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As the old cigarette commercial used to say, “You’ve Come A Long Way Baby.” And with a woman currently running for president women have come a long way in a very short time.

One of the most telling areas is education. More women than ever are graduating from college with degrees. Not just white women either, all socio-economic groups have shown amazing growth over the past decade.

Women Earning Degrees

Within each racial/ethnic group, women earned the majority of degrees at all levels in 2009–10 according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

For Education in General

  • 62% of Women Students Earned Associate Degrees
  • 57% Earned Bachelor Degrees
  • 60% Earned Master’s Degrees
  • 51% Earned Doctorate Degrees and,
  • 50% of Medical and Law School Degrees went to women.

Degrees to Black Women

  • 68% of Associates Degrees
  • 66% of Bachelor’s Degrees
  • 71% of Master’s Degrees
  • 65% of Doctorate Degrees

Degrees to Hispanic Women

  • 62% of Associate Degrees
  • 61% of Bachelor’s Degrees
  • 64% of Master’s Degrees
  • 55% of all Doctorate Degrees

The number of doctor's degrees awarded increased by 60 percent for Hispanic students and by 47 percent for Black students.

Student Loans

While the numbers above are very positive for women’s contribution in both the public and private sectors of our economy there is still the looming amount of debt that students carry out the door along with their diplomas.

Currently student loans are surpassing the $1.3 trillion dollar mark. That’s not a typo — today’s college students owe the federal government over $1.3 trillion dollars in student loans.

Some Final Thoughts

As we advance deeper into the technology age there is an increased need for a more educated workforce.

Unfortunately while we do have a reported 5 percent unemployment rate there are still 94.5 million people not in the workforce. That’s the lowest workforce participation rate in many years.

Today’s college freshman will be asked to solve problems in four years that do not exist today. Will they be ready?

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