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Projections of Education Statistics to 2018

NCES 2009-062
September 2009

Section 4. Degrees Conferred: Degrees, by Level of Degree and Sex of Recipient

Between 1993–94 and 2006–07, the number and proportion of degrees awarded to women rose at all levels. In 2006–07, women earned the majority of associateís, bachelorís, and masterís degrees, and 50 percent of doctorís and first-professional degrees. Between 2006–07 and 2018–19, continued increases are expected in the number of degrees awarded to women at all levels (figure H; reference figures 25–29 and tables 27–31).

Figure H. Actual and middle alternative projected nubers for degrees conferred, by level and sex of recipient: Selected years, 1993–94 through 2018–19

Figure H. Actual and middle alternative projected nubers for degrees conferred, by level and sex of recipient: Selected years, 1993–94 through 2018–19

NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. SOURCE: U.S. Dept. of Education, NCES, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), "Completions Survey," various years; and Degrees Conferred Model. (See reference tables 2731.)

Associate's degrees

Between 2006–07 and 2018–19, in the middle alternative projections, the number of associate's degrees is projected to

  • increase 25 percent overall;
  • increase 16 percent for men; and
  • increase 31 percent for women.

Bachelor's degrees

Between 2006–07 and 2018–19, in the middle alternative projections, the number of bachelor's degrees is projected to

  • increase 19 percent overall;
  • increase 14 percent for men; and
  • increase 23 percent for women.

Master's degrees

Between 2006–07 and 2018–19, in the middle alternative projections, the number of master's degrees is projected to

  • increase 28 percent overall;
  • increase 23 percent for men; and
  • increase 31 percent for women.

Doctor's degrees

Between 2006–07 and 2018–19, in the middle alternative projections, the number of doctor's degrees is projected to

  • increase 49 percent overall;
  • increase 35 percent for men; and
  • increase 63 percent for women.

Beginning in 2006–07, women are projected to receive more doctor's degrees than men in each set of alternative projections.

First-professional degrees

Between 2006–07 and 2018–19, in the middle alternative projections, the number of first-professional degrees is projected to

  • increase 24 percent overall;
  • increase 22 percent for men; and
  • increase 27 percent for women.

Definition

A first-professional degree is one that signifies both completion of the academic requirements for beginning practice in a given profession and a level of professional skill beyond that required for a bachelorís degree. A first-professional degree is based on a program requiring at least 2 academic years of work beyond the bachelorís degree. Degree fields include dentistry, medicine, optometry, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, podiatric medicine, veterinary medicine, chiropractic, law, and theological professions.

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