In the 21st Century the number of women enrolling in higher education institutions is surpassing the numbers of men enrolled. The graduation rates of women from high school and higher education are most often higher than for men. The number of women graduates from most professional occupations, including higher paying medicine, law and business, will exceed the number of men graduates in the near future. In numerous occupational areas with a majority of women graduates, salaries already surpass salaries in occupational areas with a majority of men graduates.
Gender wage gaps in 2004 are not primarily caused by discrimination against women. Gender wage gaps are largely the result of work history, experience, industry and the choices women make. Examples would be three of my four very successfully employed Master's degree daughters in their 30s who are now temporarily staying at home taking care of their young children.
An example of the significant advances made by women in employment and wages is the annual follow-up of the graduates of the Wisconsin Technical College System. Universities and university systems like the University of Wisconsin System do not have comparable data for their graduates. University research on employment is largely hype about the importance of four-year graduates with no analysis of comprehensive hard data.
Women graduates from the 16 Wisconsin Technical College Districts in 2003 made up 12,589 (65%) of 19,358 graduates as compared to 6,745 (35%) men. The percentage of women graduates from the WTCS has increased significantly since the 1980s but has been more than 50% for at least the last 20 years. The percentage of women graduates nationally from American two and four colleges and universities is increasing significantly each year and will eventually exceed or be on a par with men graduates from higher education nationally in "most" academic and professional majors, if they do not already exceed men in 2004.
Unbelievably, women and the media have reiterated the phony claim that discrimination is "the" reason that women on average make less money than men in "selected" occupations forever. But the most flagrant misinformation about gender and jobs is (1) That in order to achieve wage equity with men it is claimed that affirmative action is necessary to employ more women in higher paying occupations in which men are the majority and (2) That occupations in which women are the majority are largely low paying occupations. As shown by the graduates of the WTCS System, nothing could be further from the truth!
It has been claimed since the 1960s, and still is in the 2000s, that Technical education programs are the major job areas of growth in the so-called high-tech and high pay jobs of the future. The truth is that health occupations is the leader of job growth and the higher paying jobs of the future. In the WTCS System 50% (9,681 of 19,358 graduates) were in health occupations and 84.5% of health occupations graduates were women.
Comparison of numbers of graduates and median annual salaries of some WTCS Associate Degree programs with above average salaries is as follows
1. Highest Median Salary Dental Hygienists $45,756 (174 Graduates) Dental Hygienists have had the highest median salary for at least 4 years 2. Associate Degree Nurses $40,735 (872 Graduates)
3. Associate Degree Health Occupations $39,455 (1,494 Graduates from 18 programs) 4. Associate Degree Technical programs $31,660 (892 Graduates from 42 programs) 5. Associate Degree Service Occupations $30,000 (805 Graduates from 12 programs) (Includes Fire and Criminal Justice)
(See www.jobseducationwis.org 202-The 2003 Output of the Wisconsin Technical College System for analysis of WTCS programs)
Affirmative action programs for women identify occupations for recruitment of women based primarily on a belief that any job with a high percentage of men as compared to...
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