It’s not news that liberal arts and STEM graduates typically begin their careers at different ends of the salary spectrum.
But humanities majors can earn a high salary, too—if they pursue certain careers, according to PayScale‘s 2018 College Salary Report. To create the report, PayScale analyzed data from its survey of 3.2 million degree holding, full-time employees in the United States. PayScale asked respondents about their job, undergraduate major, salary, and alma mater.
Here are the nine highest-paying jobs for humanities majors and their mid-career salaries, according to Payscale:
- Proposal Manager, $83,000
- Communications Director, $80,300
- Content Strategist, $71,700
- Content Marketing Manager, $70,500
- Instructional Designer $69,600
- Technical Writer, $66,500
- Content Manager, $65,200
- Proposal Writer, $62,100
- Web Content Specialist, $57,900
English literature is the most common major for people currently working in each of the top nine high-paying humanities jobs. Thirty-four percent of proposal managers and 39% of communication directors (the top two jobs on PayScale’s list) earned English literature degrees.
What all the jobs have in common is that they require strong writing, critical thinking, and communication skills—the kinds of skills humanities majors focus on during their academic careers.
And when humanities students combine their strong soft skills with a technical skill set, they double the number of jobs they’re qualified for and raise their average salary potential by $6,000, according to research from Burning Glass.
Many liberal arts majors may already have a digital skill or two in their arsenal, but just don’t know it—or haven’t adequately articulated it on their resume. For example, an English student who works on their college newspaper’s website has probably picked up digital publishing skills. Students who develop these digital publishing skills may eventually land one of the high-paying careers on PayScale’s list, like content marketing manager or web content specialist (PayScale ranking, accessed 10/2; PayScale methodology, accessed 10/2)