Monday, March 28, 2005

That Degree May Not be Worth the Same for Everyone

In an article in today's Times, Income Gaps Found Among the College-Educated, the results of a study that found that of all college graduates with a four-year degree are published. Men in general earn more than women, with white men earning the most. Among women, Black and Asian woman tended to earn a few thousand more than their white and Hispanic peers. The study, done by the Census Bureau, does not offer any explanations, although the Times does, citing "the tendency of minority women, especially blacks, to more often hold more than one job or work more than 40 hours a week, and the tendency of black professional women who take time off to have a child to return to the work force sooner than others." as possible causes. How about, in addition, the types of jobs men and. women often hold, as well as the external pressures and societal constraints. The article also does not distinguish between majors in each category. If a higher percentage of men are specializing in a field with a higher starting salary, such as computer science, that may explain the gender bias. The study also does not mention how many subjects were in each test group. Nevertheless, its a fascinating statistic that deserves further thought.

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