Over time, humanities majors close pay gap with STEM peers
February 19, 2018
Humanities majors may initially earn less money than STEM majors, but a new study shows they close the gap over time.
The report by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences — "The State of the Humanities 2018: Graduates in the Workforce & Beyond" — found humanities majors typically earn around $10,000 to $30,000 less than STEM and professional majors but still more than workers without a bachelor’s degree.
This gap has closed over time – advanced degree holders in the humanities earned 38 percent higher wages. Despite this, stereotypes about the lack of job opportunities and low wages still exist.
Matthew Hora, a professor in liberal arts and applied studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said part of this perception about humanities majors is rooted in truth.
“It’s not much of a stereotype – it’s just a fact,” he said. “I think the part of the stereotype that’s unfortunate is this notion that if you get a degree in arts and humanities, you’re unemployable.”