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10 college majors where women go on to earn more than men

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The gender pay gap most often refers to unequal compensation and the lost earning potential women face over the course of their careers, a figure that has been estimated to exceed $430,000.

But in some cases, men face gender pay disparity, too.

According to the economics research team at Glassdoor, male and female college graduates who hold the same degree will "self-sort" into different occupations due to societal pressure and norms. Male college graduates usually benefit from this, as they gravitate toward higher paying jobs, while women gravitate toward lower paying jobs, according to the report, which analyzed the 50 most common majors.

But sometimes, self-sorting has the reverse effect, where female graduates will make more money than their male counterparts who receive the same degree, says Glassdoor chief economist Andrew Chamberlain.

"There are roles in the labor market that Americans have become accustomed to thinking of as 'men's' or 'women's' jobs," the economist says. "These perceptions affect which jobs men and women feel comfortable moving into."

For example, a female graduate with a music degree is more likely to work as an audio engineer or music teacher, both generally well-paid jobs. By contrast, male college graduates with a music degree are more likely to work as a sales associate, assistant or landscaper, generally low-paid jobs.

Taking 46,900 anonymous, user-submitted salary and education data reports, Glassdoor analyzed how much male and female professionals with the same college degree made, and identified the instances where women went on to earn more than men in the first five years of their career.

Here are 10 college majors where female college graduates go on to earn more than their male counterparts early in their careers:

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10. Anthropology

Median base pay for women: $41,250
Median base pay for men: $40,640
Reverse gender pay gap: 1.5 percent

9. Sports management

Median base pay for women: $42,672
Median base pay for men: $42,000
Reverse gender pay gap: 1.6 percent

8. Mechanical engineering

Median base pay for women: $68,000
Median base pay for men: $66,040
Reverse gender pay gap: 3.0 percent

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7. Kinesiology

Median base pay for women: $43,000
Median base pay for men: $41,000
Reverse gender pay gap: 4.9 percent

6. Chemical engineering

Median base pay for women: $63,770
Median base pay for men: $60,480
Reverse gender pay gap: 5.4 percent

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5. Environmental science

Median base pay for women: $47,000
Median base pay for men: $44,000
Reverse gender pay gap: 6.8 percent

4. Advertising

Median base pay for women: $46,500
Median base pay for men: $43,020
Reverse gender pay gap: 8.1 percent

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3. Social work

Median base pay for women: $40,640
Median base pay for men: $37,500
Reverse gender pay gap: 8.4 percent

2. Music

Median base pay for women: $44,020
Median base pay for men: $40,000
Reverse gender pay gap: 10.1 percent

1. Architecture

Median base pay for women: $57,000
Median base pay for men: $50,000
Reverse gender pay gap: 14.0 percent

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But the reverse gender pay gap, like its counterpoint, doesn't have to stay an economic reality.

"College majors are highly segregated by gender," Chamberlain says, "and if employers hire exclusively from male-dominated, or female-dominated majors, they will end up with dramatic gender imbalances in their workforce over time. This study shows is that if employers are serious about gender fairness in hiring, they should be focusing more on skills rather than college majors."