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Looking for a high-earning major? Follow the men

Looking for a high-earning major? Follow the men

Women now outnumber men on American college campuses, and more women are studying and working in what were traditionally considered “men’s careers.” Yet men still out-earn women at every education level, and it may have something to do with the careers that women and men choose.

The charts below, created by self-described data tinkerer Randy Olson, illustrate how gender, major and earnings are related. Olson analyzed data on college majors and median earnings after graduation for those under 28, using data from the Censuses’ American Community Survey that was compiled and shared by FiveThirtyEight.

The chart below clearly shows that those who study male-dominated majors generally earn more after college than those who study majors that are dominated by women. Each of the squares below represents a college major; the bigger the square, the greater the number of recent graduates. The color of the square indicates the category of study — science, humanities, etc.

Median yearly earnings are shown on the vertical axis: Majors that appear toward the top of the chart tend to earn more, and those toward the bottom earn less. The gender makeup of the major is on the horizontal axis, with majors that are male dominated on the left and female-dominated majors on the right.

To read more, click here.

Note: This post has been updated with a newer version of the first chart, which Olson updated after publication to remove some outliers in the data.

Ana Swanson | August 18, 2015 at 10:51 am
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