Online History Bachelor's Degree

What You'll Learn & What You Can Do After Graduation

Completing an online history degree at the bachelor's level allows individuals to learn about world and national history, past and current cultural and social movements, and history's influence on modern times. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, historians earned average median salaries of $59,120 in 2017. The world will always need history teachers, but more history graduates are finding innovative ways to use their degrees that do not solely involve teaching. This guide explains the benefits of an online history degree, along with how to leverage it successfully and what salaries to expect.

Why Earn an Online History Degree?

Students considering accredited online history degree programs at the bachelor's level should ensure that distance learning will benefit them. This style of learning provides multiple advantages, particularly for students seeking flexible and convenient enrollment options. Because degree seekers can log in from any location with a steady internet connection, they need not worry about driving to campus multiple times per week.

Many online programs also exist in asynchronous formats, meaning the school offers prerecorded lectures and assignments students complete on their own time. This method works especially well for individuals juggling professional and personal obligations.

Last, an online history degree usually offers a more affordable path than campus-based programs. The degrees themselves tend to be cheaper, but distance learners can also save money on commuting and room and board.

What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in History?

Online history degree programs at the bachelor's level allow graduates to pursue several options. Some individuals decide to enter the classroom as K-12 teachers, while others decide to pursue roles at museums, historical societies, archives, and preservation foundations. Given the liberal arts underpinning, online history degrees translate well to a variety of careers. To work in the upper echelons of the field, like in advanced teaching or research positions, students must earn master's or doctorate degrees.

Skills and Knowledge Gained

Because accredited online history degree programs include studies within the liberal arts, the skills and knowledge gained by graduates translate to several industries. Research represents one of the top competencies students gain by completing a history program. Because no historical data can exist without reviewing primary and secondary sources, students develop skills related to finding and using research to strengthen their arguments and theses.

Bachelor's of history online programs provide foundational knowledge of different time periods, historiographies, and schools of thought on which learners can build if they choose to pursue advanced education. Associate degrees tend to offer limited scope -- especially in terms of gaining practical skills in areas of preservation, curation, or materials management. Most positions in this realm require, at minimum, a bachelor's degree.

Careers and Salary Potential

As detailed above, history degrees offer the potential of highly diversified careers for individuals who know how to leverage their skills and competencies. People who pursue an online history degree often enjoy drawing connections between the past and present and understanding how others lived during different eras. These individuals should be curious, detail-oriented students who can work traditional hours and feel excited by the thought of always learning throughout their careers.

  • Education: History graduates working in education may teach in elementary, middle, or high schools with a bachelor's degree, but they will need a master's or Ph.D. to teach at the college level.

  • Advertising, Branding, and Sales Promotions: As heritage branding becomes more popular, individuals who can connect a company's legacy to their current brand can find interesting work within sales, advertising, marketing, and social media strategy.

  • Law Firms: Given their training in research methods, historians often find work in case preparation and paralegal services at law firms. Their attention to detail also fits well in this professional environment.

  • Financial Services: Understanding the financial history of individuals, companies, and even countries goes a long way in managing risk and making smart loans and investments. Financial historians help financial companies and consumers alike make informed decisions.

High School Teacher

Annual Median Salary: $59,170

High school history teachers help students understand major movements within U.S. and world history through lectures, assignments, papers, and creative projects. Teachers grade assignments and exams, adapt lessons for inclusive classrooms, speak with parents about any issues, and help students prepare for any required standardized tests at the end of the school year.

Museum Technician

Annual Median Salary: $40,670

Archivists and curators help manage and preserve historical items, create systems for safe storage and retrieval, assist with the creation and removal of exhibitions, instruct patrons and visitors on their handling, and work with other museum or archival staff to coordinate shipping to other preservation sites in the country or world.

Reporter, Correspondent, or Broadcast News Analyst

Annual Median Salary: $40,910

Whether working for a television channel, radio station, or newspaper, these individuals discover and report on local and/or national news taking place at the time. They investigate possible stories, interview relevant individuals, write news stories, meet with editors to make changes, and manage an ever-expanding network of contacts to whom they can reach out for information or comments.

Writer

Annual Median Salary: $61,820

Writers enjoy fascinating and varied careers focused on using their mastery of the written word to tell engaging stories, share information, or whisk readers away to different lands. Individuals who want to succeed in this field must either find an in-house writing job, seek out a publisher, or collect a portfolio of freelance clients who offer stable and steady work.

Editor

Annual Median Salary: $58,770

Whether working as an in-house editor for a single company or taking on freelance clients, editors help individuals and organizations publish grammatically correct writing with good syntax. They may also ensure the validity of any cited information, rewrite troublesome passages, and coach writers to improve their style and substance.