The Decline of Humanities Enrollments and the Decline of Pre-Law

A community college dean offers a thoughtful analysis of the recent decline in Humanities enrollment. (It’s not all about STEM.)

It’s a myth that humanities majors don’t care about post-graduation employment. What changed was the safety valve of subsequent law school enrollment.

Law school was long the default post-graduation plan for majors in qualitative fields.  As long as you had the prospect of a lucrative legal career after college, you could safely major in English or poli sci.  Those students didn’t ignore the vocational imperative; they just postponed it. And for a long time, that worked pretty well.

But the Great Recession, combined with AI and offshoring, did a number on law as a career option. —Inside Higher Ed