entry-level positions in the field, but many jobs require a master’s degree or higher. Advanced history degrees open the door to a greater range of career options in a wider variety of settings, including libraries, museums, schools, research centers, and government offices. Advanced degree-holders, specifically, may also have an easier time finding jobs in less traditional paths outside of the field of history. An associate degree provides students with a foundation of skills, but is typically not enough education for the majority of history careers; students should continue on to earn at least their bachelor’s in history online for more opportunities.

Online History Degrees

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Online Associate’s Degree in History

Associate history degrees are not especially applicable to most jobs in the field, as employers typically want higher levels of education for history-related jobs. While history degrees at the associate level are more affordable and require less time to complete, the job prospects are equivalently low. Students who pursue online history programs at the associate level may be able to find office or administrative work, but typically go on to pursue more advanced degrees.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    History I, World History I, Western Civilization I

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Associate of Arts in History

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Paralegal, Administrative Assistant, Office Manager

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $36,500

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    3% growth between 2014-2024

Online Bachelor’s Degree in History

Most online bachelor’s in history programs take around four years to complete, though online students are afforded the flexibility to earn the degree at their own pace. Students who earn their bachelor’s in history online have a much greater range of job options, including journalism or teaching.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    World Civilizations I, U.S. History I, Middle Eastern History

  • COMMON MAJORS

    History

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Journalist, Teacher, Museum Technician, Writer

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $46,710

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    7% growth rate projected from 2014 to 2024

Online Master’s Degree in History

A master’s degree is the minimum requirement for many jobs in the field of history, and the degree requires an additional one to two years of education after completing a bachelor’s in history online. In addition to a heavier workload, a master’s is typically about the same cost for half the length of an online bachelor’s in history program. A master’s degree opens up more advanced job opportunities for historians.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Graduate Seminar, Research Seminar, American Revolution

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Medieval History, American History, European History

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Historian, History Professor, Archivist, Librarian

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $55,800

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    3.3% growth rate projected from 2014 to 2024

Online Doctorate Degree in History

Doctoral history degrees require four to five additional years of school after a bachelor’s degree. Many students earn a master’s before moving on to their doctorate history degrees. Online history programs at the doctorate level cost anywhere from $40,000 to $50,000 at a public school to twice that at a private school. Doctoral degrees open the door to more job opportunities in academia, and they are required for nearly all full-time professorships.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Historiography, Research Seminar, Independent Study

  • COMMON MAJORS

    American History, Middle Eastern History, European History

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Historian, History Professor, Museum Curator

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $69,400

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    2.2% growth rate from 2014 to 2024

Online History Choose Your Career

Average History Salaries

$37,720
$55,800
$55,800
$69,400
$55,800

Journalist

Salary: $37,720
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
-9% 54,400 Bachelor's N/A

Journalists help inform the public about current events, whether through newspapers, TV, radio, magazines, or websites. Much of their time is spent conducting interviews and investigating news stories. Journalists need to have excellent written and verbal communication, along with skills in research and the ability to work quickly under pressure. Journalists also know how to situate news events in a wider context to help the public better understand them, which makes the job ideally suited for history students. Additionally, to become a journalist, only a bachelor’s in history online is required.

Librarian

Salary: $55,800
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
2% 143,100 Masters N/A

Librarians focus on the curation of knowledge, assisting others in research, and working to organize and improve channels of information for public and professional use. Librarians may be employed at various institutions, including schools, universities, companies, and government organizations, and the specific type of work they perform typically depends on the setting in which they work. A good librarian must be highly organized, highly knowledgeable in their subject area, and should possess advanced skills in research.

Museum Curator

Salary: $55,800
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
7% 31,300 Masters N/A

Curators oversee museum collections and work to preserve historically significant items. They may be responsible for acquiring museum artifacts and conceptualizing different displays and exhibits. Curators may also be responsible for communicating with the public and conducting outreach activities for their organizations. A good curator must have a deep knowledge of their chosen historical field, and should be able to communicate effectively with the public and other museum staff. Students will need both a bachelor’s in history online and a master’s level degree to become curators.

History Professor

Salary: $69,400
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
2% 23,680 Masters N/A

History professors teach the study of history and historiography at the university level, typically working at conventional four-year colleges or community colleges. In addition to teaching students, most history professors also perform their own research, publishing academic articles and books on their area of historical specialty. Professors must have all the skills of historians, including analytical thinking and writing ability. They must also be strong communicators in order to effectively teach classes, assist students, and engage with other faculty members in a university setting.

Historian

Salary: $55,800
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
2% 3,500 Masters N/A

Historians study the past through the analysis and interpretation of historical documents, data, and other sources. They often focus on a specific historical era or explore a certain concept throughout different time periods. Historians may work for a variety of organizations and institutions, including libraries, museums, research organizations, government agencies, historical societies, nonprofits, and consulting firms. This job requires significant research, analytical skills, critical thinking, and the ability to present findings orally and in writing. These skills can all be developed through online history programs at the master’s level.