Ph.D. In Mathematics And Engineering Fields of Specialization Dominated By Males According To Research [Video]By Eleanor Bright, UniversityHerald Reporter
There is a gender gap in Ph.D. courses. This was the findings of a study conducted just recently by sociology professors at Cornell University and University of California. The gap was found in the STEM field of specialization and prestige of the school.
In terms of mathematics and engineering fields of specialization, it was found out that males outnumber females. This indicates that only a very few women decide to specialize in mathematics and engineering in their doctorate courses, according to Inside Higher Ed.
The researchers used data from the list of doctorate of students who earned doctorate degree from 2003 to 2014. They were grouped as to sex, field of specialization, and program enrolled in.
Results revealed that when sex was considered, males outnumbered females in the field of science and engineering, courses.They also dominated Ph.D. elite courses, which were mathematics and engineering as well.
While the study did not provide reasons for the disparity among sexes, one guess was that the selection process in some universities favors males rather than females. This could be true among female applicants in the fields of the subject areas mentioned. There was also speculation that some women underestimated their skills in these fields and so they select other areas as their major.
Findings may imply that women shy away from majoring in these fields because of lack of employment opportunities. To encourage more women to specialize in mathematics and engineering, General Electric (GE) recently announced that it would be hiring 20,000 women to work in the technical and management fields, according to Boston Globe\
The company planned to provide equal opportunities for both male and female recruits by sending equal number for training and staff development.
Giving women opportunities to work in math and engineering fields, they would be encouraged to specialize in these areas. This move will hopefully close the gender gap in Ph.D. programs in the fields of mathematics and engineering.