The Gender Gap in Earnings for College Graduates Varies Across Major Disciplines

A new report from the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University finds that on average a person with a bachelor’s degree will earn 84 percent more over the course of his or her lifetime than a peer who only graduated from high school. So going to college continues to provide a major economic benefit.

But the earnings benefit of a college degree is not uniform across the major disciplines. And the gender gap in earnings can be quite different depending on the degree earned. For example, for year-round, full-time workers with a bachelor’s degree and no graduate degree, the gender gap in earnings for engineering is $17,000. But for graduates in the humanities, the gender earnings gap is only $7,000. See the chart below.

The Georgetown study further broke down the earnings data into specific majors. The results showed that for women the highest earning major was pharmaceutical sciences and administration. Information sciences and chemical engineering ranked second and third. The lowest earning major was theology.

Readers who are interested in downloading the complete 182-page report, can do so here.

Filed Under: Degree AttainmentsGender GapResearch/Study


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