Educationally, U.S. men are downwardly mobile

Almost 30 percent of U.S. men 25 to 34 years old are less educated than their parents, according to OECD data. Only 17 percent of U.S. women are less educated. Together, almost 1 in 4 American adults age 25 to 34 has less education than his or her parents. In most developed countries, each generation is more educated, notes Vox.

South Korea has the most educational upward mobility: 61 percent of Koreans are more educated than their parents. Ireland and Italy come next at 45 percent.

educational mobility by gender

Where have all the men gone?

Community college students who are just out of high school are split fairly evenly between men and women, writes Matt Reed. But older students tend to be female. For those over 25, women may outnumber men by three to one. Why Don’t Men Return to College? he asks.

Reed guesses some are locked up. (And some are serving in the military.) But that’s not enough to explain the widening gender gap.

Opportunity cost could be a factor, if men without a college education make more than un-degreed women.

. . . then the cost to a family of sending Mom back to school is less than the cost of sending Dad back to school.  The male wage premium becomes a male opportunity cost penalty.

That’s plausible, writes Reed, but less so than it used to be. Wages have fallen for male workers with only a high school education.

Perhaps women are returning to college to train for health-care jobs, while men still see health care as a pink-collar job, he speculates.

Most research on gender in higher ed focuses on “how to bring more women into STEM fields, or how to improve the success rates of young men of color,” Reed writes. But it’s not just men of color who are missing on campus.

The lack of college-educated men may depress the marriage rate, writes Grace at Cost of College. In the U.S. there are 30 percent more women under 35 with a bachelor’s degree than men. It’s 47 percent in Miami and a whopping 71 percent in Detroit because black women are going so much farther in school than black men.

CC presidents earn $167K — more for minorities

Community college presidents average $167,000 in base pay, but blacks and Hispanics earn more, according to an American Association of Community Colleges survey. The median total compensation, which includes base salary plus other pay for fulfilling presidential duties, was $177,462.

That compares to $421,395 for public four-year college presidents in 2010-11, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education. For four-year private-college presidents, the median total compensation was $385,909 in 2009.

Hispanic presidents reported the highest median base salary of any ethnic group, at $201,553, the study found. Black presidents had a median base salary of $190,000, and white presidents had a median base salary of $167,200.

. . .  black and Hispanic presidents were more likely than their white counterparts to work at large colleges and in urban areas, and both factors are associated with institutions that pay higher salaries.

Female leaders of community colleges reported a median base salary of $170,000, slightly higher than male presidents, but men took a slight lead in total cash compensation.

Most presidents receive additional compensation.

Sixty-six percent said they received a college-provided car or car allowance, 58 percent said they received allowances for professional club dues, and 32 percent said they received college-provided housing or a housing allowance. Only 15 percent reported that their spouse or partner also received allowances.

Some 75 percent of community-college presidents plan to retire in the next 10 years.

Less-skilled workers face bleak prospects

It’s bad out there — very bad — for laid-off workers seeking new jobs, reports the New York Times. Only 7 percent of people who’ve lost jobs in recent years have regained their previous incomes and lifestyles, concludes a study released Friday by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers. Fifteen percent believe their drastically reduced incomes probably will be permanent.

Though unemployment fell to 8.6 percent in November, most of that came from people leaving the workforce. Employers added only 120,000 jobs. Less-skilled workers — especially men — ave been hit very hard.

After 22 years on the job, (Bill) Loftis, 44, was laid off from a company that produces air filters and valves in Sterling Heights, Mich., three years ago. . . .

Despite applying for more than 100 jobs, he has been unable to find work. He has drained most of his 401(k) retirement fund, amassed credit card debt, and is about to sell his car, a 2006 Dodge Charger. “It’s looking hopeless,” he said.

“The news is strikingly bad,” said Cliff Zukin, a professor of public policy and political science at Rutgers who compiled the study.

What is Happening to America’s Less-Skilled Workers?, a project of Brookings’ Hamilton Project, looks at the importance of education and training, especially for men without a college degree.

The employment rate for male high school graduates has fallen from 96 percent in 1970 to only 75 percent today, as shown below. Median annual earnings are just $26,000 today—about half of the $50,000 the median man with a high school diploma brought home forty years ago.

Workers with only a high school degree now earn about 20 percent less than high-school graduates did 40 years ago.

A Hamilton Project forum advocated two approaches to job training:

Raising Job Quality and Skills for American Workers calls for $2 billion in competitive grants to fund job training for 250,000 disadvantaged workers each year. Community and technical colleges would collaborate with employers to train workers for jobs in well-paid sectors such as truck driving or nursing.

Policies to Reduce High-Tenured Displaced Workers’ Earnings Losses through Retraining focuses on helping experienced workers transition to new careers that pay well.


Who graduates? White women do best

Nearly three quarters of Black and Latino degree‐seeking students did not earn a community college degree in six years, according to a supplemental analysis to Divided We Fail: Improving College Completion and Closing Racial Gaps in California’s Community Colleges. Women are more likely to graduate than men,  concludes the report by the Campaign for College Opportunity, the Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy (IHELP) at Sacramento State, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), and the Women’s Foundation of California.

While 39 percent of white women earn a degree, the completion rate is only 27 percent for black women and 23 percent for Latinas.

Minority men do much worse. Nearly 80 percent of male Black and Latino college students in California enroll in a community college. After six years, 80 percent have failed to complete a credential.

“For young black men, community colleges are critical in their hopes to learn and become prepared for the workforce so they can improve their standard of living. Unfortunately, many of our men go to community college and then disappear – no training, no degree, no strong employment opportunities,” said Deacon John Wilson, education director of the West Angeles Church of God in Christ.

The state budget crisis may mean more tuition hikes and cuts to student services, warned Michele Siqueiros, executive director of the Campaign for College Opportunity.

Black and Latino students who transfer to a four-year institution often choose a for-profit college, risking substantial debt, the report found.

Only 13 percent of Latino men and 15 percent of Latinas transfer compared to nearly 30 percent of white women.

Although Black students were more likely to transfer to a university than Latinos, they were significantly less likely to complete a transfer curriculum or earn an associate degree.


Pew: Women value college more than men

It’s not surprising more women are going to college and earning degrees: Women value higher education, while men have doubts, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

Half of all women who have graduated from a four-year college give the U.S. higher education system excellent or good marks for the value it provides given the money spent by students and their families; only 37% of male graduates agree. In addition, women who have graduated from college are more likely than men to say their education helped them to grow both personally and intellectually.

Women passed men in educational attainment in 1992 and the gap continues to widen: In 2010, 36 percent of women ages 25-29 had earned a bachelor’s degree, compared to only 28 percent of their male counterparts.

The gender gap is largest for blacks: 63 percent of young black college graduates are female, 37 percent are male.

A majority (53 percent) of Asian-Americans in their late 20’s have earned a bachelor’s degree, compared to 39 percent of whites, 19 percent of blacks and 13 percent of Hispanics.

A college education is needed to get a good job, say 69 percent of adults polled by Gallup for the Lumina Foundation for Education.

Fifty-seven percent strongly agree or agree that people who have a college degree have a good chance of finding a quality job; 15 percent disagree.

Women earn 62% of associate degrees

Women earned 62 percent of associate degrees awarded in 2008-09, concludes the federal  Condition of Education report.

Some 787,300 associate’s degrees were awardedin 2008-09, a 41 percent increase in a decade. One third of degrees were in liberal arts and sciences, general studies, and humanities; another fifth were in health fields. While psychology degrees more than doubled in 10 years,  engineering and engineering technologies, a heavily male field, showed an 8 percent decline.

About 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees conferred in 2008–09 were awarded to women, the report found.

Long-term unemployment has hit hardest at men with a high school diploma or less. The trends are not good.