14% gap between what women and men expect to earn in their first job after graduating from college

14% gap between what women and men expect to earn in their first job after graduating from college was originally published on College Recruiter.

Article courtesy of Universum Communications. Results according to 52,000 U.S. undergraduate students surveyed October 2019 to April 2020.

Salary expectations and the gender gap  

You may be familiar with the national averages regarding the gender pay gap, but how does that translate to what students expect to earn in their first job after graduation?  

As with the general pay gap, this is depends on a range of variables — such a student’s area of study and the industry they want to work in. Without controlling for these factors, there is a stark 14% gap between what women and men expect to earn in their first role post-graduation.  


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Controlling the variables 

Let’s peel back this 14% with a closer look at a specific area of study. Taking only the students who study social sciences and humanities, that 14% reduces to 8%Of course, this 8% isn’t insignificant. Let’s take this assessment one step further by controlling for major and industry preference.  

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If you expected that gap to disappear after controlling for major (communication/ public relations) and preferred industry to work in (arts, entertainment & recreation), you’ll be disappointed to see that a gap, though a much smaller one, persists. Though this comparison gives a bit more hope, this is one of the best-case scenarios. The gap is not always reduced by controlling for industry and area of study.    

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In some areas of study, the gap doesn’t budge even after controlling for preferred industry. With its gap still floating above 13%, fashion, accessories and luxury goods (a female-dominated industry) is one of the worst offenders. Others, such as auditing and accounting, find more success in reducing the gap with this control.  


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What can you do with this information?  

Information is power, and you can arm yourself for that first salary negotiation by knowing what to expect. As evident by the gender gap, this is especially critical for the women who are unfortunately more likely than their male counterparts to shy away from intense salary negotiations (Tigar, 2020). 

— Article courtesy of Universum Communications. Prep for future salary negotiations and learn what your peers expect to earn by taking the CareerTest 2021!  

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