Nearly Four-Fifths of the Graduates Who Hold the 20 Highest-Paying Bachelor’s Degrees Are Men

A new study by Bankrate finds that nearly 4 in 5 (78 percent) of those who hold the 20 most lucrative bachelor’s degrees are men, while only 22 percent are women. Men still dominate undergraduate majors with the highest earning potential, such as engineering and computer science, while women continue to overrepresent majors that typically lead to lower salaries, such as early childhood education and social work.

Researchers used federal data to analyze the median salaries of American workers based on the subject of their bachelor’s degrees, as well as the gender differences across more than 150 college majors. Of the 20 highest-earning majors, the only ones not heavily dominated by men are pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, and administration and health and medical preparatory programs.

College graduates with electrical engineering degrees have a median salary of $110,000, the highest in the survey. Men make up 85 percent of all graduates in the field. Computer engineering ranked second with a median salary of $104,000. Women are only 19 percent of graduates in the field. Computer science, chemical engineering, and aerospace engineering graduates all had annual salaries of $100,000. Men made up 70 percent or more of all graduates in these fields.

Of the 20 most common majors for women, only those with a nursing degree earn a median salary higher than $60,000. The lowest-earning major of women’s 20 most common majors is early childhood education at $43,000 annually. Early childhood education also has the highest percentage of women’s degree holders at 96 percent.

Women were 90 percent or more of all graduates with degrees in communications disorders, elementary education, and family and consumer sciences. All had average annual salaries below $60,000.




Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study

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