Women Pass Men in the Number of Advanced Degrees

One of the most fascinating things about the United States census is all the information it gives us as ways to understand numerous trends in lifestyle, family living, employment, and so much more.

One of the interesting pieces of information to come from the 2010 census was released last week. Women have officially passed men in the number of advanced degrees. This has a been a growing trend since the 80s when women began to outnumber men in college enrollment numbers, but now there are officially more women with advanced degrees than men.

It’s no surprise that along with that new piece of information the census also showed that with it of course has come the large increase in the number of women in the workforce and a steady decline of stay at home moms. The census also showed that there are two million stay at home dads currently taking over the position of caretaker in the family, meaning about 1 in 15 fathers are stay at home dads.

Of all the changes that this makes in the U.S. family structure is the shift in gender roles that this presents. As more moms go to work and more dads opt to stay home (even staying home part time) it creates a quiet shift that we may not see clearly right away, but will have a serious impact on young boys and girls as the next generation rows up.

More dads taking an active role on the home front means more dad involve din after school activities, PTA, and just being a stronger presence in general in not only the lives of their own children but of other children within the neighborhood and community.

This shift in gender roles in essence breaks down the idea of gender roles at all by showing that mom OR dad can stay home or go to work.

The other obvious good news coming from this new information is that more girls are not only going to college but they are finishing with advanced degrees. Of U.S. women, 10.6 million currently hold a master’s degree or higher while only 10.5 million hold the same.

Unfortunately women still trail behind in specific areas such as business, science and engineering.

What are your thoughts on this census information? Do you see this gender role shift in your neighborhood? And why do you think men are not obtaining advanced degrees at the same rate as women?

2 thoughts on “Women Pass Men in the Number of Advanced Degrees

  1. My community is still very traditional. While there are many professional women including those with advanced degrees, there are very few stay at home dads. Perhaps the shift will show up here in a few years.

    Girls have had an advantage in school for a long time now. “New” educational models, standards, etc. lend themselves to typically girl skills and thought processes. So, it isn’t surprising that we would see young women continue their educations longer than young men, who may feel disenfranchised by the educational system.

    Some non-PC points to ponder though….Are women going to school to avoid the workforce while they shop for a husband? Are women getting higher degrees but then not entering or advancing in the workforce? (The rules of school and the rules of the workplace are very different. Most workplaces still pose more difficulties for women than men– the opposite of school.) Are men going after higher paying jobs which do not necessarily require advance degrees (especially if they are not business, science,engineering)? Are men less able to support their families on a single income (i.e. are women feeling pressured work rather than stay home with kids due to financial pressures?) As a society what do we really want?

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