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More Degrees, But Not More Jobs

Some science, technology, engineering, and math fields have quite a few women in them pursuing advanced degrees, while other fields lag behind, Under the Microscope writes.

According to National Science Foundation data from 2008, women make up nearly three quarters of graduate-degree earners in psychology and medicine, and about half of biology PhDs. However, in computer science and engineering women comprise about 27 percent and 21 percent of PhDs, respectively.

Then, drawing on data from an Economics and Statistics Administration at the US Department of Commerce report, Under the Microscope notes that employment of women in STEM field typically has not kept pace with the increasing number of women earning STEM degrees — women hold about 24 percent of STEM jobs, most of which were in the physical or life sciences. "Women who do receive STEM degrees are less likely to work in STEM jobs than their male counterparts, the report adds. "And while women working in STEM jobs earn less than their male counterparts, they experience a smaller gender wage gap compared to others in non-STEM occupations."