History is a subject that’s rich in information. From ancient times to 21st century political movements, people choose to study history to grasp an understanding of how civilizations and modern countries were formed. Furthermore, history is a critical part of elementary and high school education; however, during these phases, history is often known as social studies. Once a student decides to enter college, their fascination for history may propel them to earn a BA in the subject and work toward a master’s degree thereafter. Fortunately, college courses can allow that student to narrow in on specific events and cultures, rather than just absorbing a survey that scratches the surface of multiple historical events.
Choosing The Right School
Once someone decides to take that plunge into higher education, a careful, thoughtful analysis of available schools should take place; in doing so, students will feel confident about their choice. History program curriculum, tuition costs, accreditation and past student experiences are all worthy factors to consider. However, everyday responsibilities like full-time jobs, family, transportation and the inability to re-locate can deter people from going to college. Fortunately, distance learning accommodates those factors and provides their students with an education that they could otherwise receive from an on-campus college. When choosing a distance learning school, look for the official distance education accreditation that’s commonly known as DETC.
The Communication Factor
One noted criticism of distance learning history programs pertains to the lack of face-to-face interaction that some feel is critical to learning. However, due to constant, rapid technological innovations, that issue is addressed through e-mail communication, webcam interaction, mobile apps, phone and discussion forum boards for history majors. Through these highly interactive methods, distance learning students aren’t left to float in the wind aimlessly without direction. Rather, these methods can increase communication between student, instructor and fellow peers because students aren’t just a face in a large lecture hall.
Incidentally, on-campus history instructors and professors often have set office hours that students are restricted to, and those hours can conflict with the schedules of students in need of extra help. Online distance learning instructors readily embrace technology and Internet communication to reach and engage their students; therefore, instructors are apt to respond quicker to questions, and student peers can easily organize study sessions and group projects without the inconvenience of traveling to a physical location. In fact, students can exercise the option of meeting in person should the opportunity present itself for a history group project.
Typically, college history programs begin with introductory courses in western civilization, European history and U.S. history. After completing core requirements, students narrow their focus and delve into such topics as Asian history, Eastern European history, African history, Latin American and Caribbean History or Middle Eastern History. Furthermore, students may want to become scholars on certain historical events and take specific courses on the Italian Renaissance, French Revolution, U.S. Civil War or the Aztec Empire.
Jobs, Career Outlook and Salaries
When considering any college program or school, it’s wise to consider the future outcomes of that potential degree. In order to ensure some opportunities after graduation, regularly consult career counselors and seek outside mentors in the field; take advantage of any available internships and opportunities with historical societies, museums, research groups or instructors.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, post-secondary history instructors make $53,230 a year. Historians make an average annual salary of $53,520, and history museum curators make $42,310 a year. Archivists earn $45,200 per year, while librarians earn an annual salary of $54,500. After graduation, many graduates pursue law school; on average, lawyers can make up to $112,760 per year.