Engineering is where the bucks are – especially if you’re male: study

Study shows men with degrees in engineering earn nearly twice as much as their female counterparts.

Statistics Canada study puts a value on bachelors degrees. Photo: Hanna McLean
Statistics Canada study puts a value on bachelors degrees. Photo: Hanna McLean

The decision you make when picking a program in university could drastically affect dollar amount on your paycheque in the future. 

Research from Statistics Canada released last week suggests that the difference between men’s and women’s cumulative earnings varies widely depending on their chosen field of study.

The study shows that men still earn more than women in general. But the differences are stark in some fields.  Men with engineering degrees had a median income of $1,845,000 over the 20-year period ending in 2010 — nearly twice as much as women with the same degree — $972,000. However, the two groups earned nearly identical amounts in the field of education: $1,290,400 for men to $1,044,600 for women.

The disparity was also prominent in the sciences, but less significant in the social sciences.

In general, the numbers remind us what we already know. Business and engineering degrees are worth more than fine arts and humanities degrees.

Fine and applied arts degree grads had the lowest earnings, while engineering degree grads took the spot for top earners over the 20-year period. Other top earning degrees for both women and men included mathematics, physical sciences, health, and business administration.

One of the main findings in this study, which tracked the earnings of 15,166 Canadians, was that income varies substantially within particular faculties as well. Earnings can vary based on the skill and work ethic of individuals working in the same field.

The study also tracked the earnings of college diploma graduates and high school diploma graduates. In these cases, the pattern of men earning more than woman was similar.

Career planning is more important than ever for grads. The overall potential of your earnings may have a lot to do with the degree you pursue.

 

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One thought on “Engineering is where the bucks are – especially if you’re male: study

  1. there’s also a 9-1 ratio of men to women in engineering, thus skewing the numbers. Reporting it in this lazy way is irresponsible and inaccurate. Time for a math lesson which are required to get a degree in engineering and clearly not in journalism. I’d suggest the first year stats class at Dal.

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