It’s 2018 and this just in: Women still earn less than their male counterparts. The wage gap is real! The good news is that a new report, published February 27th by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, found the one thing women need to do to finally make as much money as men. The bad news is you’re probably not going to like it.
Typically, the more education you have, the more money you make. As the Georgetown study found, women outnumber men at all levels of postsecondary education. That’s obviously great. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to matter all that much. The study found that women actually need to earn one more degree than their male counterparts in order to make the same amount of money. Um, what now?
To break it down, a woman with a bachelor’s degree earns around $61,000 a year on average. A man with an associate’s degree makes around the same per year. Women with master’s degrees also end up making the same amount on average as men with bachelor’s degrees. Over a lifetime, women with bachelor’s degrees in business end up earning over $1.1 million less than men with bachelor’s degrees in business.
If you think it varies from industry to industry, think again. It’s pretty much the same story across the board. The wage gap gets even bigger after graduate school, since women tend to get degrees in “lower-paying” fields like education or counseling.
While there’s definitely a lot to get mad about, Nicole Smith, Georgetown Center’s chief economist and co-author of the report, told Fortune,
Well, yeah. But women care about money, too. We wouldn’t be fighting to close the wage gap if we didn’t.
Despite that, the report included five other “rules of the game” that make sense. For instance, if you want to earn more, pick a major that pays well like STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). If you major in liberal arts, try adding a graduate degree in order to get middle class earnings and learn how to properly negotiate your first paycheck.
Clearly, we still have quite a ways to go before we earn the same amount as men. But if we keep using our voices to fight the wage gap, things can change.