Majors in history earn more than others in the humanities

Historians in the News
tags: history majors



The release of new data from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) has prompted fresh analyses of a question often asked of the AHA: What are the career outcomes of history majors?

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Humanities Indicators project recently used the American Community Survey data to explore how the choice of discipline affects the earnings of full-time workers, and how much impact an advanced degree has on those earnings (bit.ly/1tGsiPS and bit.ly/10FdCpv). Those with US history bachelor’s degrees (and no advanced degree) had slightly higher salaries than the median for all fields, and they had the highest salary of all holders of degrees in the humanities fields tracked by the project. But women who held history degrees lagged the furthest behind their counterparts.

With a median annual salary of $51,000, workers with a bachelor’s degree in the humanities and no advanced degree were below the median annual salary of $56,000 calculated for all fields. Full-time workers who held a terminal bachelor’s degree in US history boasted a median annual salary of $62,000, but those who claimed the less-specific major of “history” (not specifying the US) and had no advanced degree were below the median for all fields, with an annual salary of $52,000 (fig. 1).




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