Focus at Four: Pursuing passion and a paycheck with your college major

Published: May. 10, 2017 at 6:49 PM CDT
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As high school winds down and your child begins to think about a college career, here's something to consider: when it comes to salary, major matters--a lot., a popular job site, analyzed about 46,000 resumes to find that women tend to choose college majors that translate into lower-paying careers.

Most of the highest-paying majors, like engineering, are male-dominated. Most of the lowest-paying majors, like early childhood education and social work, are female-dominated.

Catherine Marrs is an education consultant out of Dallas who says this is society's standards setting in early.

"It goes back to elementary school," said Marrs. "When kids first get into school, it's still a traditional thing that girls aren't supposed to like math and science, so that kind of starts the trend there."

However, if your child--girl or boy--doesn't enjoy or excel in STEM fields, there's no reason they shouldn't pursue what they do like. Marrs says, just have a realistic conversation with your child about career expectations. Then, help them choose a school with an active career center that will encourage them to seek internships and research opportunities so that their resume is as marketable as possible in their chosen field.

The same Glassdoor study addresses the wage gap within career fields. According to this data, in the top 50 majors, women make 11.5 percent less than men in the first five years of their careers.

As for girls growing up in Aggieland, Texas A&M University representatives are reaching out. Aggie STEM is an organization that encourages all children and students, regardless of gender, to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math--STEM.

For more on Aggie STEM, Marrs' advice for parents of teenagers, and the full study from, see the video player above and the Related Links.