EN majors get jobs, make money (just like everyone else)

8 Nov

In “Surprise: Humanities Degrees Provide Great Return on Investment,” University of Georgia economics professor Jeffrey Dorfman calculates the value of a bachelor’s degree over a high school diploma. (Note that the numbers below calculate the average early career salary OVER the salary earned by a high school grad, not the total yearly salary. The lifetime earnings listed below are calculated over a 45-year-long career.)

Read ’em and rejoice:

Major Early Career Salary Mid Career Salary Lifetime Earnings Gain
Art $36,100 $57,100 $315,500
Drama $35,600 $56,300 $302,400
English $38,700 $65,200 $444,700
French $40,900 $66,700 $470,900
History $39,700 $71,000 $537,800
Philosophy $41,700 $78,300 $658,900

Dorfman concedes that those who work in some STEM fields may make more money, especially straight out of college, but argues that that doesn’t mean that humanities degrees are economically imprudent or inadvisable, as seems to be the common perception these days. The article appeared in Forbes Magazine about a year ago, but it’s still worth reading.

(Our question: with these numbers, why isn’t everyone majoring in philosophy?)

Read the entire article


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