Congratulations, grad!

Women students are catching up in many fields where they've traditionally lagged behind men.

Published June 2, 2006 5:10PM (EDT)

From biology to business to history to the social sciences, female students are now earning more degrees than men, according to new federal data published Thursday, the Associated Press reported.

The 379-page report, "The Condition of Education," a yearly compilation of federal stats about academia, also found that women now account for about half the enrollment in professional programs like law, medicine and optometry, up from just 22 percent merely a generation ago. In fields where women are still trailing men, they're also gaining ground, "earning larger numbers of degrees in math, physical sciences, and agriculture," the AP notes. The good news for women also provides further confirmation that men are falling behind in education, which Salon and others have covered.

Check out this Detroit Free Press headline on the same AP story about the new federal education data: "Women take over in fields once run by men." And, in case you missed it, the Detroit paper includes this helpful subhead: "They've taken over male fields." Not so fast. Right now, women are earning more degrees in these fields, not taking them over -- at least not yet.

By Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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