Humanities Indicators
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Workforce  >  Earnings & Occupations of Humanities Majors
 
Occupations of College Graduates Who Majored in a Humanities Discipline

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 go on to pursue advanced degrees, these workers are more likely than their counterparts with baccalaureates in the other major academic fields (aside from education) to be working in education-related occupations.

Findings and Trends

  • In 2013, 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, with almost two-thirds of them in precollegiate teaching. The two next most prevalent types of occupations in the management and professional category were (1) business and financial operations and (2) arts, design, entertainment, and media (with approximately 9% of humanities TBHs holding jobs in each of these two broad occupational categories).
  • Approximately 15% of TBHs in the humanities worked in office and administrative support occupations. A slightly smaller proportion, 12%, worked in sales, while just under 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 were employed in STEM fields, with 3.2% working in computer-related occupations, 2.7% in healthcare, and 1.5% 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 humanities TBHs were employed teaching humanities subjects or administering programs with a humanities orientation); museum and library professionals; 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,* 2013

* 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.
** Includes educational administrators, teaching assistants, and teachers categorized by the U.S. Census Bureau as “other teachers and instructors.”
† Encompasses military-specific occupations and those in production, transportation, and material moving; construction, extraction, maintenance, and repair; and farming, fishing, and forestry. For further details regarding the occupations included in each category used in the graph, see the ACS-HI Crosswalk.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2013 American Community Survey Public-Use Microdata Sample.

About this DataRelated Indicators
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III-3b: Occupational Distribution of Holders of Terminal Bachelor’s Degrees,* by Undergraduate Major, 2013

* 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. For further details regarding the occupations included in each category used in the graph, see the ACS-HI Crosswalk.

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); writers (2.2%); text editors (1.6%); news analysts, reporters, and correspondents (0.8%); museum and library professionals (0.6%); and tour and travel guides (0.1%).