If you want to earn a master's degree in museum studies online you may have many program options. Online museum studies master's degree programs are designed to help teach students the finer points of overseeing museum management and collection curation. Earning a master's degree in museum studies online may be an interesting course of study for individuals who are interested in pursuing career opportunities in arts and culture industries.
Why Pursue an Online Master’s Degree in Museum Studies?
Nearly everyone has been to a museum at some point as a student or perhaps for leisure. Whether public or private, these institutions are valuable parts of cultural education and historical preservation.
Maintaining a museum, gallery or archive requires a mix of historical learning, cultural sensitivity and, in some cases, specialized knowledge in the preservation of physical artifacts. A graduate degree in museum studies could provide students with the skills necessary to pursue a career in this profession.
Online Museum Studies Master’s Degree Program Curriculum
Many programs in museum studies offer a broad range of courses designed to cover all the facets of maintaining and managing a site. Students may expect coursework that establishes a firm foundation in history and historiography. Depending on individual area of focus, this may cover any of a number of time periods and geographical focuses. Students may also wish to focus on a particular aspect of history, for example art or military. This focus may affect the courses taken in the later years of the program.
In addition to historical studies, most programs offer courses in historical preservation and the handling of artifacts as well. This may involve a mixture of classroom and hands-on learning. Other areas common to museum studies programs are management and education. This focus may shift depending on whether the student is interested in pursuing a career in the public or private sector.
Many schools may not have specific degree requirements for admission at the graduate level. Students are encouraged to contact their academic institution to determine if there are any prerequisites.
Potential Career Paths for Graduates of an Online Museum Studies Master’s Degree Program
Because a course in museum studies is custom-designed to impart a specific set of skills and knowledge, many graduates go on to pursue careers as curators or archivists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, these professionals earned a 2012 median annual salary of $44,410, with jobs in this field expected to grow by 11 percent through 2022.1
Graduates who wish to follow research-focused career paths in history may find the skills gained from a museum studies useful for future relationships between researchers, museums and academic institutions. Historians earned a 2012 BLS-reported median annual salary of $52,480, with jobs expected to grow by 6 percent through 2022.2
Museum studies graduates may also wish to remain in academia as teachers or professors. The BLS noted that post-secondary educators earned a 2012 median annual salary of $68,970, with an anticipated 19 percent job growth through 2022.3
Is Earning an Online Master’s Degree in Museum Studies Right for You?
Museum studies is about more than just maintaining a well-kept museum or archive. Students could also learn valuable critical thinking and analysis skills throughout the course of their studies. These competencies, combined with the added perspective gained through the historical bend of the program, might be beneficial to individuals pursuing a career in a public-sector career.