Surprise: Humanities Degrees Provide Great Return On Investment

forbes_1200x1200The conventional wisdom is that humanities majors are wasting all that tuition money and dooming themselves to lives of underemployment. The conventional wisdom is wrong. Humanities degrees are actually worth well more than the cost of college.

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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). —Forbes