A student of American history can discover career opportunities in multiple fields.

Why Study American History? Gain a Background that Supports Diverse Career Paths


Gaining a strong background in American history helps to understand the evolution of the country and what it means to be an American.  More than a knowledge of key facts and figures, knowing history can equip individuals with a broader perspective on current events and how society can progress. In addition, advanced studies in American history can serve as the foundation for a wide range of satisfying careers.

Why It’s Important to Study American History

A comprehensive dive into American history enables students to break down the country’s key events into contextual elements, providing an opportunity to understand causes as well as results. This contextual understanding of American history empowers individuals to recognize similarities between contemporary events and elements of previous issues and conflicts. This pattern recognition could drive the development of strategies designed to steer away from previous conclusions to achieve improved outcomes.

Developing a capacity to understand the context of previous events through an American history curriculum can enable individuals to apply lessons of history in various environments. For example, recognizing the context of a company’s previous growth strategies can help determine whether a similar strategy or a different approach would support a positive business climate.

The Benefits of an American History Degree

A curriculum such as the American History concentration in Norwich University’s online Master of Arts in History program can help students cultivate core competencies fundamental for a wide range of careers.

Studying American history can help students develop advanced analytical, critical thinking, and decision-making skills. In addition to dissecting events or incidents into minute details, individuals learn how to view the big picture to gain core, elemental perspectives.  Additionally, a reputable American history curriculum can help students cultivate strong oral and written communication and organizational skills, both essential when working on multiple projects and presenting findings to different audiences.

Norwich University’s online Master of Arts in History program develops these fundamental competencies. Norwich’s status as the nation’s first private military institution enables it to answer “Why study American history?” from a unique perspective. The Norwich program provides students with an understanding of American history from 1607 to the present. The curriculum includes an introduction to historical methodology and seminars on Colonial and early national America, 19th-century America, and 20th-century America. Then, through directed reading and a capstone course, students focus on areas of greatest interest to cultivate core skills on a deeper level to advance their careers.

Potential Career Opportunities

The skills that can be developed through the American History concentration from Norwich University’s online Master of Arts in History program can help prepare students for various professional roles.


Editors oversee the content for publications at various stages of the development process. Individuals with an American history degree may manage various historical materials to ensure accuracy through verification and revision. The median annual salary for editors was $59,480 in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Records Manager

Records managers supervise the storage and accessibility of an organization’s data and other key archival information. They may work with a company’s chief information officer in developing procedural techniques for more efficient records management. The median annual salary for records managers is $60,138, according to October 2019 data from PayScale.

Legislative Director

Legislative directors typically work under a specific federal or state legislator. They’re tasked with analyzing proposed laws and related issues and use analysis to recommend legislative and political strategies. The median annual salary for legislative directors is $72,157, according to October 2019 data from PayScale.    

U.S. Department of Defense Intelligence Analyst

Intelligence analysts work with the U.S. Department of Defense to monitor and advise on various security threats. They commonly mine large amounts of data, analyzing historical patterns and statistics to spot and thwart potential threats. The median annual salary for this role is $82,000, according to October 2019 data from PayScale.

Study American History to Move Your Career Forward

Attaining an advanced degree in American history enables individuals to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the country’s past and develop analytical and critical thinking skills to apply this knowledge in a wide host of career opportunities. Learn more about how Norwich University’s online Master of Arts in History helps students to develop these core competencies and pursue a wide range of professional roles.


Recommended Readings

Careers with a Master’s Degree in History
5 Benefits of a History Degree
What Can I Do with a History Degree? Defining Different Career Tracks


Chapter 2: Why Should Americans Know Their Own History?, American Historical Association
Historical Thinking Skills, American Historical Association
What Is the Function of an Editor?, BBC
Editors, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Senior Records Manager Principal Duties and Responsibilities, National Archives
Average Records Manager Salary, PayScale
Roles of Congressional Staff, The Gerontological Society of America
Average Legislative Director Salary, PayScale
Average Intelligence Analyst Salary at U.S. Department of Defense, PayScale

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