Earnings of Women with Computer Sciences or Engineering College Majors

Earnings of Women with Computer Sciences or Engineering College Majors

Catherine J. Weinberger (Georgia State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 4
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-815-4.ch035
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This short article documents that women with college majors in computer science or engineering earn far more than other female college graduates1. This relationship is rarely discussed, as far more emphasis is usually placed on the difference in earnings between women and similarly educated men. While the existence of within-field gender pay gaps is important to monitor, these gaps do not necessarily deter women from entering a field. In fact, previous research finds that gender pay gaps tend to be relatively small among young college graduates with computer science or engineering majors, compared to the gender pay gaps in other fields (Weinberger, 1999, 2005; Weinberger & Joy, 2006). The combination of high average pay and low gender gaps in technical fields translates to particularly strong financial incentives for young women to enter these fields. The statistics presented here are computed from nationally representative studies of United States (U.S.) college graduates. The first study is based on a sub-sample of 1990 U.S. Census respondents who also completed a detailed survey about their educational attainment in 1993, and were surveyed again in 1999. The second study is based on a representative group of 1992 U.S. high school seniors who were resurveyed in 1999, after most had completed their education. This study includes detailed information about each student, including 12th-grade standardized math test scores. Overall, the estimates presented here suggest that women with computer science or engineering college majors earn 30%-50% more than otherwise similar female college graduates.

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