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Education Indicators in Focus

Education Indicators in Focus is a recurring series of briefs that highlight specific indicators in OECD’s Education at a Glance that are of particular interest to policy makers and practitioners. They provide a detailed look into current issues in pre-primary, primary and secondary education, higher education, and adult outcomes from a global perspective, and contain an engaging mix of text, tables and charts that describe the international context of the most pressing questions in education policy and practice.

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Education and employment

What are the gender differences?

  • Among 25-34 year-olds, more women than men hold a tertiary qualification in 33 of the 36 countries for which data are comparable.
  • Gender differences still exist in certain fields, with more men studying science, computing and engineering, and with women dominating education and health and welfare.
  • Despite their higher educational attainment, young women still have lower employment rates than men, although the gender gap is much narrower for tertiary educated young women than for those with lower educational attainment.
  • Women with tertiary education earn about three-quarters of their male peers’ earnings.
  • Some of this may be due to the under-representation of women at the highest levels of tertiary education, as well as in some fields of education, which are highly rewarded by the labour market.

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