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What are Today’s Most Popular Degrees By Gender?

4 MAY 2015
Career Path : Education News

Education news

During the 2011-2012 university school year, the National Center for Education Statistics released a report documenting the top degree choices by gender. While not shocking, it’s fascinating that by unanimous decision, today’s most popular Master’s and Bachelor’s degree is in Business Management and Administration. For men, business Masters degrees accounted for 20% of all degrees earned in these years.

Overall, we can see a trend of males earning STEM-based Master’s degrees, such as Communications Engineering, Computer Sciences, whereas women are heavily more geared towards education-based Master’s degrees, such as Counselling, Education, and Social Work.

In the Bachelor’s degree area, the gap between technology and social work is less definitive. For men, the top Bachelor’s degrees are Business, Finance, Biology and Political Science. For women, they are Psychology, Business Administration, Nursing and Teaching.

For another look at these differences, the NCES 2013 Digest of Education Statistics released a report in 2013, which showed that since 1970, the predominant degrees for women are health professions and teaching. Lowest on this list was Engineering.

So what can this data tell us? For one, the majority of the highest-paying degrees (Finance, Engineering, Computer Science) are dominated by men. Meanwhile, lower-paying professional careers such as teaching and counselling are most commonly being taken up by women. In fact, the peak earning time for women in computer sciences was in the early 1980s. This data also showed a huge misrepresentation of men in healthcare roles.

Do you think these underrepresented careers for both females and males are caused by decades-old gender roles? What would cause men to shy away from healthcare professions, and women to shy away from computer science professions?

Source: College Atlas