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Career outcomes for recipients of terminal master’s degrees in the humanities have been a subject of considerable interest to graduate faculty and disciplinary societies for many years. As the Indicators report elsewhere, humanities master’s degree recipients have modestly lower median earnings and a different occupational profile when compared to their counterparts from other fields. With respect to overall job satisfaction, however, recipients of humanities master’s degrees are similar to graduates with terminal master’s degrees in other fields.

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* This analysis excludes holders of the J.D. and other professional degrees.
Source: National Science Foundation, 2015 National Survey of College Graduates. Data analyzed and presented by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Humanities Indicators (www.humanitiesindicators.org).

Conducted every two years, the National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG) gathers detailed education, occupation, and earnings information from a sample of individuals drawn from the larger pool of all those identified via the American Community Survey as holders of a baccalaureate degree. The National Science Foundation makes NSCG data available to researchers and the general public via downloadable data files and its online data analysis tool, SESTAT. Given the size of the NSCG sample, reliable estimates are available only for broad academic fields. For the NSCG disciplinary categories included in each of the field-of-degree categories employed by the Humanities Indicators, see the provided crosswalk. The categories for level of satisfaction in the survey were “very satisfied,” “somewhat satisfied,” “somewhat dissatisfied,” and “very dissatisfied.”

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* This analysis excludes holders of the J.D. and other professional degrees. For comparison of the humanities with other individual fields, see the supporting table.
Source: National Science Foundation, 2015 National Survey of College Graduates. Data analyzed and presented by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Humanities Indicators (www.humanitiesindicators.org).

Conducted every two years, the National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG) gathers detailed education, occupation, and earnings information from a sample of individuals drawn from the larger pool of all those identified via the American Community Survey as holders of a baccalaureate degree. The National Science Foundation makes NSCG data available to researchers and the general public via downloadable data files and its online data analysis tool, SESTAT. Given the size of the NSCG sample, reliable estimates are available only for broad academic fields. For the NSCG disciplinary categories included in each of the field-of-degree categories employed by the Humanities Indicators, see the provided crosswalk. The categories for level of satisfaction in the survey were “very satisfied,” “somewhat satisfied,” “somewhat dissatisfied,” and “very dissatisfied.”

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