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Is A Masters In History Worth It In 2023?

Is A Masters In History Worth It


Is a masters in history worth it? You can better comprehend the past and your relationship to it by getting a master’s degree in history. History allows you to preserve the past for future generations and provides the door to a deep understanding.

With a master’s in history, you have a wide range of job options to make it exciting. A history degree helps you choose from a variety of careers where you may apply historical facts and information, which sharpens your transferable skills.

Law, media & journalism, literature, politics, social action, and many other areas that you can study in addition to the possibilities considered are some of these. After pursuing a graduate or postgraduate degree in history, a student has a variety of options. To understand the institutions, ideologies, political structures, and cultural practices that have existed throughout time, one must study history. We may learn from history how far we’ve come, which excellent habits to keep and which to abandon, among other things.

History opens the door to understanding our society as a whole and promotes better creativity. Students of history have a wide range of job opportunities where they can use their knowledge and abilities to advance their work. The following list includes a few potential career paths.

What A Masters In History Entails

Is A Masters In History Worth It

You can pursue several careers in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors with a graduate degree in history since it is adaptable and not connected to any one professional path. You will acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to examine the past and ascertain why particular leaders, governments, or cultural evolutions occurred, regardless of the time or place you choose to study.

The emphasis on memorization of dates and information has decreased in today’s graduate history studies. For instance, students participating in the master’s in history degree refine their research techniques, analyze historical facts, and produce original documents. A graduate degree in history hones your research, writing, and critical thinking abilities whether you want to concentrate and gain knowledge in a particular period or develop skills to assist you to land a management position. You can bring historical artifacts and documents to life in a variety of public contexts, such as museums and historical sites, by pursuing advanced study in public history.

The top history graduate programs incorporate cutting-edge technology into their curriculum to provide you access to data and allow you to present your research in digital forms like the web. Because of this, coursework frequently calls for using high-tech tools to carry out research, digitize data, and classify artifacts. Historians have recreated several global heritage sites using tools like 3-D scanning, projection, and printing.

A master’s in history will prepare you to put your knowledge of the past to use in a fulfilling career that will let you share your enthusiasm in a variety of ways.

Debunking Myths About masters in History 

There are several misconceptions concerning history majors. These misconceptions claim that professionals with a history degree earn less money and experience higher unemployment rates than those with other degrees.

But is a masters in history worth it?

Statistics demonstrate that history majors have lower unemployment rates than majors in economics, business management, and communication. According to an American Community Survey (ACS), history majors had an unemployment rate that was several percentage points lower than the national average and within 0.5 percentage points of the rate for all degree holders.

How much less do history majors earn than other majors? The incomes of humanities majors are typically lower than those of engineering or business majors. The average annual salary for history majors is $55,000, which is greater than the $51,000 earned by graduates in the life sciences but lower than the $60,000 earned by business majors.

However, depending on the field, the pay for jobs with history majors varies significantly. Managerial history majors make an average of $80,000 a year, compared to $100,000 for those in the legal professions. The average salary for other common occupations, such as education and community and social services, is less than $50,000.

The Top 5 Skills a History Major Utilizes

It involves more than just being able to recall numbers and facts. History majors acquire a variety of transferable abilities, including:

  • Organization and management 

Even though you might not be aware of it, while you conduct research, you are managing a project. You are working through a massive list of duties one at a time, breaking them down into smaller, more manageable chunks, and meeting deadlines as you go. As a result, you can combine several sources of information as well as actions, projects, and people. Businesses want workers who can multitask and remain organized while maintaining focus.

  • Research

Researching anything historically significant using primary, secondary, and tertiary sources, then combining many pieces of knowledge into a coherent whole, is the bread and butter of the history major. An individual who can take on a project, locate the appropriate sources of information, and combine them in a way that makes sense and resolves the problem would be highly valued by a company.

  • Prediction

You can comprehend behavioral cycles and patterns thanks to all of this analysis and deduction work. Your study might evaluate: Why did an incident happen? What caused it? Where did we go from A to B? What can be learned about the present or future from these historical occurrences? Businesses require the same way of thinking to provide answers to their questions: Will their app function in a specific market? Will a group of people benefit from a policy? Is it worthwhile to invest in a specific solution? Thought they would alter their plan going forward in light of the outcomes of a prior campaign?

  • Critical thinking 

To make and develop arguments, history majors must be able to absorb a variety of sources of information such as a journal, historical texts, science reports, and census studies and comprehend what each has to contribute. This entails analyzing data and evaluating a source to ascertain whether and how it contributes to the answer. Going beyond the obvious and what “looks” like the appropriate solution is also necessary for this. Many businesses depend on innovation to succeed, therefore this kind of unconventional thinking will be quite valuable.

  • Communication 

Students majoring in history receive training in both written and oral presentations. How can you take what you’ve learned and condense it so that your audience can understand something difficult within a word or time limit? Particularly, being able to convey something to coworkers or clients is an underappreciated skill that not everyone possesses, making it extremely useful to an employer.

How Much Can You Earn With A Master’s In History

Depending on their chosen professional path, history master’s degree holders can expect to make a wide range of money. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the four vocations we discuss below have yearly salaries that vary from around $50,000 to $64,000. Since master’s in history graduates can work in a variety of fields, including executive management, teaching, and public service, the overall range for graduates is considerably wider.

New job prospects can arise as a result of your graduate-level coursework’s varied skill set and deep grasp of the past. Jobs and vocations like the ones listed below are open to history master’s degree holders.

Career Options For A Masters In History

  • Historic Preservationists

The long-term preservation of records and objects in collections and exhibits is the responsibility of historic preservationists. They are also referred to as conservators or museum technicians. They keep meticulous records of every item to keep track of its location and state. It could be shown, stored, or in transit, for example. Due to its wide range of highly specialized subfields, this profession is distinct among others in history. To reduce degradation, some experts in historic preservation, for instance, handle, treat, and restore objects directly. Others, however, concentrate on communications and external research. Additionally, there are prospects for administrative positions. These jobs coordinate acquisitions, handle insurance matters, and create risk management protocols.

Education in the sciences or the arts may be necessary for some of the more technical occupations. But many of these might be obtained with a master’s in history. Professionals in the sector frequently work for government organizations, national parks, and museums. Additionally, historical societies provide work opportunities. Professionals are frequently involved in maintaining historic structures and national sites there.

  • Historians 

By carefully examining documents and artifacts, historians pore over the past to investigate, decipher, and interpret it. They frequently produce academic studies, journal articles, nonfiction books, and movies using the data they gather. These texts involve readers and educate them about significant events in world history. Some historians decide to concentrate on just one era, place, or historical character. Others, however, favor researching the origins and development of human civilizations and cultures.

Typically, historians work for historical associations, businesses, charity organizations, and government entities. However, there are positions available in consulting. To ensure that the dialogue and clothes are historically accurate, television and film companies may employ historians. Additionally, many historians collaborate with monuments, visitor centers, and museums. They create educational activities, exhibits, and public lectures on pertinent topics there. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median pay for this profession was $63,940 in 2021. Popular history authors and public speakers, though, might earn more money. From 2021 to 2031, the BLS predicts that the employment of historians will increase by 4%, which is in line with the national average for all occupations.

  • Archivists

Archivists are essential to the preservation of historically significant data. They accomplish this by evaluating and cataloging a variety of written materials, both physical and digital. Systems of classification are also used to guarantee that papers are accessible to the general public and researchers. This could include old books, pictures, documents from businesses, and more.

Archivists generate document descriptions, maintain computer databases, and offer practical reference services. Experts in this discipline also confirm the legitimacy of old papers. Finally, they are in charge of making digital or film copies to protect records.

The usage of electronic information storage technologies is a must for this career path. The majority of archivists, though, have training in historical studies. You might have an additional opportunity to examine digital databases and archives if you pursue a history degree, either on-campus or online. You can have a better understanding of current best practices by doing this. Typically, archivists work for museums, libraries, and academic institutions. But there are also openings with significant businesses, governmental organizations, and historical groups.

  • Curators 

For the benefit of public and private institutions, curators overseas collections of works of art and historical artifacts. These collections might contain statues, paintings, coins, tools from antiquity, and more. Additionally, they are in charge of gathering and keeping track of the items used in public displays. They frequently have to bargain for this with other museums and individual collectors.

Additionally, curators conduct promotional activities, design workshops, and mount new displays. Administrators for their organization may be curators. In this capacity, they oversee curatorial and technical staff members and plan unique research projects. Larger historical organizations occasionally employ multiple curators with various specialties. These curators supervise specific collections, go to conventions, and give presentations at trade shows.

The majority of curators perform public-facing work for organizations that preserve cultural assets. These include galleries, libraries, museums, and archives. They use their in-depth knowledge of the subject to create instructional programs, excursions, and online resources. They are able to engage, educate, and draw in a wide spectrum of people because of these efforts. Communication and interpersonal skills that are above average are often necessary for success in this position. It also calls for a keen eye for detail and a love of history and culture.

Between 2020 and 2030, the BLS predicts job growth for a group that includes curators, archivists, and museum staff of 19%, which is significantly faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual pay for this group in 2021 was $50,120. There are frequently more prospects for growth in certain larger firms.

History Vs Historiography

The primary distinction between studying history and historiography is that one studies past events when studying history, whereas one studies shifting interpretations of past events in the writings of particular historians when studying historiography.

History Historiography
The study of the past, particularly as it relates to human affairs, is known as history. It provides information about historical occurrences and happenings. All facets of human existence, including society, culture, politics, economics, intelligence, religion, technology, medicine, military advancements, science, etc., are covered in history.

The term “history” can refer to the evolution of civilization, the history of the human race, or even the occasions surrounding the establishment of a location or an organization. Everything on earth, or rather every location, has a past. In addition, history aids us in understanding how something came to be, how it changed over time, and what factors contributed to it becoming the item or idea it is today.

Legends, myths, and truths all contribute to the foundation of history. Even if we do not regard myths and legends as historically accurate accounts of actual occurrences, we also cannot dismiss them as outright fabrications. Looking at them can reveal certain practices and traditions as well as details about a bygone way of life. History is studied by historians using artifacts, fossils, and written accounts from the past. 
The study of history as it is recorded in writing is known as historiography. To be more precise, it examines how historians created history as a field of study and evaluates the historical writing on a specific topic. When you study historiography, you don’t actually examine historical events; instead, you look at how different historians have interpreted the same historical events across time.

The methods, procedures, and theoretical frameworks that historians have used to research a specific topic are included in the historiography of that topic. What tools, methods, and methodologies did historians utilize, for instance, to study the French Revolution? Additionally, the Histories of the Fifth Century BC are where the field of historiography first emerged.


Is a masters in history worth it? A master’s degree in history is very adaptable and gives graduates access to a variety of job options. It can be used as a preliminary degree on the path to a doctorate or as a last independent certificate. In either case, businesses who are looking for someone with great oral and writing communication abilities will seize the chance to hire someone who has committed so much time to studying history.

You can clearly see from the facts above that a profession in history is one that is both interesting and promising. In order to succeed in your job life, you must pick and select a knowledgeable platform for your further education.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Can Someone With A History Degree Practice Law?

  • A history student can absolutely pursue a career in law. More crucially, there is a need for innovative use of legal knowledge and a need for relatability. The historical background of the laws that have been created as a result of previous legal advances must be known by the attorneys. Graduates in history find it simpler to relate.

Why Is A History Master’s Degree Valuable For A Person?

  • Due to the nature of their study, history students typically have a higher level of analytical ability than other students. They are able to look into the underlying causes of things to obtain a deeper understanding of how decisions affect the real world. Additionally, they have improved research abilities as well as written and oral presentation capabilities. Their academic work teaches them how to communicate their ideas in an interesting and instructive manner. They may also adapt lessons learned from the past to the situation at hand, which helps them succeed in business. Finally, students are equipped to pursue a range of employment options outside of their primary field of study.

You can also read,Is A Masters In Education Worth It In 2023?

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