ERIC Number: ED353871
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Students in the Humanities.
Sikula, Robin D.
ACE Research Briefs, v3 n6 1992
This research brief examines the data on baccalaureate recipients in the humanities, especially the upward trend over the past 9 years. Highlighted findings include that: in 1971 the number of humanities degrees awarded peaked; this was followed by a decline of over 50% in the early 1980s; such degrees have been increasing since the low in 1983, and graduates in humanities have one of the highest levels of enrollment in graduate education. A look at the bachelors degrees conferred finds that the most common fields of study are English, history, and foreign languages and that women generally receive a greater percentage of the degrees granted than do men. Related trends include the following: freshmen aspirations have been reliable indicators of bachelor's degrees conferred; decreases in verbal scores on standardized tests may be linked to low numbers of humanities majors; and the decrease in humanities may be linked to increasing numbers of students majoring in business fields. Also briefly considered are strengthened general education requirements. Discussion of data on those who graduate in the humanities finds that they gravitate toward a wide variety of occupations with education being most popular and that initial earnings of humanities graduates are lower than those of business graduates. A final section discusses implications with emphasis on the relevance of the humanities in business and the general labor market. (A 27-item bibliography is attached.) (JB)
Descriptors: Bachelors Degrees, Career Choice, College Freshmen, College Graduates, College Students, Educational Trends, General Education, Graduate Study, Higher Education, Humanities, Liberal Arts, Sex Differences, Student Attitudes
American Council on Education, One Dupont Circle, Suite 800, Washington, D.C. ($10; subscription $55 per year).
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Council on Education, Washington, DC. Div. of Policy Analysis and Research.