February 2015 – More on philosophy and employability

Here’s an interested recent article about philosophy and employability, and more specifically about the impact on lifetime earnings of studying the humanities, and some humanities disciplines more specifically:

Surprise: Humanities Degrees Provide Great Return On Investment

This piece refers to an analysis, conducted in the USA, of lifetime earnings depending on course of study. It reports that the average lifetime gains from a humanities education are high, and especially so for philosophy majors:

“The present value of the extra earnings that graduates in humanities majors can expect over their lifetime is $302,400 for drama majors, $444,700 for English majors, $537,800 for history majors, and $658,900 for philosophy majors. If a person goes to a top-level, in-state, public university with no financial aid of any kind, the total cost is likely to run around $80,000 (tuition, books, and living expenses). That means the much maligned humanities majors are still getting an A in economics because the returns on their investments are quite high (in the 300 to 700 percent range).”

(We have no idea whether there are similar results outside the USA, nor do we mean to imply that the value of the humanities (philosophy in particular) is exhausted by the economic advantages that study provides.)

For another account of the same results, see this article.

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