A Win for Women: Females Hold More Advanced Degrees

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Continuing their increasing dominance in higher education, Census figures released Tuesday show that for the first time in history women in the U.S. hold more advanced college degrees than their male counterparts.

Among adults ages 25 and older, 10.6 million American women have master’s degrees or higher, compared to 10.5 million men, according to the Associated Press. The Census figures show women continue to earn more bachelor’s degrees as well, with 20.1 million holding those degrees, as opposed to 18.7 million men. (Women first surpassed men in bachelor’s degrees in 1996.) Further still, the data also shows women are also more likely to have finished high school than men.

(More on TIME.com: Read, “Why Do Women Still Earn Less Than Men?”)

But the news isn’t all good. Females continue to lag behind males in the areas of business, science and engineering— all traditionally male-dominated fields. And, of course, there is still that pesky pay gap, which has been slow to close. While women have made marked improvement since 2000 (when they only made 64 percent of what men earn), the latest figures show women with full-time jobs still make just 78.2 percent of what men earn.

Still, the news of more female graduates is definitely a positive–the more women in the workforce, the more likely that equal pay becomes an attainable reality.

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