Understanding the past could create opportunity in your future. Associate degrees in history offer a versatile introduction to various social science-based careers, from public policy to business market research.
Associate degrees in history teach you to see contemporary social issues in the context of historical change. James Grossman, executive director of the American Historical Association, or AHA, explains that history grads understand how change happens and how important context is. In addition, historians develop critical thinking and analytical ability, as well as communication skills.
The Associate of Arts in History may cover Western civilization, world history, cultural anthropology, U.S. history, and elective courses in topics such as African-American history, history of women in the U.S., European cultures, or Middle Eastern history and politics. The degree takes 18 months to two years to complete, and is available via online education.
Career options and outlook
With an associate degree, you may seek entry-level positions such as a research assistant. Social science research assistants should see 15 percent job growth between 2010 and 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and they earned a median salary of $37,230 in 2010.
The AHA lists these popular careers for historians:
- Advocacy: Lawyer or paralegal, legislative staff, nonprofit manager, public policy advocate
- Business: Corporate historian, market researcher, manager
- Communication: Writer or editor, journalist, information manager, archivist, librarian
- Education: K-12 teacher, college professor, historical site or museum educator
- Research: Think tank analyst and writer, cultural resources manager, historic preservation specialist, museum curator
Paralegals and market survey researcher roles may require specialized training, and the other careers listed here typically require additional education.
Studying history puts you a step closer to a career in social science research, analysis or teaching. Online associate degrees in history allow you to acquire real-world experience in the field while you pursue your academic goals. While completing web-based studies, you could also volunteer in a museum, work as a history tutor, or seek an internship where you could use your analytical skills.