It includes questions on a wide range of topics, from demographic details like age and race/ethnicity to situational data like housing and employment status. At the undergraduate level, French and American systems are quite different: French curricula tend to be specialized early on – i.e. This might be because law, management, and education require advanced study. Ph.D. Data on the number of history bachelors’ degrees awarded in 2015 were gleaned from the annual National Center for Education Statistics via the NSF’s WebCASPAR system at https://ncsesdata.nsf.gov/webcaspar. The “fries” myth is definitely not backed up by the data; only 1.7 percent of history majors work in food preparation, compared to 5 percent of the overall population. For history majors between the ages of 25 and 64 who are neither unemployed nor out of the workforce, the median income is currently $60,000 per year. As Julia Brookins reported in the March 2016 issue of Perspectives on History: “The number of history BAs and BSs completed in the United States fell for the third time in four years, this time by 9.1 percent from the previous year, from 34,360 to 31,233 [in 2014].” According to the most recent data, this steep decline has continued, with only 28,157 history majors graduating in 2015 (a decline of 9.8 percent from 2014). Academic jobs in History are hard to come by. The benefits of studying history go far beyond what you read about in history books, and the skills you learn can serve you in a … As student loans hit the $1.5 trillion mark and more and more graduates are faced wi… Graduate students in History can expect to remain in school for at least 5 years and as many as 10 years. These information management, argumentation, and presentation skills are useful in a variety of settings such as business, nonprofits, and government. The American Historical Association welcomes comments in the discussion area below, at AHA Communities, and in letters to the editor. This means you need to complete the requirements of the first degree before commencing the second. you take a B.A. This quick overview of pragmatic considerations in determining whether graduate study in History is for you highlights some of the challenges, but your academic and professional career is yours to make. Below are a few considerations. Against all holders of a college degree, however, there was a modest difference: degree-holders overall had 4.1 percent unemployment, half a percentage point lower. Most usefully for us, it also records individuals’ undergraduate majors. History degrees offer a good intellectual challenge and are well respected by employers. It is simple to see why - just imagine a world in which no one did this - we would have no academic discipline of history, in which case our understanding of our past would be greatly impoverished. Of course people doing graduate degrees in history is hugely valuable. But for those in managerial positions, the median is $80,000. But that does not mean that a degree in history is any less valuable. By What’s more expensive than going to college? A potent way to combat these myths is with concrete data. From the ACS, we know that over the years 2010–14, some 29.7 percent of all American adults over 25 completed a bachelor’s degree or higher. Some degrees seem to have a better reputation like degrees in history… technically a history degree isnt giving you any real job specific skills. With all these issues being commented on and discussed regularly in the media and around you, you could well be feeling that the payoff of going to university just isn’t worth it any more. Assuming you didn’t get a “zero” on the above assessment, there is a glimmer of hope that maybe your PhD is worth it. Most students pay for all of their education. Myth 2: A History Major Does Not Prepare You for Gainful Employment. The lessons of history will help you deal with everyday problems, understand human behaviours and psychology (much better than a psychology degree! But for those in education, it is $47,000, and for those who go into community and social services, the median is $45,000. The ACS data offer us a snapshot of these history majors across the country and at different phases of life: from recent graduates to those in retirement. The national average, by comparison, was 7.7 percent. Passion for a subject is wonderful— but you have to be able to market the degree. Peruse applications for the top Ph.D. programs in the field and you may encounter warnings not to apply if you do not have a particular score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Verbal Test and a high undergraduate GPA (for example, at least a 3.7). If you really want to pursue a degree in political … Follow him on Twitter @publicmedieval. One fear is that history degrees do not offer a life of gainful employment or the job security that other careers might. Until recently, the answer was easy: not going to college. Conservation or restoration work, archeological surveying, architecture, research, librarian work, tourism, etc. Remember that this is your choice - a very personal choice - that only you can make. If you're interested in making tons of money, here's a … So unless you plan on being a historian or history teacher then it isnt particularly specific, but definetley not worthless. Thus, here is an article that gives you an idea of this degree in the aspect of gaining knowledge, career opportunities and salaries based on which you can make up your mind if it is worth getting a degree in political science. On the positive side, a graduate degree offers many opportunities outside of the ivory tower. However it shows that you are clever, hard working, literate etc and that should make you desirable. Data suggest prospects for potential history majors are good, but history departments must offer guidance in career and graduate school choices. They paint life with a degree in history as a wasteland of unemployment and underemployment—that careful study of Asoka’s conquests or the Industrial Revolution leads to a life of “Would you like fries with that?”. But the ACS data imply that many history majors do not expect to become historians and that they find meaningful careers in a wide range of fields. The amount of funding a student receives is important to his or her economic well-being long after graduate school. Apr 1, 2017. Annual tuition typically ranges from $20,000-40,000. Another 15 percent enter management positions in business, and 11 percent go into the legal professions (most becoming lawyers). In studying history you’ll gain extensive training in areas that will be applicable to a wide variety of careers – … As in the general workforce, it is the occupation of college graduates in the humanities, rather than their undergraduate major, that accounts for differences in income. It could also mean that students interested in careers that require graduate training see a history major as a springboard. What about kinesiology interests you? 5 Reasons Why It Is Worth Getting Your PhD Degree, After All. Ultimately, though, it is your graduate degree that will determine your employability. Those that have a degree in history will be the first to say that their degree is not a waste and has helped them immensely. Science students often receive full tuition remission and a stipend during graduate school. The vast majority of history majors, of course, do not become professional historians; according to the ACS, only 4.5 percent of history majors become educators at a postsecondary level (that is, mostly college professors). But the sense persists that the push toward STEM comes at the direct expense of humanities majors; history enrollments have declined sharply since at least 2011. Please try again later. Completing a PhD will open up a lot of doors in terms of career advancement, and it can be quick too if you go through one of the shortest doctoral programs.But knowing which one to take can be an incredibly tricky task. Degree in History. I also went to public schools my entire life (including undergrad and law school) so my student loans are very manageable. The differences in median income among the humanities disciplines are not significant; the disparity between highest- and lowest-­paid humanities majors in the workforce is only a few thousand dollars (see fig. The first thing to recognize when it comes to graduate study is that it is competitive. Answering these questions can help you decide if getting a master’s degree is the right call for your career. Non vocational degrees are ones that you study for your interest only, so if you are very interested in history then you may decide that it is worth it to you to study something that you are very interested in. Of those, 2.21 percent received a bachelor’s in history or US history. When evaluating the actual dollar cost of your degree, don’t forget … Yes, a history degree is absolutely worth it. A double degree requires you to complete two separate qualifications – one after the other. Paul B. Sturtevant is a medievalist, social scientist, and public historian. If anyone can get in, the degree might hold less weight in the civilian world. But is a university degree really worth all that money? Thankfully, a massive repository of data, the American Community Survey (ACS), tells us much about the lives of history majors. Two or three years of additional courses during the doctoral program will be … Courses, Jobs, Salaries, Public Health Major: Courses, Jobs, Salaries, It's Never Too Late: How to Apply to Grad School When You're Over 65, 6 Tips Applying to Grad School for a Different Major, Thanking a Professor for Writing a Recommendation Letter, 3 Considerations in Selecting a Graduate Program, Pros and Cons of Earning a Master's Degree Before a PhD, What to Expect From a Teaching Assistantship, How to Write a Successful Personal Statement for Graduate School, Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, Fordham University, M.A., Developmental Psychology, Fordham University. I am currently studying history. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences Humanities Indicators project released an analysis of ACS data showing that those with degrees in the humanities earn less (in terms of median income) than those with degrees in engineering, health care, business, and the sciences (see fig. 5). These data are then compiled and aggregated into one-, three-, and five-year estimates. Historians' skills in reading, writing and argumentation skills are valued outside of academia. Pros and Cons of a Graduate Degree in English, The 7 Best Online Colleges for 2020 Enrollment, What Is a Communications Major? Otherwise, you may be overwhelmed with debt as you start your career. I've made the decision on the degree I want to major in when I transfer to a 4 year and I picked history. Majoring in history does not doom a graduate to a life of unemployment or under­employment. Anything involving writing and argument is greatly assisted by knowledge of history, and just reading history will make you learn the techniques by imitation. A Q&A with National University President David Andrews on how the pandemic will transform the business of higher education. For example, graduate degree holders in History are skilled in reading, writing, and argumentation. These considerations are less relevant for students who plan on careers outside of academia. And it isn’t enough to appreciate the degree yourself. Numerous studies over the years have shown that individuals with college degrees significantly out-earn those with high school degrees by $1 million or more over the course of a lifetime. Each year in graduate school is another year without full-time income. Part of this is based more on field than on level of achievement; the work of engineers and computer programmers is better remunerated than that of, for example, elementary school teachers—even though our society demands good teachers. Majoring in history does not doom a graduate to a life of unemployment or under­employment. Until fairly recently, the value of college education was unquestioned - although tuition was a cost that needed to be considered, the ultimate benefit of obtaining a bachelor's degree was clear. Majoring in history got me interested in becoming a lawyer so it was definitely worth it. If it is high pay, then no. Over the past 20 years, warnings from a variety of sources—from career counselors to administrators to government officials—have convinced many prospective college students (and their parents) that the only safe path to a well-paying job is through a STEM major. In short, it is not that history majors are underpaid. Most myths begin with a kernel of truth that is then warped beyond recognition. Because of the diversity of careers that humanities majors—particularly history majors—go into, there is a wider-than-­average distribution of incomes based upon field of work (see fig. But history fares well in terms of compensation when compared to other humanities majors. A master’s degree in political science is a more in depth study of the broader topics that were covered in an Undergraduate Political Science curriculum. Overall, the ACS data suggest that the picture for history majors is far brighter than critics of the humanities would have you believe, even those who think the sole purpose of a college degree is to achieve a well-paying job. A history degree provides a broad skillset that has ensured that history majors are employed in almost every walk of life, with some notable trends (see fig. Likely it is a combination of the two. There are loads of avenues apart from teaching. The skills that you will hone as you pursue your graduate degree are valued in virtually all employment settings. He received a PhD in medieval studies from the University of Leeds and is a social science analyst at the Smithsonian Institution, as well as editor in chief of The Public Medievalist; http://www.publicmedievalist.com/. While history majors do have a slightly higher unemployment rate, the data show that someone interested in the field should not be deterred; the difference is very slight. She specializes in professional development for undergraduate and graduate students. The worst that can be said of this situation is that many of those careers are socially undervalued. I wanted to major in business, but I love history just as much. It is worth mentioning that the Ph.D. in the USA is different from the international one. For those in the legal occupations, the median is $100,000. Resources for History Departments Attribution must provide author name, article title, Perspectives on History, date of publication, and a link to this page. Phone: 202.544.2422Email: info@historians.org, History Is Not a Useless Major: Fighting Myths with Data, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Tags: Most people think the only thing you can do with a history degree is being a teacher or historian, but you can also be a lawyer, politician, etc. While it is true that having a degree, in general, puts you in a better position than not having one, if you are looking for a degree that will provide employment opportunities, Art History probably ain't it. A history degree is great fun – your primary occupation over the three (or four) years of your course will be to read, learn, talk about and debate topics you enjoy. But as the cost of education increases faster than inflation, people are beginning to question how they spend their education dollars. ), and generally be sure of your decisions. A degree in political science can absolutely be worth it in terms of return on investment and pay off. Please read our commenting and letters policy before submitting. Again, we start with a kernel of truth. This license applies only to the article, not to text or images used here by permission. It’s important to note that nearly half of the history majors identified by the ACS went on to graduate school (see fig. In contrast, science students are often funded by grants that their professors write to support their research. All data were taken from the ACS’s 2010–14 5-year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS). If the only consideration when choosing a major is whether you will be earning six figures by the age of 30, then history may not be the best field. 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