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New Findings on Gender and Career Outcomes for Humanities Majors

What are likely career paths for humanities majors? And how does gender affect future careers and earnings?

New reports from Humanities Indicators offer important insights into the connection between gender, employment, and income for humanities students. One study concluded that, after receiving a bachelor’s degree, women were more likely than men to have lower-paying jobs in education while men were more likely than women to occupy higher-paying managerial positions. Another study found that, regardless of age or career experience, a large pay gap persists between men and women, with experienced working women (ages 35–54) with bachelor’s degrees earning 75% of what men with the same credentials earn.

The important question is simple: why? Are women more likely to become teachers or start careers in similarly lower-paying but socially valuable fields, or are these careers lower paying because women are more likely to occupy them? The MLA Office of Research has analyzed the results of these studies here, highlighting important trends in how gender affects degree and career choice and raising questions about gender inequalities that exist across fields.  

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