A recent study from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (Georgetown Center) shows more must be done to ensure African Americans have more equitable access to a sustainable career path.
The report’s analysis of 137 majors revealed that African Americans are overrepresented in low-earning disciplines and underrepresented in the highest paying and fastest growing fields, such as STEM, healthcare, and business.
“The low-paying majors that African Americans are concentrated in are of high social value but low economic value,” said Anthony P. Carnevale, director of the Georgetown Center and co-author of the report, in a press release.
Most of the low-earning fields that African Americans disproportionately represent are considered “intellectual and caring” professions, occupations with a low salary that might not adequately reflect the time spent on a postsecondary education. Some of these fields include human services/community organization and social work.
Human services/community organization, which is the second most popular major for African American students, has the second lowest median earnings for African Americans with a Bachelor’s degree at $39,000.
The study suggests more careful career planning and guidance before college can help African American students see the best return on their educational investments and avoid underemployment and debt later in life.
To access the report in its entirety as well as an infographic, slides and press release, visit the Georgetown Center website.