Career Success

Humanities Majors Find Lucrative Careers

This section draws on employment and salary data to make the case that humanities majors 1) are employed at rates comparable to other majors and in a variety of fields, 2) earn salaries that are comparable to other majors, and 3) do increasingly well over the course of their careers. 

The empirical data included in this section dispels many of the myths we commonly hear about humanities majors’ supposedly limited career prospects. In reality, humanities majors’ career outcomes compare favorably to many other majors on a variety of measures. These data points show that majoring in the humanities is a good investment and will prepare students for successful long-term careers. Humanities graduates are employed at similar rates to other graduates and work in a wide variety of occupations. 

While it is important to confront misconceptions regarding the financial practicality of majoring in the humanities, it should also be noted that monetary compensation is not the only or necessarily the most important measure of career success. The average salary figures presented include substantial populations of both high-earning humanities majors in lucrative fields and those who choose socially important occupations associated with high levels of job satisfaction that draw relatively modest salaries—including teaching, social work, and various jobs serving important cultural institutions like museums and libraries. Among the many benefits for life conferred through humanistic study is the capacity to reflect upon and pursue one’s own definition of success.