Earnings of Older College Graduates, by Highest Degree: Humanities Compared to Other Fields of Bachelor’s Degree, 2018Back to table of contents
Earnings of Older College Graduates, by Highest Degree: Humanities Compared to Other Fields of Bachelor’s Degree, 2018
While humanities graduates have substantial median earnings in their peak earnings years (from their late 40s into their 50s), they earned less than graduates from business and several STEM fields. The median earnings of terminal bachelor’s degree holders generally were 8.5% higher than those of humanities graduates whose highest degree was a bachelor’s.
The differential between every higher-earning field and the humanities was almost as large if not larger when the focus shifts to workers with an advanced degree. A particularly dramatic example is the life sciences, whose advanced degree holders earned 40% more than their counterparts in the humanities, even though median earnings of the two fields’ graduates were almost identical for those with just a bachelor’s degree. Advanced degree holders generally earned 11% more than humanities graduates with the same level of education.14