With the shattering of the metaphorical glass ceiling about four decades ago, it’s become a cutthroat world for women. The next time you’re sitting in one of your college classrooms, take a headcount of how many men and how many women are in attendance. Chances are, women are more prevalent in the majority of courses and majors, except perhaps engineering and computer science, which remain.
Because women have made up about 57 percent of enrolled students since the year 2000, we can somewhat predict how the trend will go. More women will be applying for acceptance to four-year colleges during high school, and there will be more competition for scholarships specific to females.
Once they successfully graduate from college, these women will have undergraduate degrees, thus more women will be competing for entry-level jobs. Job competition is even more stressful than it would normally be with the economy doing as poorly as it is. However, the majority (53 percent) of entry-level candidates hired straight out of college are women.
There is a lot of pressure on women to “do it all” and “have it all”: keep rising through the ranks of a fulfilling career, find suitable husbands and raise competent and successful children.
Since there are so many women graduating from college with bachelor’s degrees, the quest to seek a life partner is even more difficult. It’s understandable that once a woman graduates from college and obtains her first entry-level job, she will start thinking about the rest of her life; specifically, raising a family. She would probably not want to settle for anything less than a man with a bachelor’s degree — and since there are more women in college getting bachelor’s degrees, it will be more difficult to find a life partner. It’s the basic principle of supply and demand.
The competition is even more steep for African American women, who are attending college at far higher numbers than African American men. The national college graduation rate for African American men is only 33.1 percent, while for African American women, it is 44.8 percent. African American women will definitely have a harder time when it comes to finding a partner who graduated from college, and thus, a good man to raise children with.
Now that women are a dominant presence on college campuses nationwide, they have to compete for the affections of the comparatively few men who are there. Kathleen A. Bogle, a sociologist at La Salle University in Pennsylvania, said, “Women do not want to get left out in the cold, so they are competing for men on men’s terms. This results in more casual hook-up encounters that do not end up leading to more serious romantic relationships. Since college women say they generally want ‘something more’ than just a casual hook-up, women end up losing out.”
No matter what, it’s important to remember what your personal values are and your goals for life. First and foremost, the main goal should be to graduate from college. Finding the right person to settle down with can come later. If you’re going to focus on competition, focus on the competition to get you that first full-time job.