According to the most recent American Freshman survey, conducted annually by the University of California, Los Angeles, undergraduates' chief objective in life is to be financially well-off. For this new crop of college students, attaining wealth ranks higher than raising a family and becoming an authority in their chosen field. Moreover, they listed their primary factor in choosing a school program as whether the graduates get good jobs.
Long gone are the days of attending college to develop a "meaningful philosophy of life," which was the top concern for freshmen in 1971. Now, students focus on employability and potential earnings, both reflected in the undergraduate majors they pursue.
But are men and women's choice of college majors equally stacked in terms of job openings and future salary? Close, but not quite.
The most popular college major for both men and women, according to the U.S. Department of Education's latest figures, is business. In 2008 business degrees were awarded to 21% of the 1.6 million graduates who received a bachelor's. And women received nearly half (49%) of those practical business degrees.
作为一个大学专业，商学拥有足够的宽度来适应不同的职业选择。毕业生能够在金融、销售、咨询、市场和管理等不同岗位任职。商学毕业生谋得一份工作的能力也是令人印象深刻的。《21世纪最优秀的工作》一书的作者 Laurence Shatkin说：“商学在就业能力方面很具有优势，对学生们来讲选择商学已经毫无疑问的成为一项很好的投资。”
As an undergraduate major, business is broad enough to offer several career possibilities. It equips students to work in finance, sales, consulting, marketing and management positions. It's also impressive enough to help graduates land a job. "Business ranks high in terms of employability," says researcher Laurence Shatkin, author ofBest Jobs for the 21st Century. "It has consistently been a good investment for students."
However, men still dominate many of the majors with the highest earning potential. Engineering ranks at No. 3 on the list of men's most popular majors, and 83.2% of students in the major are men. Meanwhile, it is absent from women's top-10 list. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the field of engineering to grow 11% by 2018 and estimates it pays an average $132,000 to the top 10% of workers.
Similarly, men make up the vast majority (82.4%) of computer and information science majors. This is another field that will be in demand and well-paid. The BLS projects job openings for computer and information scientists will increase 24% in the next decade. Top talent earns an average of $155,000.
As may be expected, women do still dominate many of the traditionally "soft" majors. On the list of women's most popular majors, education (No. 4), English (No. 9) and liberal arts (No.10) rank far above their positions on men's list. These fields of study lend themselves to careers like teaching, writing and editing, public relations or sales. While there are well-paid positions in these fields, median salaries range between $35,000 and $55,000.
Interestingly, the appeal of studying education seems to be slipping. Over the last decade education degrees have decreased 3%, though women still dominate the major and receive 85.4% of education degrees.
For women it seems that education is being supplanted by health, which could be a market advantage. Shatkin says the health care industry is growing rapidly, and women are the majority of its workers. According to the BLS, the 14-million-strong industry will add another 3 million jobs by 2018. In fact, many of the positions on our list of the Fastest-Growing Jobs For Women are in health care; pharmacists, doctors and occupational therapists consistently make our list of the Best-Paying Jobs For Women.
2010-08-25 20:53 编辑：kuaileyingyu
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