Zaha Hadid, world famous architect visits the Riverside Museum in Scotland, her first major public commission in the UK. The field of architecture is one of 10 college majors leading to the biggest "reverse" pay gaps, according to Glassdoor.
Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

10 college majors where women go on to make more than men

Among the 50 most common college majors, there is an average 11.5 percent pay gap between men and women in the first five years of their careers, with women getting the shorter end of the stick.

» RELATED: These 10 college majors lead to the biggest gender pay gaps

But, according to the Glassdoor economics research team behind the findings, there are 10 particular fields where women end up out-earning their male counterparts.

To come up with the data, analysts used 46,900 anonymous, user-submitted salary and education data reports and looked at how much both male and female professionals with the same college degree made. 

For many reasons, the research shows women and men tend to gravitate toward traditional "female" and "male" jobs despite studying the same major — a phenomenon called “occupational sorting.” 

One such example, according to Glassdoor, is that a man with a biology degree is more likely to apply for higher-paying jobs such as a data analyst whereas a woman with the same degree is more likely to gravitate toward a lower-paying job as a sales associate or lab technician. 

» RELATED: Atlanta has highest man-woman pay gap in tech 

But when it comes to fields such as architecture, music and social work, researchers found a “reverse” pay gap favoring women.

One such field is social work, which is 85 percent female, where women end up earning approximately 8 percent more than men.

» RELATED: The U.S. doesn’t even crack the top 15 best countries for women 

Here are the 10 college majors leading to the biggest “reverse” gender pay gaps:

Architect Zaha Hadid poses for a photograph in front of the redeveloped Serpentine Sackler Gallery in Hyde Park on September 25 2013 in London, England.
Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

1. Architecture (-14.0 percent)

Median base pay for women: $57,000 

Median base pay for men: $50,000 

2. Music (-10.1 percent)

Median base pay for women: $44,020 

Median base pay for men: $40,000 

3. Social Work (-8.4 percent)

Median base pay for women: $40,640 

Median base pay for men: $37,500 

4. Advertising (-8.1 percent)

Median base pay for women: $46,500 

Median base pay for men: $43,020 

5. Environmental Science (-6.8 percent)

Median base pay for women: $47,000 

Median base pay for men: $44,000 

6. Chemical Engineering (-5.4 percent)

Median base pay for women: $63,770 

Median base pay for men: $60,480 

7. Kinesiology (-4.9 percent)

Median base pay for women: $43,000 

Median base pay for men: $41,000 

8. Mechanical Engineering  (-3 percent)

Median base pay for women: $68,000 

Median base pay for men: $66,040 

9. Sports Management  (-1.6 percent)

Median base pay for women: $42,672 

Median base pay for men: $42,000 

10. Anthropology (-1.5 percent)

Median base pay for women: $41,250 

Median base pay for men: $40,640 

» RELATED: Atlanta businesses celebrating #EqualPayDay 

Still, according to Glassdoor, nine of the 10 highest-paying majors are dominated by men. And in contrast, six of the 10 lowest-paying majors are female dominated.

“These pay differences in turn reveal themselves as a major contributor to the well-documented gap between male and female pay in the labor market,” Glassdoor analysts said. 

Choosing a major, according to the team, is more than just an expression of personal preference — the gender imbalances among college majors directly impact America’s dogged gender pay gap. 

Read more about the Glassdoor study and its methodology.

Iceland is working on legislation to make sure men and women are paid equally by 2022.

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