New Earnings and Employment Data on Philosophy and other Humanities Majors


Humanities Indicators, a project of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, has issued a new report concerning earnings and employment data for those with degrees in the humanities, including philosophy.

The data is from 2015, the most recent year for which information of this type is available.

Overall, those with bachelors and advanced degrees in the humanities tend to earn less than those in many other fields:

Source: State of the Humanities 2018: Workforce and Beyond, from Humanities Indicators

Additionally (and perhaps relatedly), the gender pay gap is smaller in the humanities overall than in most other fields:

Source: State of the Humanities 2018: Workforce and Beyond, from Humanities Indicators

What kinds of jobs do those in the humanities get? A wide array:

Source: State of the Humanities 2018: Workforce and Beyond, from Humanities Indicators

Overall, humanities majors’ job satisfaction is slightly lower than those whose degrees are in other areas:

Source: State of the Humanities 2018: Workforce and Beyond, from Humanities Indicators

What about philosophy in particular? The data is not ideal, as the Federal government, from whom the data is collected, still lumps philosophy majors together with religious studies and theology majors, which may drag down earnings figures. That said, here is what Humanities Indicators reports about those in this cluster.

They earn, on average, around $50,000:

The gender earnings gap is among the smallest in the humanities:

And holders of advanced degrees in this cluster earn around $70,000:

The full report is here. Thanks to Robert B. Townsend, Director of the Washington Office of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, for alerting me to its release.

UPDATE: Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle of Higher Education report on the study.

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