PEDAR: Executive Summary From Bachelor's Degree To Work
Field of Study
1997 Employment Status and Occupation
Full-Time Salaries
Job Benefits and Job Satisfaction
Gender Differences
Research Methodology
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Executive Summary (PDF)
Gender Differences

The findings of the study illustrated substantial gender differences in earnings among 1992–93 bachelor’s degree recipients who did not enroll in graduate school by 1997. These differences were more apparent in 1997, four years after most graduates had earned their bachelor’s degree, than when graduates first entered the labor market. Looking at individual fields of study, in 1994 men with majors in business, computer science, communications/journalism, and social sciences earned higher salaries than women majoring in these fields. By 1997, men earned more than women in all fields of study except engineering, health (other than nursing), and humanities and arts.

In a multivariate analysis conducted separately for men and women, several factors, including age, race/ethnicity, and work experience were associated with women’s 1997 salaries, but not with men’s salaries. Specifically, after controlling for related variables including major field of study, women age 30 or older when they received their bachelor’s degree earned higher salaries than women 23 or younger, as did Asian/Pacific Islander women compared with white women, and women who did not work in any overlapping jobs compared with those who did. For men, on the other hand, only major field of study and institution attended (those attending doctoral-granting private, not-for-profit institutions earned more than men in comparable public institutions) predicted their 1997 salaries. These results suggest that women may be subjected to greater scrutiny in entering and advancing in the labor market.

Finally, when asked why they took their 1997 jobs, women were more likely to report that they chose their job because it provided interesting work. In contrast, men were more likely to do so for the job’s advancement opportunities or income potential.

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