The Affordability of an Online History Master’s Degree
The cost of an online history master’s degree is an important consideration for prospective students who question: Can I afford it? Where can I find funding? However, numbers show that online master’s degrees in history can be quite affordable, even yielding a good return on investment (ROI) after several years. Let’s take a look at how the cost of a program might compare to future salary potential.
Weighing the Costs
The most costly piece of a master’s degree program is tuition. Each program is different, but tuition is generally paid by the quarter, semester or credit-hour. Tuition can vary widely by institution with public universities on the lower end of the scale and private schools costing slightly more. However, when researching online history master’s programs, it’s important to look at the big picture in terms of cost. For example, a 60-credit program with a fee of $300 per credit-hour would cost $18,000. But that is not the entire financial expense. A full budget should include tuition, fees, room and board and other living expenses, whether seeking a campus-based or online master’s in history program.
Earning an online master’s in history doesn’t guarantee a higher wage, but it can improve your marketability. The BLS notes that many employers prefer to hire applicants with a master’s in history, especially when an internship or other onsite work experience is part of the degree program. Here’s how salaries for historians stacked up in 2014:
Top 10 %
The U.S Census Bureau released data in December 2014 from its American Community Survey (ACS), which was used by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Humanities Indicators project to determine how an advanced degree affects earnings. An advanced history degree was related to a 53 percent earnings boost, the largest lift of any discipline other than “area, ethnic and civilization studies.”
The Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project also analyzed the ACS data, with a focus on median annual earnings over the course of a career and lifetime earnings. History graduates are above the median for all disciplines, with peak annual earnings of $86,000 at about 34 years into their careers.
Additionally, a 2013 report by Hard Times: College Majors, Unemployment, and Earnings from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and Workforce, also based on the ACS, found history majors had one of the lower unemployment rates among humanities disciplines for college graduates and an even lower unemployment rate of 3.7 percent among graduate degree holders.