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PEDAR: Executive Summary  Gender Differences in Participation and Completion of Undergraduate Education and How They Have Changed Over Time
Trends in Postsecondary Enrollment and Degree Awards
Changes in Undergraduate Student Profiles and Enrollment Characteristics
Preparation, Persistence, and Progress Through Undergraduate Education
High School Academic Preparation and Subsequent Attainment
Postsecondary Persistence and Degree Completion
Early Labor Market Outcomes Among Bachelor's Degree Recipients
Research Methodology
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)
 Early Labor Market Outcomes Among Bachelor's Degree Recipients

The majority of 1992–93 and 1999–2000 bachelor's degree recipients were employed 1 year after graduation (over 85 percent; table 15). However, for both cohorts of college graduates, men were more likely than women to be working full time, while women were more likely than men to be working part time. For example, among 1999–2000 bachelor's degree recipients, 81 percent of men versus 74 percent of women were working full time, and 9 percent of men versus 13 percent of women were working part time. Over the period studied, the unemployment rate for men did not change statistically (4.8 to 5.9 percent), while it increased for women (from 4.4 to 6.3 percent).5 Still, for the most recent cohort, no difference could be detected between men and women in the unemployment rate for bachelor's degree recipients.

Among bachelor's degree recipients who were employed full time 1 year after graduation in 1994 and 2001, women earned lower average annual salaries than men in both cohorts. On average, women earned $5,100 less than men or 84 percent of male salaries in 1994, and $6,800 less or 83 percent of male salaries in 2001 (in constant 2001 dollars) (tables B and 16). Moreover, in 2001, 31 percent of men earned $45,000 or more, compared with 12 percent of men in 1994. In contrast, 14 percent of women earned $45,000 or more in 2001, compared with 7 percent in 1994. Thus in both 1994 and 2001, proportionally more men earned salaries of $45,000 or higher than women.

Even when controlling for undergraduate field of study, men earned higher average annual salaries than women in at least one-half of the fields examined. For example, in both cohorts, men who majored in engineering, mathematics, and science fields earned higher average full-time annual salaries than women who majored in these fields ($33,300 vs. $27,900 in 1994 and $45,200 vs. $34,200 in 2001). In other words, in 1994 women with degrees in these fields earned, on average, $5,400 less than men, or about 84 percent of what men earned, and 7 years later in 2001, women earned $11,000 less or 76 percent of what men earned. Additionally, in 2001, men who majored in fields related to humanities and social/behavioral science or health, vocational/technical, and other technical/professional fields earned higher annual average salaries than their female counterparts, while such a difference was not detected in 1994.


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