A study on the value and feasibility of pursuing higher education as an adult.
Degrees of Opportunity: Men and women
The Degrees of Opportunity study found that men and women have similar attitudes about education, but are influenced by different people when it comes to making decisions about education, had different levels of encouragement growing up, and cite some different obstacles that can make returning to school difficult.
Their attitudes toward education are similar.
- Men and women are just as likely to have returned to school as adults (49% vs. 45%) and just as likely to be currently considering getting additional education (59% vs. 55%).
- Men and women are equally likely to say that education has made a positive impact on their lives (77% each).
- Men and women are equally likely to say the benefits of education are greater than or equal to the investment (88% vs. 90%).
- However, men are more likely (62% vs. 52%) to wish they had returned to school sooner.
Each thinks the other has more educational advantages.
- Men are more likely than women to think women have an advantage when it comes to being able to successfully complete a college degree (37% vs. 23%) while women are more likely than men to think men have an advantage (48% vs. 31%).
Men generally received more encouragement to continue their education.
- Men are more likely to say they were expected and encouraged to pursue higher education when growing up (56% vs. 42%).
- Women are more likely to have received no encouragement at school to continue their education (26% vs. 16%).
Some barriers to education differ between men and women.
- Both cited time management and financial issues most often as barriers they faced when returning to school or considering returning to school.
- Among those who have returned to school:
- Men are more likely than women (37% vs. 25%) to say that learning the material and doing well in class were difficult obstacles to overcome.
- Women are more likely than men (19% vs. 11%) to say that family support and encouragement were difficult obstacles to overcome.
- Among those considering a return to school:
- Men are more likely than women (56% vs. 46%) to say attending classes regularly would be an obstacle.
- Women are more concerned than men about family responsibilities, including the ability to spend time with family and friends (61% vs. 51%) and taking care of their children (41% vs. 22%).