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Should I Get a Master of Arts Degree in History Online?

written by: TanyaM•edited by: Jacqueline Chinappi•updated: 2/27/2010

Obtaining an online master of arts degree in history is a great way to break into teaching or pursue a career with the federal government. These degrees are in demand and they will increase your earning potential, especially if you work for the government.

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    When you think of a typical online degree, a graduate degree in history may not be the first degree program that comes to mind. Don’t let that discourage you, because history degrees are very well-suited to online learning. There is a plethora of research and historical materials available on the Internet, and students studying for their history degree online can take advantage of these widely available resources.

    A number of universities offer a masters degree in history online, including Sam Houston State University, American Military University , and Commonwealth Open University. In addition, Norwich University offers a masters degree in military history. The tuition varies by university, but you shouldn’t expect to pay more than $10,000 for an online masters degree in history.

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    Job Opportunities

    So what can you do with an online history degree? Many students pursue careers in teaching after obtaining their online degree in history. In fact, the Department of Labor (DOL) estimates that history graduates are more likely to teach than students in other social science fields. However, you are certainly not limited to a teaching career. An online masters degree in history can open up doors for you to pursue jobs at museums, research centers, think tanks, historical societies and even with the federal government.

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    Salary Potential

    Your salary may also increase after obtaining a degree. The median salary for a historian in 2006 was $48,520, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many history graduates choose to work for the federal government, and your graduate degree in history will definitely help increase your salary potential. In 2007, those with a masters degree in history earned an average salary of $43,731 with the federal government, while those with a Bachelor’s degree earned only $28,862. If you choose an online program that costs $10,000, you will recoup the investment with a higher salary in as little as one year with the Federal government.

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    Future Prospects

    The job prospects for those with a masters of arts in history are very bright. The DOL estimates that there were 3,400 historians employed in the United States in 2006, and the number of job opportunities for those with history degrees will likely increase by 8% through 2016. Given the convenience of online programs, now may be a great time to invest in your education and complete an online masters degree in history.