More female students are enrolling in college than ever before, but that doesn’t mean wage parity for female graduates exists. According to figures reported in CNBC, 97.5% of female graduates earn less than their male equivalents, regardless of the qualification level attained or any extra-curricular activities. Despite this, there are graduate roles and academic areas in which female graduates can put themselves ahead, both in terms of earnings and further career opportunities in key industries.

An unlikely industry – finances

Finance remains a male dominated industry, and the pay gap can be one of the most pronounced; up to a 56% ratio, according to CNN. However, indications are that the industry is changing. The notoriously masculine NYSE recently welcomed a female trader, and 15% of finance executives are now women. Furthermore, according to the influential Forbes Finance Council, women are receiving more and more opportunities in the finance industry every year. A career in finance could, therefore, be exciting, and in the current climate many women will have the opportunity to be pioneers. Remuneration is significant also, and finance opens opportunities across multiple industries and your private life; the rate of pay and on-the-job experience will help you with budgeting and expenses, including paying off or refinancing your financial commitments from college and preparing for mortgages and the like.

The medical professions

Healthcare is another industry in which women can flourish. It’s worth noting that, already, the industry is dominated by women – particular in nursing. However, wage parity is not present – USA Today note that male nurses earn $5,000 more on average. Nursing and physicians don’t make up every healthcare profession, however, and evidence suggest that certain careers are more rewarding for women and are related to academic professions. According to BLS statistics reported by payments provider Due, female counselors earn 5% more on average than male ones, and physical therapists 3% less. These are some of the strongest figures to be found in the employment industry and make a career in college qualification level medicine a great prospect.

Better paid industries?

Many industries that offer pay equality do not offer career progression, and nor do they require college education. These roles are typically in food preparation and manual labor. However, there are skilled roles where a college education will help to forge a path that also includes gender equality. Of note is the wholesale and retail reseller industry; without a college education, salaries typically start at $53,000, according to MarketWatch, which is above the national median. An industry in which the wage gap is minimized, or even weighted in favor of women, is an advantage not found in many other high value professions. In the future, highly qualified physical therapists and advertising professionals have the potential to find greater pay equality.

College is a life building experience that will leave the student with an excellent qualification and a wealth of new opportunities. Unfortunately, in many industries the wage gap is weighted so heavily in favor of men that it can make the career unfulfilling. There is reason for cheer, however, as evidence shows several academic professions are improving in terms of equality


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