Doh! As a psychology major with an art history minor, this sure made me feel great.
Actually, one question is the degree to which the salary differentials remain in place 5 or 10 years out of school. I imagine all those philosophers and historians will undoubtedly go on to law school, where their salaries that five years later will blow the engineers and computer geeks out of the water.
Pharmacists, I was recently told, when they graduate, they will earn considerably more money compared to their peers. However, after that, their salaries rise much more slowly with increasing years of experience, in comparison to other jobs. So those English and art majors start lower but catch up more as time goes on. One could argue that in terms of amassing wealth, it is better to have more in your 20's and invest it-- that is what we are always told, right?-- rather than putting it away later in life. But, if you end up in a job with a substantial salary, does it make much difference?
Of course, there are the other benefits to majoring in philosophy, as found in this New York Times article:
Jenna Schaal-O’Connor, a 20-year-old sophomore who is majoring in cognitive science and linguistics, said philosophy had other perks. She said she found many male philosophy majors interesting and sensitive.
“That whole deep existential torment,” she said. “It’s good for getting girlfriends.”