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The Humanities, Arts, and Education

How Does Gender Affect the Careers of Humanities Majors?

Last week, the Humanities Indicators published new reports on the effects of gender on the earnings and occupations of humanities majors. Among the key findings:

  • The gender gap in earnings between male and female humanities majors was greater among older workers.
  • Female holders of terminal bachelor’s degrees in the humanities were approximately twice as likely to be employed as pre-collegiate teachers or in office and administrative support occupations, and the gender disparity in pre-collegiate teaching grew among humanities graduates with advanced degrees.
  • Among humanities majors with just a bachelor’s degree, men were considerably more likely to hold management positions. And male humanities majors who went on to earn an advanced degree were much more likely to work in legal occupations.

To assess the implications of these findings, David Laurence (Office of Research, Modern Language Association) highlights some of the underlying (and perhaps neglected) questions, as well as the limitations of the available data.

November 12, 2015

The Gender Pay Gap and the Career Paths of Humanities Majors

By David Laurence

The new indicators—on gender, occupations, and earnings of humanities majors—mark a significant addition to the Humanities Indicators, especially when they are read in relation to one another and to parallel work from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) on the gender pay gap and from the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce on employment and earnings of college graduates.

It is worth recalling the data sources that have made it possible to develop these correlations among gender, earnings, occupations, and major field of baccalaureate study:    More... 

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