Lucrative college degrees that can lead to salaries of more than $100,000 are largely held by men, study finds


The most lucrative college degrees that lead to salaries of more than $100,000 are largely dominated by men, a Bankrate study published on Tuesday found. 

The study analyzed data from the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey from 2021. This included the median salaries of workers based on their bachelor's degree and the gender differences in more than 150 college majors. 

It found that 78% of those who held the 20-highest paying bachelor's degrees were men, while only 22% were women. The most profitable majors were in STEM with electrical engineering, computer engineering, pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, and administration, chemical engineering, and computer science making the top five. 

In electrical engineering, 85% of degree holders were men and 15% were women, with the average salary totaling $110,000. The study found that the only high-paying major where women outranked men was pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, and administration, with women making up 56% of degree holders and the average salary being $100,000. 

Meanwhile, bachelor's degrees where women made up the majority of degree holders were some of the lowest-paying fields. These included early childhood education, elementary education, family and consumer sciences, and nursing, with average salaries ranging from $35,000 to $70,000. 

Insider previously reported on the six worst college-major options for people looking to earn a high wage. The report cited data from the New York Federal Reserve. 

Although more women have college degrees than men and account for just over half of America's college-educated workforce, 2022 Pew Research Center Data found, that they're still lagging behind men when it comes to earnings. 

The gender pay gap has continued to persist. In 2022, American women typically earned 82 cents for every dollar earned by men, per a Pew study published in March, which added that "the pay gap between college-educated women and men is not any narrower than the one between women and men who do not have a college degree."

Speaking to Insider in 2022, Rose Khattar, who at the time worked as associate director of rapid response and analysis at the Center for American Progress, cited unpaid hours in caregiving and occupational segregation are reasons behind the pay gap. 

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