Salaries in the Humanities

In addition to discussion about unemployment rates, it is important for people to have a good idea of the salary implications of majoring in the Humanities. Now, remember, here we are talking about only majoring in the Humanities. Double majoring in a Humanities field and in a non-Humanities field combines the power of the skill sets for both sides. Here, however, we focus just on single majors.

Humanities majors do well! On average they do make less than their non-Humanities counterparts, but not much less. In fact, particular Humanities fields, such as philosophy, history, and marketing, earn more at mid-career than the non-Humanities average. Additionally, philosophy majors (along with physics majors) see the largest start to mid-career salary boost – a whopping 104.5% increase over that period. Here’s the chart from the latest Georgetown study:

In the table below, we’ve again crunched the numbers in the Georgetown University study. Here we’ve added “Communication” to “the Humanities” (since they are one entity at Drury) and we provide a row for non-Humanities with and without Engineering, because engineers make a lot of money and stand out even among non-Humanities majors. So it helps to see data for the non-Humanities without them too.

Earning Potential in Humanities and non-Humanities

Recent Grads Experienced Grads With Grad Degree
Humanities 32,000 52,000 64,500
Non-Humanities 36,000 58,000 74,000
Non-Humanities w/o Engineering 34,000 56,000 71,000
Difference w EngineeringDifference w/o Engineer - $4,000- $2,000 - $6,000- $4,000 - $9,500- $6,500

So what have we learned?

  • Yes, Humanities majors make a good living!
  • Without engineering included, Humanities majors generally make 5% – 9% less on average than their non-Humanities friends when engineering is removed (remember, some Humanities fields do better – this is on average!).

So our question: are these data enough to send you away from majoring in something you are truly passionate about? We think not. Moreover, if you’d like to pick up those extra few dollars – why not double major and take bothdistinctive skills sets into the workplace?