STEM grads, step aside.
While technology degrees are still the hottest ticket to good jobs, employers are rediscovering the importance of good communication and thinking skills.
Employers are snapping up more liberal arts, English, foreign language and area studies grads and are pushing up average salaries for humanities majors.
Surveys of recent graduates show higher salaries and hiring rates for humanities grads, according to NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers,’ which canvassed 279 U.S. colleges and universities and 244,000 bachelor’s degree graduates.
Some grads, like those specializing in Latin American or Area Studies, saw salaries jump 26% from the previous year.
Pay gains show “employers are seeking hires with communication skills and comfort in multicultural environments,” said Edwin Koc, NACE’s director of research, public policy and legislative affairs, in a Wall Street Journal interview.
But it’s still not smooth sailing for all liberal arts grads.
Computer science grads and engineers still score among the highest starting salaries, and not all humanities grads are benefitting from better hiring. Employment actually declined for visual and performing arts majors, while other grads – like history majors – saw minimal salary gains.
The good news? More than 80% of students graduating last year with their B.A. are now employed or in graduate school.