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Monday, July 2, 2012

College Majors with the Biggest Gender Bias

Just came across a blog post 10 College Majors with the Biggest Gender Gap. This is a fascinating depiction about the bias of the types of degrees that men (on average) are pursuing versus women (on average).

Today more women attend and graduate from college than men. And yet feminists decry the pay gap between women and men (frequently stating the women make on average only 74 cents for every dollar that men earn). Note the gender bias depicted in the article that shows that 95% of Fashion majors and 90% of Interior Design majors are women. On the other hand 92% of Mechanical Engineering majors and 91% of Electrical Engineering majors are men.

I for one think there is very little discrimination against women today and rather attribute the differences to two key factors: 1) women on average are not pursuing the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects nearly as frequently as men are and 2) women take more time off on their career to raise children (on average). Interestingly, childless women on average today earn as much as childless men.

Not all college studies will produce the same results. If one studies a “fun” major with little demand you are likely to end up back at the local grocery store trying to get a job after graduating from college. But if you earn a degree in Petroleum Engineering (especially if you are a women) you will start out earning as much as 3-4 times as much as your friends that majored in Social Work.

We need more STEM graduates in America (men, women, minorities) and those that are pursuing these difficult subjects will on average have more choices after graduation. My granddaughter starts High School in the Fall and right now she is quite interested in Science and Math. I will do everything I can (which has only limited impact) to encourage her to pursue these interests.