March 22, 2011

Most Common Degrees Obtained by Gender

I bet you've been curious to know how many women obtained psychology degrees and how many men got degrees in math haven't you?   Well today is your lucky day.

I got the data from the Dept. of Education website here : Table 286. Bachelor's, master's, and doctor's degrees conferred by degree-granting institutions, by sex of student and discipline division: 2008-09.
I decided to focus on just the Bachelor degrees granted.

I sorted out the data and filtered it to find the most popular degrees obtained by men and women for the 2009 graduating class.   Some of the categories below are specific degrees like physics or nursing.   Other categories are for broader categories like engineering which is made up of several specialty degrees or for broader fields like education which has several sub areas.

 Here is the list of most popular bachelor degrees for Women in the 2008 and 2009 school year:



# degrees % of total
Education field 80,549 8.8%
Psychology 72,783 7.9%
Business admin 64,122 7.0%
Nursing 61,405 6.7%
Visual and performing arts fields 54,089 5.9%
English  37,489 4.1%
Biology 33,950 3.7%
Liberal arts 30,480 3.3%
Accounting 24,068 2.6%
Communications 22,000 2.4%
Sociology 20,064 2.2%
Family, consumer sciences 19,151 2.1%
Marketing 18,025 2.0%
Political science 17,447 1.9%
multi-disciplinary studies 17,067 1.9%
Parks rec, fitness studies 15,001 1.6%
Foreign languages 14,856 1.6%
History 14,271 1.6%
Social work 13,080 1.4%
Engineering 12,417 1.4%
Finance 11,136 1.2%
Criminal justice, safety studies 11,125 1.2%
Business 10,359 1.1%
Journalism 8,348 0.9%
Agriculture field 7,483 0.8%
Economics 7,433 0.8%
Math and statistics 6,703 0.7%
Criminal justice admin. 6,604 0.7%
Anthropology 6,198 0.7%
Ethnic, cultural, gender studies 6,037 0.7%
Chemistry 5,650 0.6%
Physics 5,465 0.6%
social sciences 5,394 0.6%
Philosophy and religious fields 4,683 0.5%
Natural resources field 4,404 0.5%

That represents 81.8% of all degrees women earn.   The remaining 19.2% of the degrees are spread around other less popular degree fields.

Now the list of most popular degrees for men :


# degrees % of total
Business admin 66,190 9.7%
Engineering 56,716 8.3%
Visual and performing arts fields 35,051 5.1%
Finance 22,931 3.3%
Biology 21,906 3.2%
Psychology 21,488 3.1%
Education field 21,159 3.1%
Political science 20,947 3.1%
Accounting 20,446 3.0%
History 20,440 3.0%
English  17,973 2.6%
Economics 17,756 2.6%
Parks rec, fitness studies 16,666 2.4%
Liberal arts 16,616 2.4%
Marketing 14,613 2.1%
Engineering tech 13,589 2.0%
Business 11,878 1.7%
Communications 11,229 1.6%
Criminal justice, safety studies 11,012 1.6%
Computer Information Sciences 10,392 1.5%
Math and statistics 8,793 1.3%
Sociology 8,668 1.3%
Philosophy and religious fields 7,761 1.1%
Agriculture field 7,677 1.1%
Nursing 7,478 1.1%
multi-disciplinary studies 7,283 1.1%
Computer Science 6,655 1.0%
Criminal justice admin. 6,620 1.0%
Foreign languages 6,302 0.9%
Theology and religious fields 5,950 0.9%
Chemistry 5,723 0.8%
Natural resources field 5,424 0.8%
Management Information Systems 5,299 0.8%
Physics 5,090 0.7%
Journalism 4,091 0.6%
Information science 3,759 0.5%
Communications technologies 3,699 0.5%
Architecture 3,695 0.5%
Physics 3,684 0.5%
Information Technology 3,251 0.5%
Radio & Television 3,215 0.5%
social sciences 3,199 0.5%

Those degrees add up to 83.5% of all the degrees men get.   The other 16.5% of men get degrees in other things not listed here.

More Affluent Degrees

I decided to break out what I call the 'most affluent' degrees.    These are degrees that I commonly see listed in higher paying jobs and jobs that have fairly good demand.   Now of course there is no guarantee that someone graduating with a degree in one of these fields will end up with a higher paying job but its a fairly safe bet.

Women :


Business admin 7.0%
Nursing 6.7%
Accounting 2.6%
Engineering 1.4%
Finance 1.2%
Business 1.1%
Math and statistics 0.7%
Physics 0.6%
Computer Information Sciences 0.2%
Engineering tech 0.2%
Information science 0.1%
Information Technology 0.1%
Computer Science 0.1%
Physics 0.1%


Men :


Business admin 9.7%
Engineering 8.3%
Finance 3.3%
Accounting 3.0%
Engineering tech 2.0%
Business 1.7%
Computer Information Sciences 1.5%
Math and statistics 1.3%
Nursing 1.1%
Computer Science 1.0%
Physics 0.7%
Information science 0.5%
Physics 0.5%
Information Technology 0.5%

For women the total who got degrees in the 'more affluent' categories was 22.2% and for men 35.1%

Less affluent degrees

On the opposite side of the more affluent degree fields are the degrees that more often  lead to lower paying jobs or underemployment.  In general these degrees feed into careers with lower compensation.   For example, social work and ethnic studies don't pay well.   Some of the degree fields may have fair compensation but very high competition for few jobs.    Actors may make good average salary but most aspiring actors have difficulty finding steady work in the field.

For women the number of degrees obtained in 'less affluent' degree categories are :


 
Psychology 7.9%
Visual and performing arts fields 5.9%
English  4.1%
Liberal arts 3.3%
Sociology 2.2%
Family, consumer sciences 2.1%
Parks rec, fitness studies 1.6%
History 1.6%
Social work 1.4%
Anthropology 0.7%
Ethnic, cultural, gender studies 0.7%
Philosophy and religious fields 0.5%
Theology and religious fields 0.3%
Communications technologies 0.2%

For men :

Visual and performing arts fields 5.1%
Psychology 3.1%
History 3.0%
English  2.6%
Parks rec, fitness studies 2.4%
Liberal arts 2.4%
Sociology 1.3%
Philosophy and religious fields 1.1%
Theology and religious fields 0.9%
Communications technologies 0.5%

In total 22.5% of men and 32.5% of women obtained degrees in these 'less affluent' areas.

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