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College Degrees Pay Off, Especially For Women

There are plenty examples of people who have made a name (and billions) for themselves without a college degree, but The New York Times argues that the progress women have made over the last 40 years goes to show that higher education is not overrated. The statistics they note are remarkable: Only 25 percent of women received a college degree in the 1960s, while today almost 40 percent will end up with one. During the same time period, between 30 and 35 percent of men graduated from a four-year college.

Overall, educated women have seen their degrees pay off — the average inflation-adjusted weekly pay of women has increased 26 percent since 1980, while men's pay has risen only one percent in the last 20 years. Less gender discrimination has something to do with women being able to seek out higher paying jobs — about half of new doctors today are women, up from just one of every 10 in the early 1970s.


Join The Conversation
gigill gigill 9 years
Don't women still make 25% less than men wage-wise (when comparing people with same experience in the same job)? I hope these stats are right - they're hopeful.
bobaxteagirl bobaxteagirl 9 years
That is such a wonderful thing to read!
emalove emalove 9 years
My degrees have definitely paid off...I couldn't work in the field I'm in without one. Although I don't believe that college is for everybody or that you HAVE to have a degree to be successful. I just know that in many career fields, a Bachelor's degree (at least) is a necessity. I worked my a** off for 4 years to graduate magna cum laude! And then did a post-bac program and am now working on my Masters' never ends. Haha.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
It's interesting because now the amount of women in college has been teetering at being more than the amount of men. Girl power!
scotte scotte 9 years
Very true! My wife is finally being payed for her masters degree after 11 years of working in the same field. She was persistent and was passed over for several promotions...but she had a dream and knew what she wanted. Stay the course and never give up on your dreams. She left her prior employer for a great job offer less than 30 miles away. Her base pay increased 60%. It's not all about the money as she has tremendous recognition for her involvement in projects as well.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
MindayH MindayH 9 years
Great to hear!
Geisha-Runner Geisha-Runner 9 years
Rock on female empowerment!
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