The Highest-Paying Liberal Arts Major

By the way, do you know which is the highest-paying Liberal Arts Major? 


So says the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which reports that the top-paying liberal arts majors for 2014 graduates are foreign languages and literature (average starting salary $46,900) and English ($42,200).

These are really great salaries. The problem is that students are not aware of this and still believe that the best way to untold riches is Law School (which is actually a way into extreme penury these days because there is such an overproduction of lawyers.)


14 thoughts on “The Highest-Paying Liberal Arts Major

    1. This is an extremely good salary for a first job. One can live like an absolute queen or king.

      But I’m happy your financial state is so great that this doesn’t seem like good money. Yay for you!

      By the way, my starting salary as a professor (i.e. a person with 5 degrees, not 1) was $42,000.


      1. By the way, my starting salary as a professor (i.e. a person with 5 degrees, not 1) was $42,000.

        $42k seems awfully low for a starting salary for a faculty member, even if you are referring to a job from before you became a tenure track assistant professor.


  1. I do not mean that you are pathetic. The opposite is what I think, in fact.

    It does make me think that there are much larger differences from one university to another than I had realized. Keeping the same job for nearly half a century makes one rather out of touch.


  2. I’d be more excited if:
    Average equals median; which it doesn’t.
    They weren’t shuttling everyone into “part time” “independent contractor” jobs.
    So right there, there’s a significant selection bias.

    $42,000 k is a great starting salary if you have absolutely no debt, no dependents, and a low cost of living.

    Silly students. The best way to “untold riches” is nepotism, time travel, or being an engineer or a dermatologist.


      1. Depends on what the job is. My first reaction is that $42,000/year is a ridiculous salary for just having a liberal arts college degree. But it’s not untold riches because looking around there’s very little salary growth for recent college graduates. $42,000 a year would be able to afford the median 2 bed room apartment in this area.


      2. You mistake me. I mean to say it’s a fine salary. Two bedrooms is PLENTY of space and someone making $42,000/year could afford that on their own plus utilities. My mother has a rental property, and has had great difficulty finding pairs of people who can afford to split $860 plus utilities for a 2 bedroom duplex. This is par for the area.


  3. My salary today as an academic today with a PhD after seven years experience is less than $15k a year. I hope to someday be able to make $42k a year after I reach full professor.


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