Study Reveals Pay Disparities Between Blacks And Whites In The Same Field

June 9, 2011  |  

By J. Smith

Black Enterprise Magazine has compiled a handy round up of the 10 highest-paying college degrees for black Americans. The findings are based on a recent study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce on the economic value of 171 college majors, and provide a breakdown of the highest and lowest-paying degrees by sex and race. The most astounding part of the study is not the career tracks or which degree came in first; the most surprising aspect is the huge salary disparity between whites and blacks in the same profession.

The disparities range from $1,000-$2,000 salary gaps to $10,000 gaps between blacks and whites, not even figuring the pay differences between men and women. Black degree holders in fields like computer networking and telecommunications can expect to earn an average salary of $54,000, while whites in the same field earn $56,000. In architecture, African Americans earn an average salary of $55,000, while white architects earn an average of $65,000.

The number 7 highest paying field for African Americans, Management Information Systems and Statistics, offers a huge racial pay disparity — $56,000 for blacks, $70,000 for whites. So even the top earners in our community aren’t compensated as well as their white counterparts, effectively drawing the line between who has the capability for long-term wealth and who is more likely to live pay check-to-pay check.


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