Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree, by Highest Degree and Field of Bachelor’s, 2015Back to table of contents
Obtaining an advanced degree makes a substantial difference in the earnings of college graduates. Among humanities graduates, advanced degree holders had median earnings that were 38% higher than those of workers with only a bachelor’s degree ($72,000 as compared to $52,000). In 2015, 41% of humanities bachelor’s degree holders had also earned an advanced degree (which was 5 percentage points above the share of graduates in all fields combined). Taking all fields together, advanced degree holders earned 33% more than their counterparts with just a bachelor’s degree.
For every humanities discipline, advanced degree holders made substantially more than workers with only bachelor’s degrees. The earnings differential ranged from $15,000 (in communication) to $27,000 (for graduates from area studies, ethnic studies, and history).1
- 1U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey Public-Use Microdata Sample.