Indicating Why Women Will Rule The World

Men had better hope it’s a myth that higher education is essential to one’s success in life. A new report from the National Center for Education Statistics (an arm of the Department of Education) documents the extent to which men are lagging behind women in post-secondary education. Women long ago surpassed men in the number of bachelor’s degrees earned per year. The estimated gap in 2005-06 was vast, with 849,000 women getting a bachelor’s degree, vs. 608,000 men. Men retain a slight edge in the number of doctorates per year, but women are expected to catch up by 2013-14, earning 27,800 doctor’s degrees to men’s 27,500.

Most striking is the swing in the proportion of professional degrees going to each sex. Until recently, men won the lion’s share of these lucrative credentials. But women are estimated to have eclipsed men in 2004-05, and they’re forecast to be far ahead by the middle of the next decade (see chart).

Another section of the report offered forecasts for shifts in post-secondary enrollment by race and ethnicity. Between 2004 and 2015, the number of non-Hispanic whites enrolled in degree-granting institutions is expected to rise 6 percent. The number of non-Hispanic black enrollees is forecast to increase 27 percent, while the number of Hispanics is seen jumping 42 percent.