Jobs for Humanities Majors?

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

As commencement approaches, this year’s graduating seniors can look forward to pep talks about how employable humanities majors are.

“Upon graduating from college, those who majored in the humanities and social science made, on average, $26,271 in 2010 and 2011, slightly more than those in science and mathematics but less than those in engineering and in professional and pre-professional fields,” Vartan Gregorian writes in the Carnegie Reporter. “However, by their peak earning age of 56 to 60, these individuals earned $66,185, putting them about $2,000 ahead of professional and pre-professional majors in the same age bracket.

Further, employers want to hire men and women who have the ability to think and act based on deep, wide-ranging knowledge. For example, the report [from the Association of American Colleges and Universities] finds that 93 percent of employers agree that candidates’ demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major, and 55 percent said that what they wanted from potential employees was both field-specific knowledge and skills and a broad range of knowledge and skills. Even more evidence of hiring managers’ interest in richly educated individuals is the finding that four out of five employers agree that all students should acquire broad knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences.”

The Carnegie Reporter is published by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Gregorian is president of the corporation.