December 22, 2014 05:44 UTC

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Women Edge Past Men in Doctorates in US

Women Edge Past Men in Doctorates in US
Women Edge Past Men in Doctorates in US

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This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

In the United States, about six out of ten students in graduate schools are women. The same is true of today's young adults who already have a degree beyond college. As a result, the Census Bureau expects that more women than men will hold professions such as doctors, lawyers and professors.

Men had faster growth rates than women in going to graduate school in two thousand nine. Still, women earned sixty percent of the master's degrees. That was the level of about ninety percent of all the graduate degrees awarded.

But a new report says the two thousand eight-two thousand nine academic year marked a change. Women also earned fifty and four-tenths percent of the doctorate degrees. The Council of Graduate Schools says this was the first year ever that women earned more doctorates than men.

Forty-two percent of all doctorates that year -- the largest share -- were in education, engineering, and biological and agricultural sciences. But the report says between nineteen ninety-nine and two thousand nine, graduate enrollment increased in all subjects. The fastest growth was in health sciences, business and engineering.

In two thousand nine, graduate schools reported strong growth of six percent in first-time students from the United States. But enrollment of new international students decreased by about two percent -- the first drop since two thousand four. The share of foreign new students in graduate schools fell from eighteen percent to sixteen and a half percent.

In other education news, President Obama marked the new school year with a speech Tuesday. He spoke from a school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

BARACK OBAMA: "You know what’s going on in the news, and you also know what’s going on in some of your own families. You've read about the war in Afghanistan. You hear about the recession that we’ve been through. And sometimes maybe you’re seeing the worries in your parents’ faces or sense it in their voice. So a lot of you as a consequence, because we’re going through a tough time as a country, are having to act a lot older than you are."

President Obama told students they need to work hard in school "because an education has never been more important than it is today."

BARACK OBAMA: "The farther you go in school, the farther you’re going to go in life.  And at a time when other countries are competing with us like never before, when students around the world in Beijing, China, or Bangalore, India, are working harder than ever, and doing better than ever, your success in school is not just going to determine your success, it’s going to determine America’s success in the twenty-first century."

And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Avi Arditti. You can find our programs at voaspecialenglish.com and on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and iTunes at VOA Learning English. I'm ___________.

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