The dying humanities degree

Amid uncertainty for how to best navigate the profoundly changing job future, students in U.S. colleges are turning away from the humanities and toward STEM subjects, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Data: National Center for Education Statistics; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

The big picture: The number of students earning degrees in subjects such as art, history and language has dropped each year since 2012 — around the time undergraduates who enrolled during or right after the financial crash were graduating. As is clear in the chart above, their share of the total has shrunk as well.

Among other possible factors in the shift are the Obama administration's investment in and promotion of STEM education, the shrinkage of lucrative Wall Street jobs and a surge in STEM salaries, especially in artificial intelligence and blockchain.