Recent debates about whether or not to prioritize education in liberal arts have come down mostly on either side of the argument. On one hand, there are those who argue that education should be more practical, with courses like business, psychology, and art being just as important as courses like history, literature, and math.
On the other hand, there are those who believe that students get too many unrelated opportunities during college, which can sometimes lead to no real understanding of things. These people suggest instead that colleges make it their mission to teach students how to understand the world around them by studying topics related to each other.
The truth is that both types of educational programs exist for a good reason. This article will discuss some interesting stats about what career paths different majors can take you towards and how much money they pay!
Disclaimer: While we try to provide accurate information and only share facts here, this article may contain errors. Please do your own research before making any decisions.
How much does an English major earn?
We’ll start our numbers off with an easy question: how much does an English major make? The average paid position for someone with a degree in English is $38,000 per year.
But what if we look at the median income instead? Median refers to the middle value of something (in this case, salary).
Degree programs that emphasize practicality will pay you more
Even if you’re studying art or literature, there are many ways to “make money with your degree.” Most education professionals make good salaries– teachers earn around $50,000 per year, for instance. But becoming an educator is not necessarily the best way to maximize your earnings.
Most people who become educators do so because they enjoy teaching and want to contribute to their community by helping others develop skills. However, this isn’t always the case! In fact, some of our favorite educational theorists have made millions by creating products like flash cards or lesson plans.
The reason these types of academic resources are popular is due to their emphasis on practical applications. Since most people can use a new vocabulary word or learn about a topic from either fiction or nonfiction sources, making learning materials accessible is a lucrative business idea.
Don’t get us wrong– we love educational theory too! And while it’s great to know what makes up a sentence or why authors write certain things, knowing how to apply those concepts to daily life is very valuable.
However, educational theories like Marxism, Freudian Theory, and Aristotelian philosophy aren’t exactly designed to help you make a living off of them.
Degree programs that emphasize marketing will pay you more
Even if you don’t plan to work in sales, every student should at least be familiar with it because of how prevalent it is in our culture. Marketing has become one of the most important skills sets for anyone who wants to succeed in the workplace or achieve their dreams outside of work.
It makes sense then that students majoring in business administration, advertising, or marketing would make good money. After all, they are trained in selling products and services!
On average, Bachelors degree holders in these fields can expect to earn around $50,000 per year which is great news if you were planning on going back to school.
However, this only applies to those who are very skilled in marketing and able to negotiate a salary package within their department. More than half of employers never even look at candidates without an active employment background check first, so your chances of being hired depends on whether you take responsibility and keep seeking out opportunities ahead of schedule.
Degree programs that emphasize research will pay you more
Recent studies show that there is an assumption out there that people with liberal arts degrees can’t do well outside of the education field. This perception may be due to some degree programs having courses like ‘Education Principles and Methods,’ or ‘Foundations in Educational Psychology.’
However, these types of classes are only available for teachers. Programs such as business, communications, art history, psychology, sociology, and other areas offer many career paths beyond teaching.
These additional majors contribute to your career by giving you skills needed for other jobs. For example, taking marketing courses teaches you about advertising and how to influence buying decisions. Art history makes you aware of different styles and techniques that make up modern day painting.
By being able to identify true artistic talent, you can hone your eye into finding it yourself. A business major learns about leadership, communication, and organization so they can lead a team of professionals.
A lot of employers look at a college student’s resume and see whether someone has a degree in business, marketing, or journalism. They wonder if you learned anything beyond educating students.
But what most don’t know is that those extra subjects actually prepare you for another job, not just educational ones. You learn things like how to organize and lead a group of people, how to communicate effectively, and which tools are used to create products that people enjoy.
Degree programs that emphasize networking will pay you more
A degree in liberal arts or social studies can be totally different depending on what field you go into, which makes it hard to compare cost-value. What we can say about general bachelor’s degrees is that they are not as financially rewarding as professional degrees like medicine or business.
However, some career paths require large amounts of education. For example, teachers need at least a master’s degree to work in our country’s public schools.
So, while it may take longer to reach the top, those with a teaching degree will make much more money than someone who is just a high school teacher.
The other major area where an education degree can help you earn more money is by doing well in your job. If you’re a doctor, you’ll want to have at least a masters degree to show people whether you’re really qualified for your position.
Degree programs that emphasize teamwork will pay you more
Along with educating you, an education in liberal arts or humanities can help you fulfill your career dreams and increase your income. Employers look at how well people work together and communicate to determine if someone is worthy of a position.
A degree in business administration teaches you about marketing strategies and how to run a company’s internal operations. A sociology major can teach you about human behavior and why some individuals are successful while others are not.
These skills apply even outside of the workplace. An advanced English degree can be useful for anyone who wants to read good books or watch good movies. You don’t need a degree in literature to enjoy reading, but it helps.
Liberal arts degrees focus less on just teaching you something in particular and more on helping you learn practical knowledge and skills that can be applied in different areas of life.
Degree programs that emphasize leadership will pay you more
Recent studies show that there are many different ways to measure how much of a salary boost getting an arts or humanities degree can give you. Some of these include: average per-hour income, total annual income, median income, and average net worth.
Average per-hour income is calculated by taking the yearly wages of all individuals with the same degree and then dividing it into the number of hours they worked. This effectively calculates how much money each student made for every hour they work.
Total annual income is simply the sum of all students’ monthly earnings added up over one year. Median income is the amount in the middle — the most common wage paid to people with this degree. Average net worth is determined similarly, except instead of monthly incomes, it uses assets like homes and savings.
Overall, the highest paying degrees tend to be physical or social sciences such as business, medicine, or psychology. These fields require lots of math and science so employers think they’re more professional than someone who majored in art or literature.
Business majors earn the most due to their education in marketing and finance. Medical professionals make the most due to training in human biology and health. And psychologists gain the most from developing skills in communication and management.
Degree programs that emphasize knowledge will pay you more
Recent studies show that there is no direct correlation between going into business and majoring in humanities or social sciences, and your income as a CEO.
On the contrary, some of the most successful CEOs have degrees in either business or engineering! The reason for this is because they learned about concepts like leadership, communication skills, how to motivate others, and what it takes to run a company.
These are all things that can be applied even after you leave work, and are essential workplace tools.
Furthermore, several studies show that being educated makes you feel better about yourself, which helps boost your self-confidence and emotional well-being.
Degree programs that emphasize creativity will pay you more
Recent studies show that there is no clear link between education level and salary, at least not in the workplace. In fact, recent research suggests that having an undergraduate degree may even reduce your income!
In a study conducted by Harvard University, participants were asked to complete an online survey about their career experiences and opportunities. The researchers found that people with bachelor’s degrees reported lower levels of perceived employment opportunities than individuals with higher-degree levels.
It appears that some employers perceive college students as less experienced than those who have only graduated high school. This could be due to the perception that student workers are given preferential treatment or additional responsibilities because they are younger. Therefore, although higher education clearly does not guarantee a higher paying job, it might actually hinder your earnings potential.
Given this finding, how much money would you expect someone with a masters degree in art history to make? We can probably rule out any substantial raises beyond a few years, if ever.