Humanities Indicators
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Workforce  >  Career Paths of Humanities College Graduates
 
Occupations of College Graduates Who Majored in Humanities Disciplines
(Updated August 2014)

These indicators describe the way in which workers with terminal bachelor’s degrees in the humanities are distributed among occupations. As is true of humanities majors who went on to pursue advanced degrees, these workers are more likely than their counterparts with baccalaureates in most other major fields (beyond education) to be working in the educational field.

Findings and Trends

  • In 2012, 56% of terminal bachelor’s holders (TBHs) in the humanities had worked in the broad category of “management, professional, and related occupations” in the previous five years (Indicator III-3a).[1] Almost 14% of those TBHs worked as managers of various kinds. Another 13% of humanities TBHs were found in education-related occupations, approximately two-thirds of them in precollegiate teaching. The two next most prevalent types of occupations in the management and professional category were: business and financial operations; and arts, design, entertainment, and media (with approximately 9% of humanities TBHs holding jobs in each of these two broad occupational categories).
  • Looking beyond managerial/professional jobs, approximately 15% of TBHs in the humanities worked in office and administrative support occupations. A similar proportion, 13%, worked in sales, while 10% held service jobs.
  • Policymakers have recently focused a considerable amount of attention on the preparation of workers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. A small proportion of humanities TBH’s employed were employed in STEM fields, with 3.0% working in computer-related occupations, 2.5% in healthcare, and 1.3% in science and engineering professions. (The proportions were higher for those humanities majors who went on to earn advanced degrees.)
  • Although humanities majors were less likely than those in most other fields to be employed in professional, managerial, or related occupations, humanities majors were the likeliest (apart from those who majored in education) to work in the education field (Indicator III-3b). Humanities TBHs were also more likely to work in office and administrative support positions than their counterparts in any other field.
  • Approximately 18% of humanities TBHs worked in “applied humanities” occupations that would allow for direct application of knowledge and skills cultivated in the field. These occupations include education-related jobs (although the data do not indicate whether these TBHs were employed teaching humanities subjects or administering programs with a humanities orientation); museum and library occupations; writers; news analysts, reporters and correspondents; editors (text); and tour and travel guides.[2]
III-3a: Occupational Distribution of Holders of Terminal Bachelor’s Degrees in the Humanities,* 2012

* Employed at any time in the previous five years. Reported jobs are those respondents currently held or the last they worked. Respondents who worked more than one job at a time were asked to report the job at which they worked the most hours.
** Encompasses military-specific occupations and those in: production, transportation, and material moving; construction, extraction, maintenance, and repair; and farming, fishing, and forestry.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 American Community Survey Public-Use Microdata Sample.

About this DataRelated Indicators
../cmsData/xls/III-3a.xls../cmsData/ppt/III-3a.ppt../cmsData/pdf/III-3a.pdf
III-3b: Occupational Distribution of Holders of Terminal Bachelor’s Degrees,* by Undergraduate Major, 2012

* Employed at any time in the previous five years. Reported jobs are those respondents currently held or the last they worked. Respondents who worked more than one job at a time were asked to report the job at which they worked the most hours. See the data table associated with this indicator for more occupational detail.
** Includes science and engineering occupations, among others.
† Encompasses military-specific occupations and those in: production, transportation, and material moving; construction, extraction, maintenance, and repair; and farming, fishing, and forestry.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 American Community Survey Public-Use Microdata Sample.

About this DataRelated Indicators
../cmsData/xls/III-3b.xls../cmsData/ppt/III-3b.ppt../cmsData/pdf/III-3b.pdf

Endnotes

[1] Reported jobs are those respondents currently held or the last they worked. Respondents who worked more than one job at a time were asked to report the job at which they worked the most hours.
[2] TBHs in “applied humanities” occupations include educators (12.6% of all humanities TBHs); museum and library staff (0.7%); writers (2.3%); news analysts, reporters, and correspondents (0.9%); text editors (1.7%); and tour and travel guides (0.1%).