Women Outpace Men When It Comes to College Degrees

Article excerpt

As the owner of several small businesses, including a personnel service, this time of year, the scenario is always the same: a deluge of new college graduates knocking at your door with their diplomas in hand, looking for help in finding their first real job.

It's an exciting time for them and for our staff as we help to launch countless careers.

An interesting trend I have noticed in recent years is that the number of female college graduates visiting my office has certainly outpaced the number of male college graduates. I'm sure there are many other small business owners who have also noticed that the recent college graduates responding to job opportunities at their firms are most likely women.

According to the U.S. Department of Education this is the norm across the country. Recent statistics released by the department stated that women outnumber men on today's college campuses nearly two to one. And, it seems that female college enrollment numbers overtook male enrollment figures in the late 1970s. Since then, the Department of Education estimates that the number of female bachelor's degree recipients has risen to 698,000 in 2002, the number of male college graduates has increased much more slowly to only 529,000.

Researchers who are studying this issue point toward several sources as the cause of the increase with the most obvious being the enactment of Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, which prohibits sexual discrimination in educational institutions that spend federal money.

In a statement on the 30th anniversary of Title IX, Education Secretary Rod Paige revealed that more than 40 percent of law, medical and doctoral degrees are awarded to women. This fact is supported by recent findings from the National Center for Education Statistics, which indicate that between 1988 and 1998 the number of male full-time graduate students increased by 17 percent, compared to an increase of 60 percent for full-time women graduate students. …