The business and higher education landscapes are changing, and no we’re not talking about the Internet. We’re talking about women and minority groups enrolling in colleges at record-breaking rates and now beginning to earn more advanced degrees than men.
The most recent census figures released in April 2011 show that women now hold more advanced degrees (master’s, PhD degrees) than men for the first time, according to the Associated Press and an article in the Wall Street Journal.
Women have outpaced men in bachelor’s degrees since 1996. Roughly 20.1 million women have bachelor’s degrees, compared to about 18.7 million men. Women have exceeded men in college enrollment since the 1980s, and now thirty years later, they exceed men in advanced degrees earned.
Men still hold more professional careers in business, science and engineering than women, but the gap is narrowing.
The increase in women with advanced degrees is causing the number of stay-at-home fathers to rise. There are now 2 million stay-at-home dads or 1 in 15 fathers. The number of stay-at-home mothers has also decreased to 5 million last year or roughly one-in-four married women, down from nearly half of married women in 1969.
Many sociologists believe that a general perception change of family and the workplace is playing a major role in these figures. Many believe that since the 1960s and 1970s, women have become progressively more accepted in the workplace, and lately men are becoming more respected as stay-at-home fathers.
For adults, 25 and older 10.6 million U.S. women have master’s degrees or higher, compared to 10.5 million men. 10.2% of women have advanced degrees, compared to 10.9% for men, but the percentage for women is increasing rapidly.
The pay gap between men and women has also decreased in the past decade. Women now make 78.2% of what men earn, marking an increase from 64% in 2000.
Women also have lower unemployment numbers with 8.3% of women being unemployed compared to 9.3% of men.
Lately, the Obama administration has been using these exact numbers to encourage young men to attend college in an overall effort to increase the number of American college graduates by 2020. Obama plans to retake the global lead in producing college graduates that America once held.
The Obama administration has targeted nearly every group, men, women, African Americans, Hispanics, etc, promoting college enrollment to help America’s future economy. Typically, the government promotes more to groups that are underrepresented in colleges.