Black college degree breakdown and tech patterns Mar 14, 2019 23:42:02 GMT -5
Post by zarahan on Mar 14, 2019 23:42:02 GMT -5
per Journal of Higher education
The most popular degree for blacks (rounded) is Business at 25%, followed by social sciences
and other related liberal arts type majors- about 30% of the total approx.
It is interesting to see that less that 1% of all black degrees are in the stereotypical
"Ethnic and Gender Studies" area, but for the overall population almost 18% of degrees are
in this field. Seems like this might be mostly white women, as Asians avoid such fields
typically. Hispanics smaller numbers, but not so much in that area.
Computer science weighs in at about 4%, almost 100% less that softer topics like social
sciences and psychology. This might or not impact the growing black tech presence as
the black population continues its general decades old movement back to the south.
African Americans Continue to Make Solid Gains in Bachelor and Master Degree Awards: But Professional and Doctoral Degrees Show Declines
In 2006 blacks continued their solid progress in attaining bachelor’s and master’s degrees. At both degree levels, blacks increased their number of degrees and also their percentage of total awards. However, in 2006 there was a decline in the number of blacks attaining professional and doctoral degrees.
Black enrollments in college and graduate school continue to reach new highs almost every year. But a more important measure of African-American progress in higher education is the extent to which African Americans are completing college and earning a degree.
Always it is important to keep in mind that blacks who stayed in college and completed their bachelor’s degree program are still a highly select group that has now achieved near earnings parity with their white counterparts.
Given the huge economic benefits that flow from higher education, let us examine in some detail how many blacks are achieving a level of success represented by obtaining four-year college degrees.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, in the year 2006 blacks earned 142,420 four-year bachelor’s degrees from American colleges and universities. The number of blacks earning bachelor’s degrees was up more than 4 percent from the previous year, 2005. In 2006 the number of African Americans earning bachelor’s degrees was the highest in this nation’s history. The figure was more than double the number of bachelor’s degrees earned by blacks in 1990.
The large increase in bachelor’s degrees earned by blacks is encouraging, but the very low black student college graduation rate continues to loom behind the positive news. Only about two out of every five black students who enroll as freshmen in college go on to graduate within six years from the same institution they entered.
Blacks are now nearly 12 percent of total enrollments in higher education, but in the 2006 academic year they earned only 9.6 percent of all bachelor’s degrees awarded. But note that this figure also measures considerable progress. As recently as 1985, blacks, who were then about 11.5 percent of the population, earned only 5.9 percent of all bachelor’s degrees awarded in the United States.
Black Women Are Far Out Ahead
A most important factor in the closing of the racial gap in bachelor’s degrees earned is the stunning performance of black women. In the 2005-06 academic year, black women earned 94,341 bachelor’s de-grees, almost double the number earned by black men. Black women now earn two thirds of all bachelor’s degrees obtained by African Ameri-cans. Do not be mistaken, black men, too, have made progress. Over the past decade, the number of bachelor’s degrees earned by black men is up more than 40 percent. But the result pales in comparison to the huge gains posted by black women.
A Breakdown of Black Bachelor’s Degree Awards
When we break down the statistics on bachelor’s degrees, we see that there is very little difference in the fields of study chosen by black and white college students.
For blacks, business management was by a large margin the most popular major. Blacks earned 36,195 bachelor’s degrees in the field of business management and administration in the 2005-06 academic year. This was 25.4 percent of all bachelor’s degrees earned by blacks. African-American college students, in common with whites, are heavily career oriented and they tend to shape their course studies accordingly. They want to learn skills that will help them get a good job after graduation so that they can pay off their student loans and ensure that they will have a good shot at achieving a higher income than their parents, most of whom entered their wage-earning years in a Jim Crow society.
Most white college students have the same goals. Business management was the most popular field of study among whites. More than 20 percent of all white bachelor’s degrees were earned in the field of business. For both blacks and whites, the percentage of all college students who major in business has increased in recent years.
The next most popular field of study for blacks who earned bachelor’s degrees was the social sciences. This includes sociology, economics, and political science. Education was the second most popular major among whites. The fields of psychology, communications, and health sciences were popular majors among both racial groups. It is noteworthy to point out that computer science was the eighth most popular major among blacks but was not among the 10 most popular majors for whites.
Fields in Which Blacks Claim a Larger Share of Degrees Than is Generally Expected
Although blacks now earn 9.6 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in the United States, they earn a far greater share of all degrees in certain academic fields. Blacks claimed the greatest share of all degrees in the field of public administration. More than 23 percent of all degrees awarded in the field went to blacks. African Americans also earned 18 percent of all bachelor’s degrees awarded in the United States in the field of security and protective services. Degrees in this field include the study of criminology and other police sciences. Blacks also make up more than 10 percent of all degree earners in the fields of business, social sciences, psychology, health sciences, computer science, law, family and consumer science, and liberal arts and humanities.
In today’s careerist-oriented society, the most serious deficit is the huge shortfall in the percentage of bachelor’s degrees awarded to blacks in the fields of physics, mathematics, history, and foreign languages. In these fields, blacks earned less than 6 percent of the degrees.
What About Black Studies?
Another important statistic contained in the new Department of Education figures shows that the stereotypical view of the African-American college student rushing into black studies majors is totally false. Only 1,167, or 0.8 percent, of all African-American bachelor’s degree recipients received their degree in any type of ethnic or gender studies. Therefore, only one out of every 120 bachelor’s degrees awarded to blacks was in ethnic or gender studies. In fact, there are more blacks who majored in the physical sciences — a field in which there are very few African Ameri-cans — than African Ameri-cans who earned their degree in black studies. There are more than five times as many blacks majoring in computer science and more than four times as many blacks majoring in the biological sciences than in black studies. Blacks make up only 14.8 percent of the students earning bachelor’s degrees in ethnic or gender studies.
The Progress of Blacks in Master’s Degrees
In the 2005-06 academic year blacks earned 58,976 master’s degrees at U.S. colleges and universities. This was 9.9 percent of all master’s degrees awarded that year. The number of blacks earning a master’s degree was up 8 percent from the previous year. Since 2000 the number of African Americans earning master’s degrees is up by more than 64 percent.
As was the case with bachelor’s degrees, blacks have made significant progress over the past 20 years in increasing the number of master’s degrees earned. In 1985, 13,939 African Americans were awarded master’s degrees from U.S. universities. During the 2005-06 academic year, this figure had more than quadrupled to nearly 59,000. The percentage of all master’s degrees earned by blacks has in-creased from 5 percent in 1985 to 9.9 percent today. In the past year alone, the percentage of all master’s de-grees earned by blacks jumped from 9.5 percent to 9.9 percent.
Here, too, black women are leading the way. In the 2005-06 academic year, black women earned 42,017 master’s degrees compared to 16,959 for black men. Thus, black women accounted for 71 percent of all master’s degrees awarded to African Americans.
Master’s Degree Awards by Specific Disciplines
As was the case with bachelor’s degrees, we can also break down black master’s degree awards by major disciplines. Education was the most popular master’s degree for both blacks and whites. This is because many public school districts in the United States require teachers to have a master’s degree before they are certified to teach. Nearly 31 percent of all master’s degrees awarded to African Ameri-cans in 2006 were in the field of education.
Business management was the second most popular master’s degree for both blacks and whites. More than 30 percent of all master’s degrees earned by blacks were in the field of business. Thus, more than three fifths of all master’s degrees awarded to blacks in the 2005-06 academic year were in the two fields of education and business.
Public administration, health science, and psychology were the next three most popular master’s degree disciplines for blacks. Compared to their overall percentage of master’s degrees awarded, blacks made up a larger share of all master’s degree recipients in the fields of education, business, public administration, psychology, security and protective services, and family and consumer science. The black percentage of master’s degree recipients was below 4 percent in such fields as the physical sciences, engineering, mathematics, agriculture, and foreign languages.
Blacks Earning Professional Degrees
The news is not as encouraging when we examine the new data on degrees earned by African Americans in the professions. These include degrees in medicine, law, dentistry, and several other fields. In the 2005-06 academic year, blacks earned 6,223 professional degrees. These made up 7.1 percent of all professional degrees awarded in the United States that year.
The number of blacks earning professional degrees actually declined slightly in 2006. The percentage of all professional degrees earned by blacks also showed a slight decrease. Law and medical degree awards, the two disciplines with the most professional degrees, have seen a drop-off in blacks in recent years. Blacks have seen significant professional degree gains in pharmacy, podiatry, and divinity.
Nearly 3,000 African Americans earned a law degree in the 2005-06 academic year, making up 6.8 percent of all law degree recipients and nearly half of all blacks who earned a professional degree. More than 1,100 black students earned a medical degree, making up 7.5 percent of all medical school graduates. Blacks made up nearly 15 percent of all students who earned a professional degree at divinity schools.
However, blacks continue to have a very small presence in professional degree awards in dentistry, osteopathic medicine, optometry, chiropractic medicine, and veterinary medicine.
The gender gap in professional degree awards is large but not as wide as in bachelor’s and master’s degree attainments. The year 1989 was the first year that black women earned more professional degree awards than black men. In 2006 black women earned 63 percent of all professional degrees awarded to African Americans, down from 64 percent the previous year.
Tracking Black Progress in Doctoral Degree Awards
Before concluding, it is important to note that over the past two decades African Americans also have made tremendous strides in doctoral degree awards. JBHE previously presented an extensive study on the latest data in this area (JBHE, Number 58, Winter 2007/2008, page 6). These gains were somewhat offset by a 10 percent decline in doctoral degree awards to blacks in 2005 and a further 2 percent decline in 2006. In 2004 the number of blacks earning doctorates reached an all-time high.
Doubling in Doctoral Awards Since 1987
However, the overall progress of blacks in doctoral degree awards in the past two decades has been rock solid. In 1987 only 787 African Americans earned doctorates. The 2006 total of 1,659 doctorates is more than double the number of doctorates earned by blacks in 1987. In 1990 the black share of all doctoral awards was 3.6 percent. That has now grown to 6.2 percent, a showing of significant progress in the relatively short period of time of 15 years.
The sum of our story is that at all levels of higher education, from the community colleges straight through to the doctoral level, there is good news to report on degree attainments by African Americans. Yes, much work needs to be done to improve the black student college graduation rate. Overall, the evidence clearly shows that large and increasing numbers of African Americans are attaining success in higher education.
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