Do you know any educators who are advising future college students to focus on engineering and technical fields, and to stay away from the arts and the humanities?

If you do, we would like to direct your attention to “The State of the Humanities 2018: Workforce & Beyond,” a study conducted by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. According to the study, humanities grads are finding nearly as many jobs, earning nearly as much, and enjoying their careers just as much as engineering graduates students are.

To quote from the study:

“The evidence shows that humanities graduates earn less and have slightly higher levels of unemployment relative to science and engineering majors. With respect to perceived well-being, however, humanities majors are quite similar to graduates from other fields.”

“The State of the Humanities 2018,” reported the following findings.

Humanities Salaries and Tech Salaries Are Fairly Competitive

Median annual earnings are:

  • $80,000 for college graduates with engineering degrees
  • $60,000+ for college graduates who majored in physical sciences and business
  • $50,000+ for college graduates who majored in behavioral and social sciences, humanities, and life sciences
  • $40,000+ for college graduates who majored in arts and education

The study also found that by adding a postgraduate degree, students can add to their salaries, but that a similar increase in earnings is enjoyed about equally by students across all fields.

In General, Graduates who Studied Engineering Feel More Financially Secure

About 35% of engineering graduates agreed with the statement, “In the last seven days, I have worried about money,” compared to slightly more than 50% of arts graduates.

Unemployment Rates for Most College Grads Remain Relatively Low

Only about 4.6% of students who earned undergraduate degrees in the humanities are unemployed, compared to about 3.2% of students who majored in engineering. So the reality is that a college degree helps all graduates find employment.

Job Satisfaction Is High for All College Graduates

This could be the most encouraging news of all. Approximately equal percentages of grads who earned bachelor’s degrees in humanities and in engineering reported they were “deeply interested in the work that I do” (about 72%) and that their job provided the “opportunity to do what I do best every day” (about 70%).

Is “Do What You Love” Actually a Sound Career Plan?

Maybe it is. And perhaps it is time to stop telling our future teachers, novelists, musicians, and artists that their career plans are impractical.

To Learn More about Trends in Higher Education

We invite you to further explore the findings of the Career Pathways and 21st Century Skills study.

Related Posts

How Are Gen Z High School Students Thinking About Careers Today?
Career Counseling Advice: Tell Your Students the Importance of Loyalty to Employers
The Importance of Career Knowledge
What Influences Student Career Choices? 
New Research Findings: What American Colleges Are Doing to Attract Students
How Successful Are Community College Students at Completing 4-Year College Degree
Talk to Your High School Students about Completing College

We Invite You Help Your Students Explore All Their Career and College Options . . .

Have your students participate in the National Career & College Pathway Study to gain new insights about making educational decisions that align with their interests, passions, and aptitudes. Students who complete the free career test for high school students will receive information on college and career opportunities which match their interests.