Lots of philosophers, me included, have been sharing on social media this good news story from Forbes about the financial benefits of a humanities degree.
I pulled out information on bachelor’s degrees in art, drama, English, French, history, philosophy, and political science. Overall, this is a group that many would predict is destined to produce underemployed graduates, struggling to pay off their student loans, and perhaps happy to work as Starbucks baristas. However, conventional wisdom is wrong. In reality these degrees all produce expected lifetime earning increments far in excess of the cost of college tuition, even at expensive private colleges.
And being philosophers, we’re also busy noting that the best financial results from humanities degrees comes from philosophy. As with GRE scores, among the humanities, we’re number 1.
But not so fast.
It occurred to me that philosophy is also the most male of these disciplines. There are lots more women than men in English and lots more men than women in philosophy. Philosophy’s greater financial benefit may just be a secondary effect of being the discipline with the fewest women in a world in which women are paid less than men. Just a thought.