While women make up half of all recent STEM graduates, they make up less than a quarter of all graduates in the 20 highest-paying STEM fields, according to an article at FiveThirtyEight. Women make up more than two thirds of graduates in the 20 lowest paying majors. These figures include only people without graduate degrees.
It’s the S vs.TEM divide, according to the site. Majoring in technology, engineering or math generally leads to a high-paying job. A science major, however, results in a decidedly lower median salary. Men tend to dominate the higher paying fields, especially engineering, while female majors make up the bulk of the life sciences industries. The data doesn’t show why women are choosing less lucrative majors but a range of challenges has been cited when considering computer science specifically, iincluding a lack of exposure in childhood as well as Silicon Valley’s “brogrammer” culture.
Women who do study math and engineering are still more likely to go into lower-paying fields within those areas, according to FiveThirtyEight. Women are also often paid less even when they do select the same field as men.