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What Can You Do With a Masters in History?

A master's degree program in history prepares a graduate to work in a variety of research-related fields. A master's degree program in history can be studied at a traditional college or through an online program, and can take two to three years to complete. View article »

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  • 0:00 Historian Careers
  • 1:29 Teaching Careers
  • 2:04 Alternative Career Options

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Video Transcript

Historian Careers

Here we discuss employment opportunities for master's degree program graduates considering careers as historians. We'll also take a look at some related career options in fields including teaching, preservation and consulting. A master's degree in history can provide a graduate with a wide range of occupational options, including that of a historian.

Historians study and write about the history of human events, as well as research and analyze timelines and facts of the past. Many historians specialize in certain cultures or eras, such as the ancient Greeks, the Roman Empire or the Elizabethan period and typically find work as historians in their area of specialization. Additional specializations may include (but are not limited to) digital history, African-American history, gender history, international history, United States history, and European history.

Potential employers include state and local governments, where historians might conduct research in an effort to guide policy-making decisions. They also work in public or private museums, libraries and research centers to help preserve materials. Historians working at historical buildings and sites often provide research and analysis for restoration projects. Their work may also be published in articles, books, websites, reports, and more.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • American History
  • Ancient Studies
  • Asian History
  • Classical Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies
  • Cultural Resource Management
  • European History
  • Historic Preservation
  • History of Science and Technology
  • Holocaust Studies
  • Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Museum Studies
  • Public History and Archival Administration

Teaching Careers

Individuals who possess a master's degree in this field can also work as community college history teachers. These educators are responsible for teaching various classes in their subject and area of expertise and may spend a small part of their time conducting original research. They may also advise students about classes and their course of study in addition to grading assignments and planning lessons.

A career as a high school history teacher is another option. Teachers at this level also provide instruction in history and monitor student progress in an effort to prepare them for the college level.

Alternative Career Options

Besides working as historians or teachers, those with a master's degree in history might use their knowledge of past events to become independent producers or consultants in television productions and film documentaries.

Art historians often work in the preservation and conservation of historical artwork. Some history program graduates also obtain library science degrees and work as librarians or preservationists in historical societies, academic libraries and government archives.

Graduates with a master's degree in history can find work as historians in their area of specialization. They may also consider pursuing careers as teachers, librarians or consultants.

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