Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Huge College Degree Gap for Class of 2010

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WILX-TV LANSING, MI -- For last year's graduating Class of 2009, women dominated at every level of higher education. Here's the national breakdown: for every 100 men, 142 women graduated with a bachelor's, 159 women completed a master's and 107 women got a doctoral degree. University of Michigan Economics Professor Dr. Mark Perry says similar numbers are in tow this year (see chart above for the Class of 2010).

"What's happening is historic and unprecedented and we're seeing this huge structural change in higher education," says Perry. "When it happens year by year, we just don't pay as close attention." But Perry says attention now must be paid. According to the U.S. Department of Education, in 1971, the percentage of men outnumbered women in degrees conferred 61 to 39, but by 2017, expect a complete reversal.

"It's really this complete domination now by women in higher education and the fact that men have fallen behind and have become the second sex in higher ed," Perry says.

Perry tells us this gender degree gap has translated into what's been coined as "The Great Mancession," which refers to the huge gap in unemployment rates between men and women.

"People with college degrees have the lowest level of unemployment, so as women get an increasing share of college degrees, that's also the most protected and less vulnerable in downturns of the economy," Perry explains.


At 5/11/2010 8:31 PM, Anonymous gettingratiional said...

Notice how the woman interviewed said she was empowered by an education. I'm not sure that guys think in terms of empowerment but maybe that is a term that should be embraced by men at this point.

Female students probably excel in part to imnpress handsome professors such as: this notable guy. HAHA

The Mancession is a wake up call that the female empowerment is a crushing success. The era of special privilage status should be over for females but will it be?

Bottom Line: This is basically a knowledge economy now.

At 5/11/2010 8:51 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

Further since the leadership positions in our society depend upon advanced degrees, this suggests that in 20 to 30 years the leadership class will have a lot more women relative to today.
Is it also possible that men have decided that they have no role in the future? Some have pointed out that at least the myth is today that to get married is to ensure that you take a financial bath when you divorce, so why try to accumulate a lot so you can loose it to the ex? If a man does not have a wife does he need to work as hard to get stuff as today.
In other words many men may have decided that the rat race is not worth running, better to just get enough to get by.

At 5/11/2010 10:28 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

There's always the option of killing the degree requirement. If that's off the table, that should even things out.

It would be interesting to see if certain programs get killed if men were to become eligible for them(but have not been available to them).

At 5/11/2010 10:36 PM, Anonymous Steve said...

Men feel that they can earn a decent wage regardless of a degree by working hard, etc. But eventually a lack of a degree is going to catch up and the job positions will not be open.

At 5/11/2010 10:57 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

I think the question is a what level men want resources, a single man likely will spend less except on toys than a married man (primarily less on housing, likley more on autos, clearly less on life insurance (a single guy with no kids doesn't need more than enough to bury him. ) and possibly less on clothes if you take 1/2 of a couple in the comparison.
In summary if men decide that the breadwinner role is not one that they want, then fewer take actions to fulfill the role.
This is then somewhat of a sociological issue about what motivates today's young men?

At 5/11/2010 11:03 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Men feel that they can earn a decent wage regardless of a degree by working hard, etc. But eventually a lack of a degree is going to catch up and the job positions will not be open.

Or eventually, a law is made to force availability - in that they end up having to actually hire them before even thinking about foreign help.

At 5/12/2010 12:56 AM, Anonymous wreaver said...

What fields are these women getting degrees in? (Are these getting degrees in Engineering, hard Sciences, or Mathematics?)

At 5/12/2010 1:17 AM, Anonymous grant said...

Thanks LYLE good posting and probably true!

At 5/12/2010 7:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Men are more likely to have criminal records too, but I hardly think that is caused by a lack of a higher degree. I see it all too often. People with degrees diminish the contribution of those without that all important college piece of paper. I went to school with a lot of idiots and now I work with a many people who never went to college. More often then not, I prefer the non-college educated. They are more gracious and don't expect to be rewarded just for showing up. When I hire a college grad, more often then not, he is completely useless until he is trained. We all need a trade and we all need to learn, but we don't all need an over priced college degree.

At 5/12/2010 8:57 AM, Blogger Mike said...

It's only a matter of time before the jobs these women are getting get affected or destroyed by the recession. They rarely tend to be productive degrees like engineering, medicine, hard sciences or accounting, but rather fluff like the social sciences or psychology. When that happens, then men will have the last laugh as they're the ones who won't have tens of thousands of dollars of non-dischareable debt created by pursuing an objectively useless degree.

At 5/12/2010 9:17 AM, Blogger JDNash said...

My recollection is that the studies show that men between the ages of 15 to 25 or 30 are uniquely bad at internalizing the future value/harm of their current actions.

This is one of the reasons why there are so many more men in prison than women, and why inmates who are released at those ages are MUCH more likely to commit repeat offenses than are older men. Also why I spent much of my late teen years driving MUCH MUCH too fast and too recklessly.

Maybe that is also why men are less likely to spend the prime degree-acquiring years acquiring degrees, unlike women, who are less likely to suffer from the "discounting future value" problem described above.

At 5/12/2010 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As others have said, I would really like to see these statistics broken down into the fields these degrees are being issued in. Just getting an undergrad or graduate degree, by itself, means nothing, as universities are churning out many, many useless degrees in "fluffy" social science areas (or anything that ends in ...-studies). My guess is that, in the fields of math, science, and engineering, men still continue to out-weigh women by significant margins...probably 5-1.

At 5/12/2010 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife works at a smallish (about 1500 students), mostly engineering college - a school that simply does not offer liberal arts.

The school is quite rigorous. It's very well regarded by industry, and graduates have averaged about $70K salary upon graduation.

The student body is about 90% male.

At 5/12/2010 11:02 AM, Blogger Claude Hopper said...

I believe the problem lies at the middle school level. Based on my son's academic progress, it went downhill starting in the 7th grade. I don't know what it is, but by the time they reach their junior or senior year, they have dropped out (literally or figuratively) and are thus academically unprepared to succeed at a 4 year college. I believe it is a teaching philosophy that hinders male academic achievement.

At 5/12/2010 11:08 AM, Anonymous Treeamigo said...

Over the last 30 years, the percentage of men attaining a college degree has increased.

It is just that the percentage of women attaining a degree has risen much faster.

This has to do with more women entering the workforce (two-earner families starting becoming the norm during the last 30 years, as did single parent/single-earner families), the decline of admin jobs that women sought that don't require a degree (technology has decreased the need for secretaries) than it does with any discrimination against men.

However it is true that girls in high school are generally better students than boys- they get better grades, graduate at a higher rate and spend less time in jail, hence the pool of "college qualified" girls is currently larger than the pool of boys.

Again, it is not that fewer boys are going to college than in the past- in fact there are more boys going
to college (though not as many more actually completing it). Instead, the number of girls going to college has risen faster. Why?

They seem to be more conformist (more willing to do what a teacher or parent wants them to do). This is an advantage in education though is not always an advantage in life. I see the same problem in highly educated (Ivy-types). They are very good at doing what they are told (and working hard at it) and often come back repeatedly to check that they are doing things right, but their ability to handle fuzzy, undefined problems that require creativity and independent thinking is not at all correlated with their GPA or their alma mater. Some of my best senior performers are the B students from state schools. Fewer of these make the initial cut (as trainee jobs require conformity and diligence, something the Ivy grads have in spades), but those that can make it past the trainee hurdle usually outperform their Ivy peers.

Perhaps we can change high school and middle school education to help teach the boys to be better conforming when required but also mix in more spontaneous activities (which will help girls and boys).

At 5/12/2010 11:58 AM, Blogger Sarah Palin's Uterus said...


I think you nailed it.

At 5/12/2010 3:05 PM, Anonymous Wendy S said...

Provocative concept here. Thanks for posting this most interesting topic. Regarding the "Great Mancession" I wonder what evidence there is to support the correlation between degree holders and employment rates. Is it not possible that more employers are simply choosing to hire more women and the degree is just a necessary hoop to be jumped through? In many parts of the nation women do not command the same pay rate as men (not yet anyway). Is it possible that the influx of employed women is simply a result of thrifty employers trying to minimize overhead?

At 5/12/2010 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sucks to be those women who will have no choice but to settle for non college graduate males.

At 5/13/2010 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wendy S. asked, "Is it possible that the influx of employed women is simply a result of thrifty employers trying to minimize overhead?"

No, its not possible. There is higher male unemployment primarily because predominantly male industries like construction and manufacturing have been hit much harder by the recession than predominantly female industries like health and education. In any case, women do not get paid less because they are women - even when in the same occupation, women often get paid less because they work fewer hours, are more likely to take extended periods of time off, and other factors that do not make them more desirable hires than men. Its not that employers are saying "hey, we can pay them less because they're women, so lets hire them!"

At 5/13/2010 4:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said..."Sucks to be those women who will have no choice but to settle for non college graduate males"

It sucks more to be those men without college degrees who cannot get a decent job.

At 5/19/2010 1:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

finally...i always wanted to be a stay at home dad...haha

At 6/21/2010 7:22 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

I wonder why there were so many comments about men having a wife. Do U realize the marriage rate in the US is down 40% since the 1970's largely because men no longer see any value in marriage.
Also the reason why so few men go to college is discrimination. Men do not receive the same financial aid as women.

At 7/10/2010 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Predators go where the prey are. This is the single biggest reason that women go to college. (For the slow, I am referring to the fact that high quality males are in universities, even more so now, eh?)

As someone else has pointed out, they go for the soft degrees big time.

The increase in employment among women has been in government jobs. Since state and local governments are facing enormous deficits, I think we can expect to see a severe recession in that area ...

At 4/17/2011 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see if certain programs get killed if men were to become eligible for them(but have not been available to them.


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