What Is a Bachelor's Degree in History? (Plus Tips for This Degree)
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Bachelor's degrees can help graduates get higher-paying jobs and learn more about the fields in which they're interested in starting a career. There are many types of degrees to choose from, and one of the most versatile is a degree in history. A history degree can teach you the skills needed for various jobs and introduce you to fields of study you may not have known. In this article, we discuss what a bachelor's in history is, including why you might consider it and potential careers for those who pursue a degree in history.
Related: 10 Popular History Degree Jobs
What is a bachelor's degree in history?
A bachelor's degree in history teaches you how to understand and analyze events and societies from the past. You can use this knowledge to make new historical discoveries, maintain historical records or artifacts and form a deeper understanding of modern events in fields like law and business. Having a bachelor's degree in history also allows you to pursue a graduate degree in an area of your choice. Here are a few concentrations you may choose from when going to school for a history degree:
Latin American history
Politics and government history
Why should you get a bachelor's degree in history?
Getting a degree in history is useful for people who enjoy studying the past and applying their knowledge to the present. If you're interested in historical events, changes in societies and how humans built the modern world, you may enjoy learning more about these things in college. A bachelor's degree in history can also help you get a job in various fields and build your critical thinking skills to benefit you in any career you choose.
What can you do with a bachelor's degree in history?
To help you get started in your career, consider the following jobs you can get with a bachelor's degree in history:
National average salary: $49,177 per year
Primary duties: A paralegal supports lawyers by completing administrative tasks and learning more about the law system. Typical duties include filing paperwork, conducting and recording interviews and drafting important documents to help legal cases run smoothly and allow lawyers to focus on other tasks. Paralegals with history degrees can apply their knowledge of past court cases, changes in laws and the operation of the government to help them complete their duties in this entry-level position.
Read more: Learn About Being a Paralegal
National average salary: $53,841 per year
Primary duties: A curator works with museums or art galleries to choose items for display in various exhibits. Some curators specialize in certain areas of history or art to create meaningful exhibits for museum visitors. Responsibilities include researching topics, designing exhibits and choosing artifacts or pieces of art to display in their museum. This position requires knowledge of historical periods in various cultures and with different art styles, so a degree in history can help curators better understand their subjects and choose appropriate items for display.
National average salary: $55,820 per year
Primary duties: A public relations, or PR, works with clients like companies, celebrities and politicians to maintain a positive public image for those clients. Often, this means talking to journalists and reporters about their client's activities, creating marketing material and meeting with their client to create a public image that fits their needs. PR managers need good communication and a thorough understanding of their industry. The skills students learn in a history degree program, like critical thinking, research and knowledge of human behavior, can help them excel in this role.
National average salary: $61,160 per year
Primary duties: Documentary filmmakers are producers or directors who create and film documentary movies and television series. They create an idea and form a concept for their documentary, hire film crews to help record and edit and may appear in the documentary as a host or guide. Filmmakers can make documentaries on various topics like current events, the environment and the past. With a history degree, filmmakers can focus on historical documentaries that describe different time periods and cultures of the world.
National average salary: $64,754 per year
Primary duties: A research analyst examines and researches data in areas like finance, marketing and public relations for various fields. These analysts perform their work using analytics software to create tables, charts and spreadsheets that show trends in information for them to study. With this information, research analysts present their findings to their employer, which could include businesses or individuals in retail, politics or other fields that require analyzing data. People with a bachelor's in history use their analytics and past and current event knowledge to help them in this job.
National average salary: $64,778 per year
Primary duties: A social studies teacher works at an elementary, middle or high school level to teach students about history, including politics, world cultures and important events in the past. Although the specific duties of a social studies teacher depend on the grade level they teach, most perform tasks like lecturing or discussing topics, providing students with lessons and grading student assignments or tests. Typically, this role requires a teaching degree or certificate for each age group, and a bachelor's degree in history can help people interested in this role start their careers.
National average salary: $65,708 per year
Primary duties: Archaeologists are skilled researchers who use their knowledge of the past to find artifacts that help them learn about the civilizations of the world. With tools like shovels and brushes, archaeologists travel all over the world to find the remains of past civilizations or artifacts from historical events that help modern people understand the past and prepare for the future. They perform research, excavate items and remains and analyze their findings. A history degree can help archaeologists know more about the cultures for which they're searching and identify specific objects.
National average salary: $68,186 per year
Primary duties: A political analyst works with governments and organizations to research and implement policies. The duties of this role may include studying past political movements and decisions, understanding the current government and creating presentations with their research to persuade officials toward certain policies. Political analysts may communicate directly with the public to gather opinions and data, but they also study theories and the effects of past decisions to help them create useful policies. Having a history degree helps people in this role study the past of politics and analyze new ideas.
Tips for getting a degree in history
Here are some tips to help you find your career path and get a bachelor's degree in history:
Choose a school that fits your needs. Research potential schools before you start the application process so you can find a school that offers the programs you want and fits with your goals. Consider where you want to live, any concentrations you're interested in and whether the school offers classes you want to take.
Network with current students. Some schools have programs where you can speak with current students before deciding to apply. I's useful to network with current students in a school's history program to ask them questions about the content and help you choose a school that can provide you with the education you need to start your career.
Take different classes to learn about your interests. Once you've chosen a school and enrolled, try to take classes in different areas to learn what path you may want to take in your future career. Look for classes in different areas of history, but also consider classes about political science, business and the arts to give you a broad understanding of your options.
Decide your specialization. For many history degrees, you need to have a certain number of credits in an area of specialization to graduate with that concentration on your diploma. After taking a few different classes to learn what you enjoy, decide what you want to specialize in and take classes on that subject.
Explore various career fields. While you pursue your degree, it's important to think about internship opportunities to help you learn about what it's like to work in different career fields. You can ask other students or professors to recommend potential internships to you that can give you valuable experience and knowledge about your future career path.
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