Closing The Gap

10 fields where men earn over $1 million more than women over the course of a career

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When it comes to earnings, "women simply can't win." That's according to a new wage gap report from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce that notes that, overall, women make 81 cents on the dollar, and "women with the same college majors working in the same careers as men still only earn 92 cents for every dollar earned by men."

It concludes that, "even when they do everything 'right'—choose a high-paying field of study, pursue a high-paying major within that field, and get a job in a high-paying occupation—women still get paid less than their male peers."

The report found that women not only start with lower salaries, but their increase in pay is also lower over time: "A man with a bachelor's degree will see his annual earnings increase by 87 percent over his career, but a woman with a bachelor's degree will only receive a 51 percent increase in her annual earnings over her career."

That, among other factors, can mean a difference of more than $1 million in total career earnings, the Georgetown CEW points out: "Over a career, the gender wage gap for workers with bachelor's degrees adds up to more than $1 million. For graduate degree holders, the lifetime earnings differential between men and women is more than $1.6 million."

The pay gap grows with graduate school and varies by major. It's largest for social science majors: $1.8 million for those with graduate degrees and $1.1 million for those with bachelor's degrees.

Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, Women Can't Win: Despite Making Educational Gains and Pursuing High-Wage Majors, Women Still Earn Less than Men, 2018.

Here are 10 majors where the lifetime gender wage gap for graduate degree holders is $1 million or more. We also included the gap for bachelor's degree holders.

Majors are listed in ascending order of the wage gap for graduate degree holders.

Law and public policy

Wage gap for graduate degree holders: $1.02 million
Wage gap for bachelor's degree holders: $780,000

Architecture and engineering

Wage gap for graduate degree holders: $1.13 million
Wage gap for bachelor's degree holders: $750,000

Agriculture and natural resources

Wage gap for graduate degree holders: $1.28 million
Wage gap for bachelor's degree holders: $460,000

Computer, statistics and mathematics

Wage gap for graduate degree holders: $1.32 million
Wage gap for bachelor's degree holders: $760,000

Psychology and social work

Wage gap for graduate degree holders: $1.4 million
Wage gap for bachelor's degree holders: $760,000

Physical sciences

Wage gap for graduate degree holders: $1.41 million
Wage gap for bachelor's degree holders: $900,000

Business

Wage gap for graduate degree holders: $1.57 million
Wage gap for bachelor's degree holders: $1.06 million

Health

Wage gap for graduate degree holders: $1.74 million
Wage gap for bachelor's degree holders: $430,000

Biology and life sciences

Wage gap for graduate degree holders: $1.81 million
Wage gap for bachelor's degree holders: $570,000

Social sciences