Give me your money! Gender pay gap in salaries
To all of you doubters of the gender pay gap — yes, you know who you are — conclusive evidence from the White House’s new college earnings data website College Scorecard proves the discouraging fact many believed to be true: Male graduates out-earn female graduates from every elite university in the United States.
While the gender gap exists at every single top university, the divide is the largest at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where the average male graduate can expect to earn a whopping $58,100/year more than his female counterpart.
Quite frankly, the continued existence of this insidious financial divide is unacceptable. It is disheartening to realize that in this progressive day and age, females still do not earn as much as their male equals, even when they graduate from our country’s most elite institutions. What’s also disheartening is the amount of people who deny the gender gap’s existence.
Until the majority of people can recognize this fact for what it is, the gender gap will continue to pervade societal norms and will thus continue to negatively impact the lives of roughly half the world’s population.
Hopefully analysis of the federal data, as well as coverage of it in such articles as The New York Times’ Sept. 13 article “Gaps in Earnings Stand Out in Release of College Data,” will begin to open the public’s eyes to the gender earnings gap and its detrimental role in society.
While the unequal earnings should be a top concern, other valuable information can be gleaned from the federal data as well, such as where each college’s graduates stand according to the national average salary of $34,343.
How does Pacific measure up? According to College Scorecard, the average Pacific alumnus makes $66,400 a year, or $32,057 above the national salary, 10 years after graduation.
To give you context, this means the average Pacific graduate is making more after a decade than his or her peers at University of Southern California, University of California Berkeley and University of California Los Angeles, among others. In terms of alumni salaries, this places Pacific in the No. 8 spot among California’s 119 public and private nonprofit universities. Interestingly enough, an Oakland, Calif. institution called Samuel Merritt University took the top spot.
Of course, the data isn’t foolproof: It does not take into account a variety of factors, such as a college’s specializations, the highest-earning majors or the vocations students go into.
The data also can’t reflect how influential factors like a student’s academic and economic background, ethnicity or family dynamics (such as whether females became stay-at-home mothers) might affect the results.
However, despite the data’s shortcomings, we should take away a few things: First, the gender wage gap is a very real concern that must be acknowledged and addressed; second, we as a nation need to find ways to make college more affordable and offer more financial aid; and lastly, you can rest a little easier knowing your money (and/or your parents’ money) is being well-spent here at University of the Pacific.
Ultimately, we have to remember this is purely by-the-numbers data, and that the salary you make after graduation does not define your success as a college student or as a human being.
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