The scope of a history degree is impressive — it covers thousands of years and people across the globe. Students interested in a degree that is reaching and research intensive, develops their critical thinking and writing skills, and has a wealth of material to choose from may be drawn to online history degree programs. The degree can lead to careers in a variety of fields, including education, law, medicine, politics, and more. Graduates of bachelor’s degree programs will also be prepared for graduate study in a related area or at a professional school, like law or business.
Why a Bachelor’s Degree?
Earning a bachelor’s history degree online would provide students with an overview of the field of history and major areas, as well as in-depth study of a particular region, time period, or subject matter. Many of these courses are lecture-based, which is advantageous to online learning. A bachelor’s degree can prepare students for a number of careers in education, law, or government. It would also give them a foundation for continued study at graduate level, either in history, other liberal arts disciplines, or professional school. This would be necessary for careers that demand more training, such as a historian or lawyer.
Getting Into a Bachelor’s Degree Program
Application requirements will vary by school. But here’s generally what you need:
- High school diploma or its equivalent
- SAT or ACT score
- Letters of recommendation
Inside a History Bachelor’s Degree Program
A bachelor’s degree in history would typically cover the scope of Western civilization, from ancient times to contemporary issues. Courses students might take include Western Civilization to 1500, Western Civilization since 1500, United States History: 1607 to 1865, and United States History: 1865 to Present. They will also have the opportunity to specialize in a particular area, like European history, Middle Eastern studies, or American history. Through these courses, they can develop their research, writing, analytical, and critical-thinking skills.
Most history courses are lecture-based and the majority of assignments are research papers, which is easily replicated in an online environment. For courses that encourage student discussion, this can be completed online too through live chats and message boards. Because it is research heavy, it’s important to also look into what types of online resources your school offers for online students, such as regular access to online materials, resources, and texts, and even a library devoted to assisting online learners.
What’s Next for History Bachelor’s Degree Holders?
History graduates are prepared for a number of different careers, depending on the student’s interests. Potential fields they may look to go into include education, law, government, communications, and journalism. One of the most typical routes is that of a teacher, teaching social studies, American history, world history, or electives like political science in a middle school or high school. Indeed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many people with a background in history become teachers. All states require public high school teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree, notes the BLS, on top of a state-issued certification or license. Employment of high school teachers is expected to grow by 7% from 2010 to 2020, according to the BLS.
Graduates would also be prepared for graduate study, which can open up even more career opportunities. For example, they could work towards a graduate degree in history and become a historian, studying and archiving historical documents and sources. The BLS reports that employment of historians is expected to grow by 18% from 2010 to 2020. Law school is another popular option. According to the BLS, the employment of lawyers is expected to grow by 10% through 2020.