According to new research when it comes to choosing a career path and major both male and female college students choose according to what the best earning potential is, yet men tend to choose majors with higher potential than women.
One issue, according to the research, is finding a field of study that is a good fit for the student.
Even though the pattern was clear, that men chose majors with higher earning patterns than women there were other factors that affected their decisions, like wanting to help people. But even when comparing the majors chosen by men and women when a factor like wanting to help people was prioritized men still chose fields with higher earning potential than women.
As an example, when both men and women wanted to help people men chose something like biology or another pre-med major which would lead to becoming a doctor while women were more likely to choose something like nursing.
The research suggests that men and women simply have very different ideas about what fields are open and available to them. STEM majors pay more but are perceived by women to not be as open to them. So, while women will choose majors that can lead to relatively high pay they will only choose a field in which they think they will be accepted in.