Biggest Post College Pay Gaps: Healthcare Administration (22% Pay Gap),
Mathematics (18% Pay Gap) and Biology (13% Pay Gap)
MILL VALLEY, CALIF. (April 19, 2017) – Glassdoor, one of the world’s fastest growing job sites, today revealed how men and women’s college majors contribute to the average gender pay gap in the early stages of careers. Through a unique dataset of more than 46,900 resumes shared on Glassdoor, The Pipeline Problem: How College Majors Contribute to the Gender Pay Gap, shows the impact college majors have on career paths and ultimately gender pay gaps within the first five years after graduation.
This new study follows a 2016 Glassdoor Economic Research study, Demystifying the Gender Pay Gap, which found that the sorting of men and women into different jobs is the largest contributor to the “unadjusted” pay gap. This study shows how sorting into different college majors contributes to the “pipeline problem” — women are less represented in majors that lead to high-paying positions. For example, nine of the 10 highest paying majors we examined are male dominated. By contrast, six of the 10 lowest paying majors are female dominated. Further, even when men and women hold the same degree, women sort into lower-paying jobs and men into higher-paying jobs.
Among the 50 majors examined, the study found that, on average, college-educated workers in the first five years of their careers face an 11.5 percent unadjusted gender pay gap; meaning women, on average, earn about $0.88 for every $1.00 men earn. Men in this sample earned a median base pay of $56,957 per year, while women earned $50,426 per year. That pay gap is well below the overall 24.1 percent unadjusted pay gap in the U.S. reported in the 2016 study, however the data shows the pay gap widens with age.
“You would expect new grads to find a level playing field when it comes to pay, but they generally don’t. Glassdoor’s analysis shows an 11.5 percent average pay gap among new grads in the early years of their careers,” said Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor chief economist. “When we isolate by major, pay gaps remain because men and women are sorting into different jobs after graduating – a clear sign of societal pressures and gender norms at play in the career paths of young workers.”
With Same Degree, Men and Women Sort Into Different Jobs With Different Pay
Even with the same degree, men and women often sort into different jobs — that pay differently — after graduation, resulting in a gender pay gap that persists in the first five years of their careers. For example, the major leading to the largest average pay gap is Healthcare Administration (22 percent pay gap), and the three most common jobs men take after college are implementation consultant, quality specialist and data consultant. For women, the three most common jobs after earning the same degree are lower-paying positions such as administrative assistant, customer care representative and intern.
Beyond Healthcare Administration, Mathematics (18 percent pay gap) and Biology (13 percent pay gap) lead to the largest pay gaps favoring men. The majors resulting in the biggest reverse pay gaps (where women earn more than men) are Architecture (-14 percent pay gap), Music (-10.1 percent pay gap) and Social Work (-8.4 percent pay gap). For a full list of the pay gaps by college majors, see the Glassdoor Blog.
“This new research gives us a chance to reflect on the origin of the pipeline problem that pushes men and women into different career paths. We’ve long known the impact of education on these pathways, but we can now see significant pay gaps emerging from the same majors – and that’s a major problem,” said Dawn Lyon, Glassdoor vice president of corporate affairs and chief equal pay advocate. “We need to better educate college graduates about the power of negotiation and educate employers on their entry-level recruiting and hiring to afford men and women the same opportunities coming out of school.”
The full study can be found on Glassdoor Economic Research, and includes information about the gender divide by major, most common jobs by major, the most and least specialized college majors, what majors lead to which jobs by gender, and how each major stacks up in terms of earning potential by gender.
For job seekers and employees: Tools like Know Your Worth™ by Glassdoor help people gain insights to better understand if they are being paid fairly. The personal market values generated help people determine if they should attempt to negotiate pay and/or explore better paying jobs based on current market hiring data and other personal worth factors like education, relevant experience, location, etc.
For employers: To help analyze pay gaps at any company, download Glassdoor’s 5 Steps to Addressing the Gender Pay Gap and a step-by-step technical guide to analyze payroll data from Dr. Chamberlain.
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