Sunday, November 20, 2011

Class of 2009: College Degrees by Discipline, Sex


Academic DisciplineMale
Degrees
Female
Degrees
Percent Female
Female-Dominated Disciplines
Family and consumer sciences/human sciences 2,75419,15187.4%
Health professions and related clinical sciences17,792102,69685.2%
Public administration and social service professions 4,37419,47781.7%
Education 21,15980,54979.2%
Psychology 21,48872,78377.2%
Legal professions and studies 1,0372,78572.9%
Foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics 6,30214,85670.2%
Area, ethnic, cultural, and gender studies 2,7356,03768.8%
Multi/interdisciplinary studies 11,85725,58768.3%
English language and literature17,97337,48967.6%
Liberal arts and sciences, general studies and humanities 16,61630,48064.7%
Communication and communications technologies 31,21851,89162.4%
Visual and performing arts 35,05154,08960.7%
Biological and biomedical sciences 32,92547,83159.2%
Close to Gender Parity
Security and protective services 21,07320,72749.6%
Social sciences and history 85,19783,30349.4%
Business, management, marketing177,862170,12348.9%
Agriculture and natural resources 13,10111,88747.6%
Parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies 16,66615,00147.4%
Male-Dominated Disciplines
Mathematics and statistics 8,7936,70343.3%
Architecture and related services 5,7974,32242.7%
Physical sciences and science technologies 13,2999,16740.8%
Philosophy and religious studies 7,7614,68337.6%
Theology and religious vocations 5,9502,99033.4%
Computer and information sciences and support services 31,2156,77917.8%
Engineering and engineering technologies 70,67513,96116.5%

All Disciplines685,382915,98657.2%

The table above is based on the most recent data on bachelor's degrees by discipline and sex for the class of 2009 from the Department of Education. Note that:

1. Overall, there were 134 female college graduates with bachelor's degrees in 2009 for every 100 men.

2. Women significantly outnumbered men in 14 academic disciplines, men significantly outnumber women in 7 academic disciplines, and there was approximate gender parity in 5 disciplines. 

3. Even though we constantly hear about female under-representation in science, in 2009, women outnumbered men for bachelor's degrees in biology by a ratio of 145 women per 100 men.  

4. The concern about gender imbalances for college degrees is frequently selective, with great concern about female under-representation in certain disciplines, but very little concern about female over-representation, both by discipline, and overall for all college degrees. 

20 Comments:

At 11/20/2011 11:16 PM, Blogger Bell said...

Thanks for sharing!

 
At 11/20/2011 11:35 PM, Blogger Comparative Disadvantage said...

Given that:

1) Women earn more degrees than men overall.

2) A degree correlates within higher income in some fields.

3) Men earn more, on average, than women.

4) That relatively "labor-intensive" fields require degrees less often and reward degrees to a lesser extent than other fields.

5) That men choose these "labor-intensive" fields more often than women.

Isn't it likely that some of the disparity between male and female income levels is related to the value of human capital in "labor-intensive" fields? And, if true, wouldn't this deliver a crushing blow to the argument by some that the value of human labor is small and decreasing? That able-bodied persons are unable to support themselves?

Now if only I had the time, the resources, and the quantitative skills to research this.

 
At 11/20/2011 11:40 PM, Blogger arbitrage789 said...

No doubt the trial lawyers are cooking up a way to file a class action lawsuit.

 
At 11/21/2011 1:54 AM, Blogger Don Culo said...

Women and liberals are such cry-babies. There is and never has been any gender bias in the work-place.

 
At 11/21/2011 3:03 AM, Blogger kmg said...

To understand typical feminist complaints, one needs to study the research done by pickup artists.

When women make a ridiculous claim of 'oppression', they are not actually hoping to be taken seriously.

They are in fact filtering for which men appease and grovel, vs. which men are unswayed and ignore the demand. Women are then programmed to be attracted to the latter, while being repulsed by the former.

It is quite obvious, really, once you learn how women think.

Again, when feminists complain, they are actually hoping to filter for men who do NOT grovel to them.

 
At 11/21/2011 5:28 AM, OpenID Sprewell said...

They still complain for two reasons: the male-dominated fields are usually much higher paying and there is a group of professional complainers- they call themselves advocates or activists- who would be out of business if their customers actually knew the data. Of course, the first one doesn't matter too much because there just aren't enough male engineers or scientists to really swing the income averages, which is why women do better once you factor out how many of them drop out of work to get married and have kids. The problem is the professional complainers will take decades to be ignored and go away, once their clients realize their scam because of this data.

 
At 11/21/2011 6:25 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

good chart!

what would be even better would be a 4th column labeled "jobs available in field".

on the disparity, I'd also be curious to know the trendline over a couple of decades.

does any of this have anything to do the trendline for manufacturing jobs?

 
At 11/21/2011 8:34 AM, Blogger Frozen in the North said...

Cannot debate the stats, but for what its worth. In 1984 my University's engineering program had 4 women (not 4%, 4 women registered in the program), today it is around 25% of the total student body. Not bad, BTW in 1984, the social science was evenly distributed.

 
At 11/21/2011 9:15 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

If you want to increase your odds of meeting intelligent and talented women, stay out of the male dominated professions.

 
At 11/21/2011 9:28 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

but that has a big downside also in that smart and intelligent women don't want their lessers as soul mates usually...

the phrase "marrying up" usually does not apply to women, eh?

 
At 11/21/2011 9:28 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

cd-

actually, women past child bearing age rapidly converge to the earnings of their male peers.

a great deal of the income disparity has to do with childbirth/rearing.

think about it:

you have 2 27 year old employees, one male, one female. they are equal in performance, aptitude, and potential.

if you think she is likely to take a year or two off (and maybe not come back) to have kids in the near future, which one do you promote/train?

even if you do not select this way, if one employee takes a tear or so off 2-3 times in a career, it's going to have serious effects, especially in the more cutthroat lucrative fields.

you don;t drop out of a law firm for a year, come back, and expect not to have lost bigtime ground on the associate/partner track.

 
At 11/21/2011 10:04 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: child-bearing.... this is one reason why women tend to gravitate towards employers that provide "pauses" for childbirth but the modern world now puts any employer who does this - at a competitive disadvantage unless of course the job is a govt job or union job.

Women want employers that provide health care for their family and job security for child bearing.

Our tax code is set up to basically exempt middle-class families from income taxes with deductions, exemptions and credits for kids.

People who have kids get preferential tax treatment and women often receive preferential employment treatment ( similar to military service job preferences).

 
At 11/21/2011 10:22 AM, Blogger AIG said...

"Isn't it likely that some of the disparity between male and female income levels is related to the value of human capital in "labor-intensive" fields? And, if true, wouldn't this deliver a crushing blow to the argument by some that the value of human labor is small and decreasing? That able-bodied persons are unable to support themselves?"

Nop. The two are probably not related. "Degrees" and "college" are not general terms which can be used interchangeably between Visual Arts, and Engineering.

Men have higher representation in higher-paying degree fields. In fact, virtually all higher paying degree fields have more men in them, or have gender parity.

It is important to not fall in the trap of equating all college degrees.

 
At 11/21/2011 10:40 AM, Blogger AIG said...

"Cannot debate the stats, but for what its worth. In 1984 my University's engineering program had 4 women (not 4%, 4 women registered in the program), today it is around 25% of the total student body."

Women are certainly becoming a lot more common on engineering campuses. That's certainly a good thing, if for no other reason than it shows that some cultural traits that kept women from going into these fields are being broken down by economic reality.


"you don;t drop out of a law firm for a year, come back, and expect not to have lost bigtime ground on the associate/partner track."

Most jobs don't function the same way as lawyers.

Women are becoming more likely to enter fields which are knowledge based, since they aren't as connected to experience. Unfortunately, a lot of this increase is being picked up by liberal arts degrees. But that's another story. Women's % are going up considerably in engineering and sciences too.

"you have 2 27 year old employees, one male, one female. they are equal in performance, aptitude, and potential.

if you think she is likely to take a year or two off (and maybe not come back) to have kids in the near future, which one do you promote/train?"

In most professions, the factor of kids is hardly going to be a big factor. "Training" and "promotion" is determined by personal commitment to those goals. Managers don't really "chose" who to train. Also, if the female is going to leave for 3-4 months, that is hardly detrimental to her career development. Its the women who leave their fields entirely, or decide to move to an easier career, that lose out.

 
At 11/21/2011 11:10 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

aig-

"Most jobs don't function the same way as lawyers."

oh really? teacher pay is based on seniority. taking a year off sets you back.

any technical job requires keeping current. taking a year off sets you back.

promotions in most fields take seniority into account. even supermarket cashiers work this way.

ask a doctor or an accountant or a professor.

most fields DO work that way and most that do not require you to be current.

take a year off from a hedge fund or investment bank, and you will spend 6 months after just getting up to speed again.

i think you'll find that the higher paying the job, the bigger penalty there is to taking time off. lots of people want those jobs, and if you are not current or around to compete, you tend, all else equal, to lose.

 
At 11/21/2011 11:14 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

"if you think she is likely to take a year or two off (and maybe not come back) to have kids in the near future, which one do you promote/train?"

In most professions, the factor of kids is hardly going to be a big factor. "Training" and "promotion" is determined by personal commitment to those goals. Managers don't really "chose" who to train. Also, if the female is going to leave for 3-4 months, that is hardly detrimental to her career development. Its the women who leave their fields entirely, or decide to move to an easier career, that lose out."

i don't know what field you work in, but this is complete fiction.

maybe no one cares about kids for a grocery checkout, but for jobs with serious time commitment or travel requirements (the ones that pay more) children are a very big deal. you can't have a key employee disappear for long periods of time.

managements think explicitly about it.

keep in mind that pregnant women tend not to work at full throttle either. when you are 7 month pregnant, you have a lot of other stuff on you mind and demands on your time.

 
At 11/21/2011 12:47 PM, Blogger AIG said...

"you can't have a key employee disappear for long periods of time."

3 months in a career of 30 years, is not a long time. Employers make strategic decisions with employees...they don't willy-nilly react.

"oh really? teacher pay is based on seniority. taking a year off sets you back.
any technical job requires keeping current. taking a year off sets you back.
promotions in most fields take seniority into account. even supermarket cashiers work this way.
ask a doctor or an accountant or a professor."

3-4 months is not a game changer in any of these circumstances. There is virtually nothing lost, either in performance or knowledge or ability...in the long term...because someone took 3-4 months off once or twice in their lifetime.

"take a year off from a hedge fund or investment bank, and you will spend 6 months after just getting up to speed again."

Most jobs don't function like hedge fund or investment bankers, either.

"i think you'll find that the higher paying the job, the bigger penalty there is to taking time off. lots of people want those jobs, and if you are not current or around to compete, you tend, all else equal, to lose."

No. There is always a temporal component to every job. In 95% of jobs, it is relatively unimportant enough that 3-4 months is not going to set you back, and is not going to be an employment decision for an employer. Many of these are high-paying jobs; engineering, sciences, medicine etc. If an engineer takes off 3-4 months after having a baby, she's not going to come back to a workplace that has changed (heck you can take 5 years off in most places, come back, and absolutely nothing would have changed)

That's not to say that there aren't professions that are as you describe; lawyers, investment professionals etc. But their job performance depends on time commitment a lot more than...the acquisition of skills. 3-4 months does not set you back in terms of acquisition of skills.

"but for jobs with serious time commitment or travel requirements (the ones that pay more)"

Jobs with serious time commitment and travel requirements...aren't the norm. Not even the norm for high paying jobs. I have no travel requirements, and pretty relaxed time commitments as an engineer, for example.

Given those 2 factors, yes you're right. But they are not common factors.

"keep in mind that pregnant women tend not to work at full throttle either. when you are 7 month pregnant, you have a lot of other stuff on you mind and demands on your time."

They seem to function pretty well, from what I've seen. Again, if an employer is making strategic decisions on how to develop their talent, a 3 or 4 or 5 month window to allow for personal time, in what is planned to be a long career, is pretty insignificant.

People tend to self-select for jobs based on their lifestyle. That alone tends to eliminate most issues of non-performance or commitment. That is the reason most women go into liberal arts degrees; they self select. Employers don't have to do much of it.

I personally think that's not necessarily a good thing (the fact that most women go into liberal arts degrees because of lifestyle choices, but maybe I'm biased)

 
At 11/21/2011 12:52 PM, Blogger AIG said...

Most women who go into liberal arts degrees because of the higher flexibility they allow in terms of raising children, don't do so because of 3-4 month maternity leave.

They do so because they plan to spend an extended period of time raising their kids and not working. But these women have already self-selected out of most high-paying job categories that we are discussing.

The ones that go into these other high-paying job categories, are not likely to take 1-2-3 years off work to raise kids. They have them, and they come back to work. Maternity leave is the only lost time. Employers know this, and therefore don't weight it heavily.

 
At 11/21/2011 4:10 PM, Blogger kmg said...

Most women who go into liberal arts degrees because of the higher flexibility they allow in terms of raising children, don't do so because of 3-4 month maternity leave.

They do so because they plan to spend an extended period of time raising their kids and not working. But these women have already self-selected out of most high-paying job categories that we are discussing.


What hogwash. Women who are in college are not thinking that far.

Rather, they intend to ride the carousel for the next decade, and then at age 33 expect a niceguy to show up and be their provider (only to take him to the cleaners after that).

Your comment is naive in the extreme.

 
At 11/23/2011 3:04 PM, Blogger David said...

The unemployment rate correlates positively with female dominance.

 

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