Finally some good news for history grads

Historians in the News
tags: history

Students who majored in history tend to earn more than graduates from other humanities programs, according to new reports from the Humanities Indicators of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. While lower than the averages for most of the other fields of study, this is still considerably better than the median of $42,000 for all American workers.

A few of the key findings:

●   In 2013, median annual earnings for workers who majored in U.S. history were $55,000 for those who held only a bachelor’s degree. For those who majored in another area of history, the average was $50,000 for those who only hold a bachelor’s degree and $77,000 for those who had gone on to earn an advanced degree. In comparison, the medians for graduates from all fields were $57,000 for undergraduates with terminal bachelor’s degrees and $78,000 for those with advanced degrees.

●   The salary differential between humanities majors and graduates from other fields generally narrowed with experience. When the median salaries of younger workers (ages 24 to 34) are compared to those with more experience (ages 35 to 54), the gap in median salaries between the humanities and graduates from all fields narrowed by about two percentage points for those who hold only a bachelor’s degree (declining from 11.1% to 9.1%) and those who had earned advanced degrees (falling from 12.3% to 10.5%).

●  Humanities majors had somewhat higher rates of unemployment than graduates from all fields, both among those with terminal bachelor’s degrees (5.4% as compared to 4.6%) and among those with advanced degrees (3.4% compared to 3.1%). The gap in unemployment also narrows with additional experience and an advanced degree.

●  A comparatively large share of humanities graduates go into education-related occupations—especially among those with terminal bachelor’s degrees, where the humanities are second only to education majors.

●  Among the 42% of undergraduate humanities majors who had gone on to earn an advanced degree, workers were more evenly distributed across occupational categories than majors in most of the other fields.

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