Sunday, January 13, 2008

Women outpacing men by degrees

An issue that I have covered over time on this blog. Does anyone think there is a problem? Or has anyone have any solutions to this? From the Sun-Times today...

Figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau last week show one-third of women ages 25 to 29 have college degrees, up 1.2 percent from five years ago. But just over a quarter of men that age earned degrees, down nearly 1 percent in that time.

Nancy Daugherty, president of the Illinois chapter of the American Association of University Women, said her group was "pleased to hear" that women were doing so well.

She said "competition in getting and keeping jobs" has driven women to seek degrees at high levels.

Men of all ages still have more degrees than women -- 30 percent to 28 percent -- but while their degree attainment rate has remained flat for decades, women's education rate has climbed steadily. That's why figures for younger men are alarming, researchers said.

"The girls have made extraordinary progress, and the boys seem to be stuck in 1970," said Tom Mortenson, an Iowa-based researcher who is a senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education.

Mortenson said females' progress is "wonderful" in an economy that increasingly produces white collar jobs in industries like health care, education, and business and professional services. For men, though, it's a different story. While in the past they could work without a degree in farm or manufacturing jobs, those higher paying jobs are drying up.

He says young men need to change their priorities. "If a man wants a really good job, he ought to train to become a nurse," Mortenson said. "Guys don't think that way. They'd rather play video games or work on their car or go hunting."

But he also blames a "feminized" school system. "It's a failure of the educational system to keep men engaged in learning long enough to get skills that are valuable in the economy we have today," he said.
I might have stated this before. Some of the guys I knew in high school had the tendency to cancel themselves out. No one was likely at home to drive them to go to college. Even if they did they weren't very serious about it enough to continue or finish. They had something else in mind. There are other causes I'm sure.

Now this trend discusses across the board. Let's talk about blacks. Black don't have the support network other ethnic groups might. They may not know anyone who have their own business who could hire them at some point. Nor would they have anyone who could leave them an inheritance.

I know we are talking about generalities here, but some of this is something to consider.

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