Having a ‘Useless’ Degree Is Only Useless for Men — Hooray?

Having a ‘Useless’ Degree Is Only Useless for Men — Hooray?

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A recent study of that compared the income level against the college majors of 80,000 people turned up some good news for those of us still agonizing over out school loans.

Women who went to college always earned more than those who hadn’t, regardless of whether they’d studied economics or ceramics. The news for men, however, was not so good.

Men with degrees in subjects like business, law, economics and management (you know, all the things little boys dream about being when they grow up) earn substantially more than the men with no college degrees. This, we knew. But the big difference between men and women in the survey is that guys with degrees in arts, humanities and social sciences not only have no income advantages over non-graduates, they sometimes even make less.

That’s right — studying 17th-century French lit can penalize a man’s comparative worth, but not a woman’s. The potentially unhappy reason for this phenomenon is not that women are just better at finding professional inroads for their “useless” studies, but that we’re still not employed in equal numbers in fields with categorically high earning potential — like, say, business, law, economics and management.

We can’t wait until where we live in a world where men and women who decide to ditch finance in favor of philosophy are equally disappointing to their parents.

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Having a ‘Useless’ Degree Is Only Useless for Men — Hooray?

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