Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Georgetown University Report Shows College majors Disproportionately Segregated By race

A new study released by Georgetown University in Washington has found that majors in college are highly segregated disproportionately by race as well as gender. Using census data, the report categorized 171 majors into 15 fields, discovering different majors led to different industries.

The report, “What’s it Worth? The Economic Value of College Majors” produced out of Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce analyzes data from the 2009 American Community Survey, whose results were released last year.

Findings indicate that white men are concentrated in the highest earning majors, such as engineering and pharmaceutical sciences, and have higher median earnings across all fields except three. For example, Petroleum engineering majors make about $120,000 a year, compared with $29,000 annually for counseling psychology majors, researchers found. Math and computer science majors earn $98,000 in salary while early childhood education majors get paid about $36,000.

Moreover, the areas with the highest concentrations of whites was noted to be agriculture and natural resources (90 percent), while the highest concentration of Asians is in computers and mathematics (16 percent).

In comparison, law and public policy has the highest concentration of African-Americans (14 percent) and Hispanics (10 percent). Also, School Student Counseling has the highest proportion of African-American Bachelor’s degree holders (38 percent), followed by Human Services and Community Organization (21 percent) and Counseling Psychology (20 percent).

In addition, African-Americans earn the most with a major in Electrical Engineering (median: $68,000) which is significantly less than the median for Whites ($90,000) and Asians ($80,000) in these majors, but just slightly ahead of the Hispanics ($60,000). African-American Bachelor’s degree holders earn the least with a major in General Medical and Health Services (median: $32,000) which is $18,000 lower than Whites with the same major.

The significance of these findings is that college graduates overall make 84 percent more over a lifetime than those with only high school diplomas. Fields with virtually no unemployment: geological and geophysical engineering, military technologies, pharmacology and school student counseling.


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