Occupational Distribution of Doctoral Degree Holders, by Field of Degree, 2019Back to table of contents
Occupational Distribution of Doctoral Degree Holders, by Field of Degree, 2019
Substantial shares of PhDs from every field were employed in postsecondary teaching, but the humanities stand out for the particularly large share of their graduates employed in such jobs. Among PhD recipients generally, 27% were employed in academic teaching jobs in 2019, compared to 61% of those with doctorates in the humanities.
A comparison with earlier surveys of doctoral recipients indicates that the share of humanities PhDs who work in higher education has declined gradually since at least the 1980s, a phenomenon observed in most major academic fields.
As was the case with master’s degree holders in the humanities, the occupational distribution of humanities PhDs did not differ much by gender. The most notable disparity was in library/museum jobs, with women more likely than men to do this type of work (12% of women compared with 5% of men).16
- 16Ibid. For earlier studies on the employment of humanities PhDs, see the reports from the National Science Foundation’s Survey of Doctorate Recipients, which tracked the humanities from 1970 to 1995.