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James P. Mitchell, Secretary


Mrs. Alice K . L e o p o l d , D i r e c t o r

W A S H I N G T O N : 1956

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, l T . S. f Jovernmerit Printing Office
Washington 2.r>. I). C. - Price 25 ccnis


Note to students and counselors


1. Some career suggestions


Administrative work
Civil service
Health services
H o m e economics
Library science
Mathematics and statistics
Physical sciences
Public office
Real estate
Secretarial work
Securities merchandising
Social work
Writing and editing


2. Job-finding techniques


Preparing a personal folder
Canvassing the possibilities
Submitting an application
Making the most of the interview
Choosing your job
Reaching an agreement with the employer


3. Some practical considerations


T h e job market
Graduate study
Marriage and career


4. W o m e n on the job
Occupations of employed women
W o m e n in professional occupations
College women in the national economy
Additional references




C O L L E G E W O M E N today can enter practically any field—
professional, scientific, administrative—either in private
business or in public service. The way is open for the individual woman who proves her competence to reach a high
level in her chosen field.
It is not too soon for a student to begin thinking about
after-college plans when she is deciding on a major field of
study. By foresight in planning her courses and in combining
liberal arts and technical or professional subjects, her job
prospects can be greatly enhanced.
The facts and suggestions in this publication are based on
the cumulative experience of the Women's Bureau of the
United States Department of Labor, which for 36 years has
been the Federal agency responsible for advancing the interests of women workers. This pamphlet was written by
Miriam Keeler of the Division of Program Planning, Analysis,
and Reports, of which Anna Jo W. Behrens is Chief. It was
prepared in response to requests, from deans of women
and faculty advisers engaged in counseling, for materials
that would meet the needs of women students who are
searching the job horizon. We hope that both counselors
and students will find it of use.



Director, Women's Bureau.

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office
Washington 25, D. C. - Price 25 cents

Job Horizons
for the College Woman
Note to Students
and Counselors

STUDENTS, and the counselors who are helping them with
job prospects, ask extremely practical questions. They
want to know, for example, which fields of work are expanding, and which industries are actively recruiting college
women. Chapter 1, headed "Some Career Suggestions''
offers information of this type. The liberal arts graduate
will find there an indication of some of the ways in which she
may use her training. The suggestions may focus her thinking and serve as a starting point for talks with her vocational
counselor or placement director.
The undergraduate who wishes to enter an occupation
requiring special preparation will need to supplement these
suggestions with a carefully considered plan of study to meet
specific occupational requirements. If a State license or
certificate is needed, it is essential that at least part of her
preparation be obtained in a school meeting the standards
of the State where she expects to be employed. In some of
the professions for which the standards are set by a national
accrediting association, it is important to select a school
approved by the association.



For the college woman who has decided on the kind of job
she wants, but lacks experience in applying for a specific job,
chapter 2, on Job-Finding Techniques,1 is included. It may
be used by a student looking for a summer job as well as by
a graduate ready to enter her chosen profession.
Women students do not necessarily think of themselves as
prospective wage earners in the same way that men do. As
a matter of fact, however, the majority of women do take a
job after leaving college, at least until they marry. Important considerations in making a decision whether to look for
a job immediately or to continue studying are introduced in
chapter 3, "Some Practical Considerations."
Counselors—and students who are interested in the general
job picture—want to know what percentage of women college
graduates are in the labor force, what their occupations are,
and how important they are in the national economy.
Chapter 4, "Women on the Job," is included to provide a
quick summary of this background information.

1 Also

available from the Women's Bureau as a separate leaflet.

Some Career Suggestions
T H E E N T I R E range of occupations open to college women
is far too extensive to be covered in a pamphlet of limited
size. Most of the possibilities discussed here are in the
nature of promising fields of employment in which college
women with the appropriate specializations might be interested. A few shortage occupations which have been the
subject of study recently in the Department of Labor—
engineering, nursing, accounting—are singled out for separate treatment. On the other hand, many occupations and
professions offering excellent opportunities for women are
omitted altogether, or given only incidental mention: to
name a few—
advertising and merchandising

personnel work

commercial art, design


farming and ranching

public relations

interior decorating

radio and television


social science

medicine and dentistry

vocational guidance

Years of progressively responsible experience in professional work are required to reach some of the top staff
positions described. A college student making long-range
plans for a career should expect to start in a junior or assistant job, but advance more rapidly and to a higher level
than would otherwise be possible, especially if she eventually
studies for an advanced degree.
Women's Bureau reports, cited under Additional References, are available for each of the occupations marked with
an asterisk. These reports give more detailed information
on recommended training and qualifications, supply and
demand, earnings, working conditions, and prospects for
Basic information on some 400 occupations can be found
in the Occupational Outlook Handbook issued by the Bureau



of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of
Labor. For each occupation covered, the Handbook gives
a brief description of the nature of the work, how to enter,
outlook, earnings and working conditions.

Well-qualified accountants have been in increasing demand
since World War II, and the need for them is expected to
exceed the supply at least through the 1950's. Many industrial concerns and public accounting firms send representatives to colleges to interview and recruit students, and seem
increasingly willing to recruit women accounting graduates.
The decennial census reported 55,660 women employed
as accountants and auditors in 1950. This was 15 percent
of all accountants and auditors in that year. Of the women
accountants, 20 years of age and over, only 7,601 had 4
years or more of college training; another 12,771 had 1 to 3
years of college.
The highest level of professional skill in accountancy is
that of certified public accountant (CPA). Candidates for
the CPA must meet various qualifications, including several
years of employment in accountancy and the successful
completion of the State certifying examination. Nearly all
of 200 women CPA's who responded to a recent questionnaire had some college training; 25 percent had done
graduate work.
Accounting specialties include auditing, cost accounting,
and tax accounting, as well as public accountancy. Many
accountants also specialize in some type of business—for
example, public utilities, banking, or a manufacturing
Students would be well advised, if interested in accounting
as a career, to complete a 4-year course in a college or uni*See Additional References.


versity that offers a concentration of courses in their field
of interest; some colleges offer an internship training program
in accountancy. A broad cultural background is advantageous, with stress on economics and mathematics.

Administrative Work
Chances for women to reach executive positions are found
in personnel and industrial-relations departments of many
large concerns, and in branch operations of all kinds of
industries and businesses. Advancement policies, however,
vary from industry to industry and from employer to employer. Top positions in administration are often the result
of experience obtained in other fields of work. In some of the
newer fields for women—advertising, merchandising, and
magazine publishing, for example—women are often teamed
with men in top-level administrative jobs. In a few industries
women hold top executive jobs as corporate officers or senior
These are among the findings of a survey made b y the H a r v a r d
Business School for the Radcliffe M a n a g e m e n t Training









banking, credit, food, government, heavy industry, hospitals, insurance,






retailing, textiles, utilities, and wholesaling.

In hospitals
A number of the graduates of the Radcliffe program obtained administrative positions in hospitals in New England
and New York. This is a new field, as hospital trustees have
only recently begun to recognize the desirability of using
persons trained in business administration, and especially in
personnel work, for top staff positions.
2 "Opportunities for Women at the Administrative Level," by Frances M. Fuller and
Mary B. Batchelder. Harvard Business Review 31:111-128 (Jan.-Feb. 1953).


In colleges
The National Education Association in 1952 canvassed
some 700 coeducational colleges and universities as to their
administrative officers. Women held one-fifth of the total
number of administrative positions reported.
The top-lcvcl administrative positions held most frequently
by women in coeducational institutions were:
D e a n of women

held by

Director of food services


Director of residence


H e a d librarian




Student guidance


Director of health


In the following types of administrative positions in coeducational colleges, women were frequently found employed as
assistants: admissions officer, dean of students, business
manager, purchasing agent, comptroller, and treasurer.
In women's colleges, opportunities for women exist at all
levels of administration.

In the Armed Forces*
Women college graduates who are interested in a career in
the Armed Forces may apply for a commission in the branch
in which they are interested. In the women's branches,
all the officers are women. The highest rank that can be
held by a woman is that of captain in the Navy or colonel
in the Army, Air Force, and Marines.
An officer is expected to handle a great variety of tasks
commensurate with her age, rank, and experience. A broad
educational background, therefore, is essential. A collcge
woman who receives a commission may be placed in any one
of a number of departments, such as administration, commu*See Additional References.


nications, public relations, intelligence, logistics, finance, or
engineering, and she may be moved from one department to
College graduates with professional or technical training in
a medical specialty arc especially needed. Mcdical technologists are extensively employed in hospitals operated by
the Armed Forces. Nurses, dietitians, and occupational and
physical therapists receiving staff commissions in military
hospitals of the Army, Navy, and Air Force and in the
United States Public Health Service begin as second lieutenants or ensigns.

In industrial management
The need for collegc training for the business woman is
increasingly recognized. There is little doubt that a college
course emphasizing mathematics, statistics, accounting,
money and banking, industrial psychology, and other business subjects is a definite advantage to the girl who hopes to
become a successful business woman, especially if she eventually establishes her own business.
A statewide survey made in 195] by the Missouri Division of


reported 672


who head their

businesses in 21 cities, heading 64 types of establishments.


Of these

women, 94 were in the printing and publishing business, 80 were in
food products including meat packing, and 66 had clothing or shoe

More than a hundred women owned foundries or

machinery, sheet-metal, steel-products, and stonc-and-gravel plants.
Others had their own auto supply and repair shops or plants manufacturing paper containers, drugs and chemicals, furniture, and tools.

There were some 9,000 women listed as bank officers in
1956. About one-third of these replied to a questionnaire
sent by the National Association of Bank Women with the
cooperation of the Women's Bureau. Most of the women
who replied were employed by the smaller banks. Some
4 4> 8— 7 2
0r 0° 5


women executives were found in each of the officer positions.
By far the largest number (about 60 percent) were assistant
cashiers; others were cashiers, secretaries, trust officers,
treasurers, and vice presidents. Eight percent of those who
replied held a college degree; 22 percent had some college
Women bankers who are college graduates strongly endorse
the view that today college training is an asset for the woman
hoping to advance in the banking world. One of them says:
W o m e n officers in banks t o d a y are engaged in every type of banking

T h e y make loans; they handle bank operations,


relations, and personnel; they administer trusts; they develop new
business; they do research.

In large banks m o s t women officers are

In small banks the women, like their male colleagues,

do a little bit of everything.

. . .

I t is m y firm conviction that the

financial world needs more qualified women in positions of responsibility and that women will find in such positions tremendously satisfying careers. 3

Civil Service
Every year hundreds of college seniors and recent college
graduates qualify for positions in Government agencies. A
general Federal Service Entrance Examination is now used to
fill a wide variety of positions at the entrance or trainee level.
Completion of a 4-year college course leading to a bachelor's
degree (or its equivalent) is required, but the examination
may be taken during the senior year.4 Application blanks
may be obtained from any post office or from the United
States Civil Service Commission, Washington 25, D. C.
Success in this test qualifies a person for positions in Wash8 "Women in the World of Finance," by Catherine B. Cleary, Journal of the American
Association of University Women 48: 70-72 (January 1955). The author (who is both a
college graduate and a lawyer) has served as assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury of
the United States, and as vice president of a Wisconsin bank.
4 The beginning salary is 33,670 a year (GS-5) for a person with a bachelor's degree;
34,525 (GS-7), with a master's degree.


ington and elsewhere. Options include general administration, communications, personnel, budget, library science, statistics, and information. The test is given several times a
year and a person who fails to qualify may take it again.
Persons of high caliber and with certain needed qualifications have the opportunity to apply for participation in the
Management Intern Program. Those college graduates who
are interested in special training looking toward positions of
responsibility in the Federal Service can qualify for the intern
program by passing the general FSEE test and also a special
written test on either administrative problems or public affairs.
In all civil-service positions, women receive the same pay as
men at the same level. In 1954 almost 1,000 women held
high civil-service positions, paying 38,360 to 5514,800.

More than half of the States have adopted civil service
or merit systems resembling the Federal Civil Service system.
The systems vary by State. Information can be obtained
from the State agency having jurisdiction over recruiting and
examining applicants for State positions.

Foreign service
Each year the Department of State recruits a certain number of young men and women for the Foreign Service of the
United States. They may be assigned to a station in practically any part of the world. Written examinations, offered
periodically, cover general ability, general background, English, and modern languages. Candidates who pass the written examination and receive security clearance also take a
separate oral and a physical examination.
A State Department brochure, "New Opportunities in the
U. S. Foreign Service," issued in 1955, states that the Department expects to appoint some 250 junior officers at class 6
(minimum salary, 34,725) each year under its present program. The highest post one can reach is that of ambassador.


The State Department reported about 150 women among
the more than 2,500 foreign service officers at the end of 1955.
One woman career diplomat has been elevated to the rank of
ambassador by presidential appointment.

Fully qualified engineers are in great demand. This field
offers challenging opportunities for the woman student.
The largest number of women are in civil engineering, followed by electrical, chemical, mechanical, industrial, metallurgical, and aeronautical engineering in that order. Training programs, including most of the cooperative engineering
programs, are generally open to women in coeducational
Many phases of engineering remain to be developed, offering almost unlimited possibilities of a constructive and creative nature. These include urban redevelopment and reconstruction; new textiles and products to be created from wood
and synthetic materials; redirection or adaptation of water
resources with consequent implications for industrial power
and agricultural production; new methods and resources for
mineral extraction; and unexplored areas of nuclear energy
and solar energy for power and heating purposes.

Health Services
If a girl thinks before starting college that she wants to
enter nursing, medical technology, or physical or occupational
therapy, she should inquire into the possibilities and choose a
college or university offering programs approved by the
national accrediting body for the profession. If she decides
while in college to prepare for one of these fields, she should
immediately inquire what courses her college offers that will
be credited in the professional school, and arrange if necessary
for a transfer to some other institution at the appropriate
time for specialized training.
*See Additional References.


A comparatively new development in education for the
health services, and one that is rapidly becoming popular, is
the combination course leading, in 4 or 5 years, both to a
bachelor's degree and to a professional certificate in one of
several fields. These courses are of two general types. One
type calls for 2 or 3 years of study in a liberal arts college,
followed by a year or two in a specialized school. The other
is being developed chiefly in large universities which offer
a planned 5-year course in a professional field with enough
cultural courses to meet requirements for a bachelor's degree.

The college-trained nurse may develop a clinical specialty,
such as pediatric or psychiatric nursing. On the other hand,
she may move away from patient-centered care into positions
of greater executive responsibility—in a supervisory or administrative capacity, or in program planning and consultant
work. The economic rewards and professional prestige are
generally greater for the executive and consultant nurses
than for most of the clinical specializations.
There were 180 collegiate schools of nursing with 19,025
students enrolled in 1955. More than half of the training
time (which varies from something less than 4 to 6% years
beyond high school) is spent in general education at the
college level. The remainder is a combination of classroom
work and practice in clinical fields such as general medicine,
surgery, obstetrics, pediatrics, and psychiatry.
A list of accredited collegiate nursing schools can be
obtained by writing to the Committee on Careers in Nursing,
2 Park Avenue, New York 16, N. Y.

Medical technologist*
It is the medical technologist's responsibility to provide
laboratory services for the physician. The work requires a
*See Additional References.


background In anatomy, biochemistry, bacteriology, mathematics, and physics, plus a knowledge of laboratory techniques. A sense of responsibility and of the importance of
accuracy in details and good vision are a few of the personal
traits desirable.
Eligibility for the Register of Medical Technologists, a
form of certification for qualified medical technologists maintained by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists,
requires 4 years of college training or its equivalent. This
may consist of either—
(1) 2 years of accredited college work followed b y a course in an
approved hospital school for medical technology of 12 (minimum)
to 24 months; or
(2) 4 years in a college which combines an approved hospital-school
course with academic education, and which leads to a bachelor
of science degree in medical technology.

Occupational therapy*
Occupational therapy uses creative, craft, and recreational
activities to help sick, injured, or disabled persons to physical
and mental recovery and to acquisition of a job skill. The
occupational therapist selects and carries out treatments
designed to bring about therapeutic results desired by the
patient's physician. In her relationships with the patient,
she acts as nurse, social worker, and teacher as she tries to
maintain the patient's interest in the treatment. The work
calls for resourcefulness and imagination and a variety of
skills in arts and crafts.
A S-year college course leading to the bachelor of science
degree and certification in occupational therapy is offered
by at least 25 accredited schools and colleges. (In some cases
the course may be condensed to 4 years.) To qualify as a
registered occupational therapist, a graduate must also pass
the national registration examination given periodically by
the American Occupational Therapy Association. A person
*See Additional References.


with a bachelor's degree in another field may qualify by
taking 18 months of specialized training.

Physical therapy*
The physical therapist treats injuries, diseases, and disabilities by nonmedical and physical means such as massage,
exercise, heat application, light, water, or electricity, as
prescribed by the physician. She treats patients with every
type of illness or condition, including cerebral palsy and
poliomyelitis patients, paraplegics and amputees, the mentally ill, persons with fractures.
A 1-year certificate course is available in some schools for
women who have completed 3 years of approved college
training, including satisfactory courses in biological and
physical sciences (general physics, chemistry, biology, plus
physical education). Graduation from a school approved by
the American Physical Therapy Association is necessary
for admission to the Association or to registration in the
American Registry of Physical Therapists.

Home Economics
A variety of positions can be filled by a woman with a
degree in home economics. Many become teachers, either
at the college level or in domestic science courses offered in
secondary and elementary schools. Home economists are
also employed as managers of institutions, extension leaders,
home demonstration agents and specialists, and as buyers
and consultants for stores dealing in wearing apparel and
home furnishings. Some women trained as home economists
work for industrial firms, such as food manufacturers or
distributors, preparing educational materials on the nutritional value of this or that food product or on methods of
preparing foods.
*See Additional References.


The Department of Agriculture employs a large number of
women specialists in foods and nutrition in its extension
program in rural areas throughout the country.
A growing field is that of writing, consulting, and research
on nutrition. Many daily newspapers and national magazines—and practically all women's magazines—feature a
homemaking department.

Dietitians and nutritionists *
The total number of women employed professionally as
dietitians and nutritionists was 21,059 in 1950, according
to decennial census figures.
The dietitian applies the principles of nutrition to the
feeding of individuals and groups. She may plan menus and
special diets with proper nutritional values in a hospital,
institution, school, restaurant, or hotel. Hospitals and other
institutions offer the largest field of employment for dietitians.
A dietitian who specializes in the promotion of healthful
food habits is called a nutritionist. For this specialty, training
is needed not only in the art of feeding groups and individuals,
but in the fields of nutrition, education, public health, and
social welfare. Most nutritionists are employed by public
health agencies, or by social welfare or educational agencies.
In Federal and State agencies they provide technical consultation to health, education, and welfare workers coming into
direct contact with the public.

Commercialfood service*
A new and expanding field for the graduate in home economics who has some training in business administration is
food supervision and management. There are increasing
opportunities for women college graduates as food supervisors
and managers in hotels and in commercial restaurants and
cafeterias. One woman, vice president of a chain of restau*See Additional References.


rants, has 90 home economists on her staff, doing research
and supervising the food production departments in each
Some large industrial firms are beginning to employ trained
women as food managers in lunchrooms operated for employees. Advancement is often rapid, in part, it is said, because of the vacancies left by women who resign to be married.
The pay range is wider than in hospitals and colleges.
Internship programs are offered for home-economics graduates by the American Dietetics Association; apprentice
programs by the National Restaurant Association.

Some of the women who have entered the insurance field
as agents have been spectacularly successful. More than
1,700 women were members of the National Committee of
Women Life Underwriters in 1956, and of these 276 had
qualified for the quarter-of-a-million group, meaning that
they had sold at least $250,000 worth of life insurance within
the year. Some women qualify for the "milion-dollar club."
College training, although advantageous, is not necessarily
required for entering insurance work. An insurance agent
must be licensed in each State where she operates, and in some
States it is necessary to pass a written examination in each
type of insurance sold. For this reason, most beginners prefer
to concentrate on one or two types of insurance.
Automobile insurance is a good field in which to start; every
time an automobile is sold, the purchaser becomes a prospect
for insurance. The premiums are small, however, and extensive servicing may be required. Life insurance, on the other
hand, is more difficult to sell. Many prospects are reluctant
to deal with a young or inexperienced agent in financial
matters of such importance. However, the increased entry
of women into the business world has created a new group of
prospects for life insurance.
404508°—57 3


Life-insurance companies, according to the Institute of
Life Insurance, employed a total of 189,600 full-time agents
in 1955, of whom 5,500 were women; the proportion of women
agents had decreased in a period of 2 years from 3.4 to 3.0
percent. Of the 38,500 agency managers and assistant managers, however, 500 were women—an increase from less than
1 percent in 1953 to 1.3 percent in 1955.
The qualities needed by insurance agents include a liking
for people, numerous and varied contacts, ability to state a
case clearly and persuasively, a strong belief in the value of
what they are selling, and an inexhaustible supply of persistence and initiative—combined with mathematical facility.
The agent who owns a car has the decided advantage of being
able to go where her clients are instead of waiting for them
to come to the insurance office.

Library Science
Library science is a profession that has been growing
steadily. At present, because of a nationwide demand for
trained librarians, there are especially good opportunities in
cataloging, library work with children, school librarianship,
and in the special library fields (particularly in science and
technology). To qualify for professional library positions
it is usually necessary to complete a 1- to 2-year curriculum
at a library school. Professional library schools commonly
require for entrance: (a) graduation from an approved 4-year
college or university; (b) a superior undergraduate academic
record; (c) evidence of a mastery of fundamental library
techniques; and (d) a reading knowledge of at least one foreign
language. A library-school graduate without previous experience can enter library work as junior librarian. This is
the first grade of nonsupervisory professional positions.
Native imagination and intelligence, a flexible, inquiring
mind, and the ability and readiness to persevere in any pursuit, all are qualities needed by the librarian. The profes


sional knowledge and searching skill required of the reference
librarian are developed by library school training and
Some additional training in collecting, abstracting, and
indexing equips a student for the more challenging and remunerative post of research or special librarian. Here,
combinations of college major and minors may widen the
scope and intensify her research in the special subject field.
For example, a girl with a chemistry major and a language
minor might be extremely valuable in the library of a chemical
A librarian's responsibilities may include investigating
the reading interests and demands of the people served by the
library, adjusting the services to that need, publicizing the
library service, and selecting and purchasing books and other
material. Besides her share of the routine duties of classifying, cataloging, shelving, and circulating books, the librarian
assists persons to find books and information suited to their
individual interests. Thus the profession of library science
offers opportunities for significant service to the public.

Mathematics and Statistics*
The general field of mathematics includes both pure mathematics, which deals with mathematical laws and principles,
and applied mathematics, which utilizes the principles of
mathematics in various fields such as engineering or science.
The importance of applied mathematics in business, industry,
and government has created a rapidly expanding demand for
mathematicians, especially those with advanced degrees.
Four-fifths of the employed women mathematicians included
in the National Register of Scientific and Technical Personnel
(1954-55) held either the master's or the doctor's degree.
Opportunities increase with the level of educational attainment.
*See Additional References.


For the college graduate with a bachelor's degree based on
a major in mathematics, the increasing use of electronic computing has opened up numerous interesting jobs for programmers. Other possibilities include employment as an actuarial
or bank trainee. A strong secondary field of specialization
often leads to a job where mathematics is used as a tool—for
example, in drafting or engineering, in technical writing or
editing, in market research or statistical analysis, or in
With industry and business competing for the new college
graduate, the shortage of high-school mathematics teachers
has become critical. Educational requirements for teachers
at the secondary-school level vary with the State. A
bachelor's degree is usually required; and an advanced degree
is important for advancement. For a teaching position at
the college level, the usual requirement is that a person hold
a doctor's degree or be working toward one.
Statistics is a specialization of applied mathematics. Employment opportunities are most numerous in industry and
government. The use of statistics has been increasing in
such fields as business administration, engineering, natural
and social sciences, biological and medical science, education,
psychological testing, and public health. The active demand
for statisticians in industry and government has given rise
to an increase in the number of opportunities to teach statistics. A statistician's college preparation should include a
solid foundation in mathematics and statistics, with a major
in one of these fields or in a natural or social science to which
statistics may be applied.
A girl with an aptitude and liking for mathematics, a logical
but imaginative mind, and a passion for accuracy will find
in mathematics and statistics a satisfying field for a job or for
a lifetime career.


It is axiomatic that those who enter the field of music do
so primarily because they enjoy it and have innate talent in
it. However, training is essential for success.
Preparation in a school of recognized standards provides
the advantage of the reputation of the school. Many colleges
and universities, as well as theological seminaries, have music
departments and grant a bachelor of arts degree with a major
in music or music education. The American Guild of Organists awards the title of Associate or Fellow of the Guild
(AAGO or FAGO) to those passing examinations.
The field of music offers a variety of types of work, with
teaching providing the largest number of jobs. A music
teacher may give lessons privately in her own home, or in the
homes of her pupils, or she may use a studio. With a college
degree in music or music education, she may teach in public
schools, or in private ones where accreditation may be less
restrictive. In a college or university, if she has an advanced
degree, she may teach theoretical subjects such as harmony,
counterpoint, ear training, sight singing, music history, and
Music offers excellent opportunities for part-time work,
which provide good subsidiary earnings. Churches employ
organists, choir directors, and vocalists, usually on a parttime basis. A qualified organist can play for church services,
weddings, funerals, or in department stores and skating rinks,
and the pay is good for the actual performance time involved.
Many married women give music lessons in their own homes;
this is a convenient arrangement as they need not leave their
families and can schedule lessons as time permits.
Highly competitive fields for performers with superior
talent and training include radio and television, the theater,
concert and opera stage, orchestral work, and entertainment.
The music critic is more interested in the academic aspects of
the history and appreciation of music than in performing


herself. A newer field for musicians is that of musical therapy, used increasingly in hospitals for mental patients and
in institutions for the maladjusted.
Whatever her specialty, a woman musician is welcomed in
recreational, community, and welfare activities as a volunteer
worker, and may find earning opportunities—on playgrounds,
in adult-education projects, or in YWCA and Red Cross.
Music is a popular vocational field for women and has a relatively high standing among professional and technical occupations of women. With a total of 77,844 women employed
or self-employed, it was third largest in 1950 according to the
decennial census. Women constituted half of the workers in
music, and their numbers had increased 31 percent, or 18,388
since 1940.

Physical Sciences
Of the several physical sciences, only two are discussed
here: Chemistry, which attracts the largest number of
women; and physics, where the shortage of qualified workers
is most acute.

The number of chemists and chemical engineers nearly
doubled from 1940 to 1950, and the demand still exceeds the
supply, particularly in some fast-growing industries.
A survey made in 1951 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
covered more than half of all the chemists in the country.
Some 7 percent (3,900) were women. About half of the
women chemists were employed in manufacturing industries,
chiefly in firms manufacturing organic and inorganic chemicals, drugs and medicines, and food and kindred products.
Of the women chemists, 37 percent were doing research,
31 percent were employed in analysis and testing, and 19


percent were teachers, and the others were in miscellaneous
There are very few women chemical engineers, a field which
is in need of trained people.

There were 208 women among the 6,597 members of the
American Institute of Physics reported by a survey of manpower resources in physics in 1951 made by the Bureau of
Labor Statistics and the Office of Education.
Over half of the women physicists were employed in colleges and universities; about one-fifth by business firms; and
nearly one-fifth by Government agencies or nonprofit research
About two-fifths of the women reported general physics as
their field of highest competence. Among women reporting
a specialty, the largest number were in optics, nuclear
physics, or atomic and molecular physics. A small percentage of women specialized in electronics and acoustics, where
employment opportunities for women should be excellent.

Public Office
The welfare of our country requires the general participation of women in political affairs through voting and through
volunteer service. It is equally important to increase the
number of well-qualified women serving in elective and appointive offices where local, State, national, and international
policies are formulated. Public office is often achieved after
a person has become known in a certain field, such as law,
newspaper writing, business management, political science,
teaching. Sometimes such a specialized background leads to
an appointive position on the local, State, or Federal level.
Service in a local or State position is excellent preparation


for work on the national level, and experience gained in appointive posts can be a valuable asset to a person seeking
elective office.
A woman who runs for an elective office usually finds that
the campaign involves a tremendous amount of hard work—
traveling, speaking several times a day, meeting and remembering hundreds or thousands of individuals. There is probably no more satisfying field for a person strongly motivated
to exert an influence on contemporary affairs.
A college woman whose goal is in the political field will
want to stress courses such as public administration, government, history, economics, and finance. English and public
speaking, as well as training in law, provide an excellent background for a career in politics.
During college, some experience can be obtained by campaigning for campus offices, conducting drives, and doing
volunteer work for a political party. Participation in a group
providing leadership to stimulate the interest of women in
current political issues can provide some practical experience.
An outstanding nonpartisan organization in this field is the
League of Women Voters.

Real Estate
The largest field for employment in real estate is salesmanship—the buying and selling of land, houses, and commercial properties. In 1950, about 14 percent of all real
estate agents and brokers were women.
Real estate is a highly individual business, because no two
buyers have exactly the same needs; and it is also a highly
competitive business.
The real estate salesman must have a detailed knowledge
of the neighborhood and of the physical, legal, and financial
factors affecting the property. The beginner is advised to
obtain extensive experience through employment in the office


of an established real estate firm before branching out on
his own. The local real estate board is the student's best
source of information on possible openings. Remuneration
is usually on a commission basis.
A college degree is not usually required to enter real estate
work, but specialized technical training is desirable, and a
good general education stressing English and mathematics
will help. With experience, a real estate salesman may
develop a specialty—real estate appraisal, real estate law,
property management, or farm land brokerage, for example.
To protect the client, most States require the licensing of
real estate brokers and salesmen, and some require candidates
to pass a competency test. Information on States that
require licensing and on real estate courses offered by universities and professional groups can be obtained from a
pamphlet, "Preparing for the Real Estate Business," issued
by the National Association of Real Estate Boards, 22 West
Monroe Street, Chicago 3, 111.

Research is the key to new knowledge. It is the solid
foundation on which scientific, historical, and psychological
discoveries are based, and the touchstone by which every new
hypothesis or theory must be tested before acceptance. No
field of work offers more satisfying results—and none is more
exacting in its requirements of accuracy, patience, and
objectivity. The novice in research must expect to work
anonymously, usually as the member of a team.
Research jobs in almost any field of specialization are open
to college women who are properly trained in research techniques. Some executives consider women superior to men as
research workers, and a woman can reach the top rank on a
research staff.
The survey of women in administrative positions reported in
the Harvard Business Review (Jan.-Feb. 1953) found a growing
404508°— 0 4


appreciation of women in research positions in large establishments of many kinds: Technical research positions in the
laboratories of big food and chemical companies; statistical
and economic research jobs in nearly all large business organizations. There are also research positions connected with
magazines, advertising firms, national political party organizations, and the large foundations. The Government employs many research workers, as do colleges and universities.
A girl who plans to become a research worker will need a
sound background in methodology and statistics, combined
with specialization in a subject-matter field such as one of the
social sciences. Research techniques developed in one field
of study can usually be utilized in other fields.

Secretarial Work
Many cities report a chronic shortage of first-class secretaries, and a college-trained woman who has mastered typing
and shorthand can become a secretary far excellence, especially
if she majored in English.
Among college women, a secretarial job has been regarded
traditionally as a springboard to many kinds of professional
and executive jobs—for example, in the publishing or banking
business, and in editorial and personnel work. However, it
may take as much ability, determination, and initiative for a
college woman to advance into professional work with
secretarial experience as without it.
A recent analysis of openings for college women as secretaries in New York City, made by a firm of management consultants, appeared in the Journal of College Placement for May
1955. A college graduate without experience can qualify,
according to this article, for a job as clerk, receptionist, or
typist; with 1 year's experience, for a secretarial job; with 3
to 5 years' experience, for a job as executive secretary—usually among the highest paying jobs in the clerical field.


A woman who has taken some stenographic courses in the
legal or medical field may also be able to earn a higher salary
than the average secretary.
The Institute for Certifying Secretaries admits a college
graduate to examination on the basis of 3 years' experience;
a graduate of a business college or junior college, with 4 years'
experience; or a high-school graduate, with 6 years' experience.
The National Secretaries Association offers secretaries the
advantages of a professional association. Its aim is to raise
the standards of secretarial work through social and educational activities.

Securities Merchandising
Several hundred women are classified by the Association of
Stock Exchange Firms as "registered representatives" of
member firms. These women brokers have passed an examination in analysis of balance sheets, earnings statements, and
procedures in purchase and sale of securities; and they have
agreed to maintain a high standard of ethics in dealings with
those who buy and sell securities. Some women are general
partners of member firms, and others are "limited partners"
(supplying capital only). In 1956 a woman became the
president and board chairman of a brokerage house in the
New York Stock Exchange.
This type of work requires an analytical mind and an aptitude for mathematics. Good contacts with institutions which
specialize in investment research and fund investment are an
asset. T o a large extent, success in this field is dependent on
the customer's confidence in the broker. As stocks and bonds
are often bought and sold over the telephone, integrity, good
judgment, and quick comprehension are important qualities.
In order to be able to give investment advice to those who
need it, a broker should have a broad enough background in
economics and history to be able to understand and interpret
business trends.


Financial remuneration is determined by the amount of
business the broker produces. A tremendous field for development, and one where women brokers should be especially
successful, is that of advising women on investments.
The New York Stock Exchange is the leading organization
for marketing the securities listed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission. Its member firms have offices in
some 425 cities in the United States, and a few in other
countries. There are, in addition, 14 other registered stock
exchanges in the United States.

Social Work*
Social work, like nursing and teaching, attracts women
who value the opportunity to be of service to others. For
this field, a master's degree is desirable, based on 2 years of
study in an accredited school of social work. However,
many social-work agencies make a practice of taking liberalarts graduates as case aides and helping them to complete
their graduate training through a work-study or scholarship plan. The added maturity and experience gained
through such a plan are an asset in social work.
For this field a broad liberal-arts foundation is indicated,
with stress on social sciences such as economics, sociology,
psychology, anthropology, and history; and on biological
sciences. English and statistics are valuable tools, and at
least one foreign language is desirable, as well as orientation
courses in social work.
Specialties in the social-work field offer a wide range of
choice. The original social-work field—casework—is still the
largest, with opportunities throughout the country in communities of all sizes. The social caseworker is the backbone
of the social agency, whether public or private; she may
specialize in work with families or with children.
*See Additional References.


Both medical and psychiatric social work are rapidly
expanding fields. For example, in hospitals, clinics, and
health centers, medical social workers work with doctors
and nurses to help patients or their families deal with personal problems resulting from illness or disability. Opportunities for advancement are good. Over two-thirds of all
social workers are women. The Council on Social Work
Education reported thousands of vacancies in 1956.
Other specializations in social work include group work;
community organization; and administration, teaching, research. Some of the newest and most rapidly expanding
branches are group work in youth-serving agencies, schools,
and hospitals, and work with the aged; and community organization work with community chests, welfare councils, socialservice exchanges, and volunteer bureaus. Most positions
in these specialties are in the larger cities.

More women are engaged in the various fields of teaching
than in any other professional occupation. In 1950, the
Bureau of the Census reported:
of women

Teachers (not elsewhere classified)
College presidents,






M u s i c teachers and musicians


A r t teachers and artists


Dancing teachers and dancers


Sports instructors and officials


A demand for more well-qualified teachers is assured for
some years to come. Beginning with 1952, each year has
brought large increases in school enrollments. By 1960,
when the first group of postwar children reach the ninth
grade, the 4 million babies born in 1954 will be ready for
kindergarten. Thus, the need for additional teachers, first


felt in the elementary schools, will soon be equally acute in
the secondary schools, and the colleges and universities.
The National Education Association estimates that some
175,000 new, fully qualified teachers would have been required in the fall of 1956 to take care of increased enrollments
and teacher losses, to reduce teacher loads to acceptable
standards, and to make a reasonable reduction in the number of emergency teaching certificates.5 To meet this need,
it was estimated that 106,411 men and women graduated
from colleges and universities in 1956 would be prepared to
meet the certificate requirements of their States. This was
an increase of not quite 10 percent over 1955. The number
prepared to teach in elementary schools rose only slightly
(3.1 percent), but the number equipped to teach in secondary
schools showed a substantial rise of 15.4 percent. This increase applied to all fields of teaching and was especially
marked in the fields of science and mathematics, where the
teaching shortage has been most acutely felt.
A 4-year college course as the minimum standard preparation for teaching at any level has gained rapid acceptance
during recent years. A bachelor's degree is now the minimum
educational requirement in more than half of the States for
new teachers wishing to obtain a regular certificate at the
elementary-school level. For a high-school certificate, a college
degree is required in 45 States, with a specified number of
semester hours in professional education and also in the teaching fields selected. The State requirements in professional
education range from 9 hours to 27 hours, in addition to
practice teaching under supervision.6
To become a college instructor the undergraduate should
specialize in a selected field and then work toward a master's
degree. The student who plans to become a college professor
will need a doctoral degree and a number of years of teaching
6 " A Brief Summary of the 1956 Teacher Supply and Demand Report," The Journal of
Teacher Education, March 1956.
6 A Manual on Certification Requirements for School Personnel in the United States.
National Education Association of the United States, 1201 Sixteenth St., N.W., Washington 6, D . C. 1955 edition. 176 pp. $ 2 .


experience at the college level. Many colleges and universities offer a limited number of teaching fellowships and
part-time assistantships for graduate students. (See page
College women, even if they do not intend to teach, would
be well advised to include in their major field of specialization
the basic subject-matter courses required for teaching.
This is a superior sort of occupational insurance, as the demand for well-qualified teachers continues to grow.

Writing and Editing
The writing field covers dozens of occupations, of which
literary authorship is only one. The 6,059 women classified
as authors in 1950 are far outnumbered by the 28,595 women
editors and reporters.
Most young college graduates
whose interests lie in the writing field are wise to plan on
acquiring some years of experience on a salaried basis before
attempting to market their own products as free-lance
Newspapers and magazines, advertising firms, and radio
and television stations can usually take their choice of the
graduating class as trainees, so superior preparation is a
great asset. Usually newspapers prefer journalism graduates
or persons who obtained practical training on the staff of a
college periodical.
There are many other writing jobs that offer a good future.
A college girl who wants to be a writer will greatly improve
her job prospects by building up a second strong specialty.
Whatever field she chooses—art, history, home economics,
languages, psychology, the sciences—will open up a whole
new field of possibilities. Journalism courses are one approach, but not necessarily the only one. A fashion designer
or nutrition expert may get a writing job as readily as the
graduate of a journalism course.


Writers and editors are employed on the trade journals and
company publications published by manufacturing, trade,
business, and public utility firms; on religious, farm, and
children's magazines; and in government agencies to prepare
reports, bulletins, and articles.7

Publicity and public relations work have provided a
rapidly expanding field for writers within the past generation.
Most organizations and firms have a public relations staff,
and every Government agency has its information specialists. Requirements for this field vary with the job, but
usually include facility in writing and speaking, a liking for
people, and a flair for new and graphic turns of expression.

There is a large and steady market for experienced editorial
workers, as practically all publications—books, magazines,
newspapers—pass through the hands of an editorial staff.
An inexperienced person may start as editorial clerk or assistant. A liberal arts background is desirable, with emphasis on
English usage and writing techniques. Knowledge of printers'
terms and printing processes, layout and design, and proofreading may be acquired through courses in journalism or on
the job. Editors often do a good deal of writing, but except
at the top level they are likely to work anonymously or as
members of a team.

Technical writing and editing
Some interesting opportunities exist for the woman who
combines proficiency in almost any scientific, technical, or
7 Middlebrook, L. Ruth.
Careers for English Majors.
Washington Square, N. Y . 1954.

New York University Press,


engineering field with a thorough training in writing and
editing techniques.
Technical editors are needed by firms publishing technical
books, professional journals in every branch of science, and
trade journals. The technical editor has become essential to
almost all organizations engaged in research and development. For this field, skill in the use of language as a means
of communication must be acquired together with training in
mathematics, photography, drawing, and the construction of
tables and charts.
There is a wide field, also, for writers with a technical background who can present new scientific developments in nontechnical language for the general reader.
To equip students for highly technical editing, at least one
engineering school offers a course leading to the degree
"master of science with a major in technical writing."
Candidates must hold the bachelor's degree in science or
engineering and must continue this training at the graduate
level. In addition, the students receive a thorough grounding in writing and editing.8
8 See Journal of Engineering Education, " A Curriculum for Technical Editors," by Christian K. Arnold, Nov. 1954; "Graduate Curriculum in Technical Writing," by S. P. Olmsted,
Mar. 1955.



Job-Finding Techniques
T H E STEPS involved in getting a job include some or all of
the following:
1. Preparing a personal folder
2. Canvassing the possibilities
3. Submitting an application
4. Making the most of the interview
5. Choosing your job
6. Reaching an agreement with the employer

Preparing a Personal Folder
Gather together pertinent information on yourself and your
qualifications to be taken on interviews, sent with letters of
application, or supplied upon request. Obtain several copies
of all your papers, since you will probably have to leave a set
with each application. Clean copies of all typed material
should be available. Smudged, wrinkled carbons or a date
long past give a very poor impression. If you ask to have
your papers returned, you should supply a self-addressed envelope of the proper size and with sufficient postage.
Your personal folder should contain—
**a resume of your training, experience, and other details.

A sample

form and suggestions for preparing this resume are given on page 34.
**a detailed list of your courses, with emphasis on those that qualify you
for the type of position you want.
**your official academic record, or transcript of credits, if the registrar's
office of your college will supply it to you.

Some colleges will send a

transcript only to the prospective employer.
charge to you for this.


There may be a small


**copies of any published news reports of awards you have received or
important professional or academic achievements; published stories,
articles, or technical papers you have written; or examples of art

Clippings should show source and date,


T h e employer will usually ask for these.

Before you

use anyone's name as a reference it is businesslike and courteous to
request his permission to do so.

M a k e sure that all names are

spelled correctly and that addresses and official titles are up to date
and given in full.
**any other pertinent data.

It is probably not necessary to give such

personal or irrelevant information as your religious affiliation; if an
employer wishes to know, he will ask you.

In fact, the Federal and

certain State governments are not permitted to require such information.

If you supply a photograph, it should be small (about 2 " x

3 " ) and show only your head, with no hat.

If the neckline of your

dress shows, it should be of the tailored, business-dress type rather
than the low-necked, formal variety.




Allow plenty of time to prepare your resume.
highly important to an employer's decision.

It will be

Under student activities, list any offices you have held in your class,



and special-interest


These often reveal potentialities for leadership, financial management, or
Under work experience,

list briefly tutoring and part-time work in

college offices, libraries, laboratories, or residence halls; also vacation jobs
(as camp counselor, for example); military service; and unpaid work such
as teaching in church school, working with Girl Scouts, etc.

Attach an

extra page if you need to do so.
Special skills and interests are important.

Such skills as typing, driving

a car, using a foreign language, or playing a musical instrument may
provide the extra factor that tips the scales in your favor.





N a m e (Miss)
(Mrs.) __
Current address
Permanent address

Date of birth


D a t e available to start work

Secondary school

Dates __
Dates __

Major _


Minor _
Scholarships ___


Academic honors and honor societies
Student activities







Nature of your work and whether part time or full time _ _
Starting date of job
Amount earned
Special skills and interests
Professional affiliations
List of accompanying documents

Closing date


Canvassing the Possibilities
Next, make a preliminary canvass of prospective positions.
For this, you may wish to—
**register with one or more employment agencies, such as your college
placement bureau, the local office of the State employment service,
a commercial employment agency, or the placement office of any
professional organization

to which you





important source of job leads for women newly graduated from
college is their college or university placement bureau, according to
a recent study made by the Women's Bureau.
**make contact with former employers, if you have worked before, and
you think they might have an opening for you.
**file for civil-service examinations (Federal, State, municipal) at the
appropriate civil-service agency.
**scan the "help wanted" advertisements in newspapers and professional

These will give you a realistic idea of current openings

and salary rates in some fields.
**ask for suggestions from friends and relatives who may be in a position
to know of openings.
**attend interviews



Some time in your senior year you

may be interviewed by representatives of large firms or of the
Federal Government who visit colleges in search of promising June

T o be in readiness for such meetings, it is advisable to

prepare your personal folder early in the year.

Find out as much as you can about each job in which you
are interested. You will want to check the requirements of
these jobs against your qualifications carefully and objectively. If you decide to apply, and the employer considers
your application seriously, he will proceed to evaluate your
abilities in the light of the duties he wants performed. If
you lack some of the requirements, he may think that they
can be developed on the job or that the lack may be offset
by other qualifications you possess.

Submitting an Application
When you have some leads—or at least one—you are
ready to approach an employer. You will probably do this


by letter or by telephone, stating briefly your interest in a
job and your qualifications, and requesting an interview.

The letter of application
The employer may receive dozens of applications in any
given week; what do you want him to remember about
yours? It is more likely to receive consideration if the
**is addressed to an individual b y name, rather than merely to the firm.
If you do not know whom to address, your first inquiry (by letter or
telephone) may properly be merely a request for this information.
**shows a genuine interest in the work of the organization and in the
position for which you are applying.
**points out how your qualifications meet the specifications for this
particular job.
**is brief (all on one page).

Y o u r resume can be enclosed



letter to supply the details on your background.
**is neatly typewritten and conforms to good letter-writing


The approach by telephone
This is useful especially—
**to arrange for an appointment.
**to ask for routine information.
**when quick action is necessary, as in the case of a job that has been
open for some time and will soon be closed to further applications.
**when requested b y the employer in an advertisement or through a
placement agency.

If you are asked to give your qualifications over

the phone, send a confirming letter enclosing your resume.


want to be sure that the record of your application is complete and

Making the Most of the Interview
When you are granted an interview, you have the opportunity of showing the employer, or the person representing
him, that you are the person for the job. He will be in control
of the interview, and will probably ask most of the questions.


Listen attentively to everything he tells you about the firm
and its work, in order to make up your mind whether you
would like the job.
A good first impression is essential. This means not only
good grooming and neatness, but a courteous and alert
It is desirable to—
**be on time for the interview.

This is a " m u s t " for you, but sometimes

a busy executive will have to keep you waiting.

Be prepared to

wait if necessary.
**know enough about the firm so that you can show an informed interest
in it.


sure you have the name of your interviewer.


necessary, ask his secretary for it.

relevant questions about the work, indicating your interest in

what you can contribute as well as in what the employer can offer
you in salary, working hours, vacations, etc.
**show frankly that you want the position, and why.
**be concise and direct in your answers to questions.
**be responsive to any signal that the interview is over.

"After the interview, if the employer does not get in touch
with you within the time he specified, it is generally appropriate to follow up on your application, perhaps by offering
to provide additional information about your qualifications.
Remember, however, that there is a fine distinction between
showing the proper interest and making a nuisance of
If an application does not prove successful, you can still
profit by analyzing and improving your approach. You may
even decide to alter your objective or take additional training
before applying for another job. Or the interviewer may call
you later if a job develops for which he feels you are better

Choosing Your Job
If you are fortunate enough to have more than one job
offer, careful thought should go into your decision. There
are many factors—large and small—which can affect your


satisfaction with a job. Salary is not the only one, especially
if the difference between the starting pay of two jobs is small.
Other factors to be considered are—
**the opportunity

to learn, develop useful skills, and advance


**the people you meet on the job.
**distance from where you will be living, and expenditure of time and
money involved in transportation and lunches.
* * " f r i n g e " benefits in the form of vacation and sick leave; provisions
for hospitalization and other forms of insurance; and


**long-term satisfaction

in your contribution

to society

and to


advancement of your ideals.
**permanence and security over as long a period of time as you


need it.

You may find it helpful to draw up a chart for yourself,
comparing the advantages and disadvantages of each job
under consideration. The objective advice of qualified counselors, friends, and relatives may help you.
It is good business practice to keep a carbon copy of every
letter you send out. If your job should prove unsatisfactory,
you may want to follow up later on other leads. As you
move from one job to another, even if you stay with the
same firm, you should make a record of the date the job
started and ended, your salary, what you did on that job,
and the name and title of your supervisor.

Reaching an Agreement With the Employer
It is not safe to assume that the job is yours until you have
a definite job offer from the employer. Be sure you have
a clear understanding of what will be expected of you; when
and where to start work; and what your initial salary will be.
Once you have accepted a job, give it a fair trial. Give
it a little time to develop. It may prove to be one of the
most worthwhile experiences of your life, as well as a major
step toward a rewarding and successful career.

Some Practical Considerations
The Job Market
How is the young woman student to find a place for herself
among the 70 million men and women making up the Nation's
work force? Where should she look for a job that will offer
full scope to her training and abilities and be productive of
real values?
Personal leanings are important; so are some other considerations. The choice between two or more equally attractive professions may depend 011—
**status of the occupation.

An occupation which is expanding, i. e., elec-

tronics, may be easier to enter than one which is already stabilized;
but the stabilized occupation may offer greater security.
**status of zvomen in the occupation.

In professions where women pre-

dominate, such as nursing and teaching, well-qualified women are
always needed, and usually can advance to higher level jobs in the
course of time.

In professions where women are a small minority,

as in engineering, it may take more initiative and ingenuity (as well
as top qualifications) to get a foothold; but the woman who makes
the effort may find it highly rewarding.

In these days of rapid technological and cultural change,

it is an advantage to acquirc skills that can be used in more than one
occupation, or in an occupation that requires a variety of skills.
Facility with a typewriter may open the door to newspaper work, for
**general employment


When the economy as a whole is pros-

perous, jobs are plentiful in luxury and personal service



a recession, occupations meeting basic needs are usually the least



Although it is only one of several factors to be considered
in choosing an occupation, the subject of earnings is sure to
be of interest. It is desirable to consult advisers, experienced
persons in the profession, and available literature not only as
to starting pay but as to salary at various levels and prospects
for advancement.
In general, of course, a well-qualified woman with a sound
educational background will command a higher entrance
salary and will advance more rapidly than one with less
adequate preparation.
In this pamphlet, detailed information on remuneration
has been omitted for several reasons:9
(a) T h e

only nationwide

figures available on earnings are

issued b y the Bureau of the Census.


T h e latest census esti-

mates on earnings b y major occupational group are for 19SS.
Average earnings of women employed full time throughout the
year were 3 3 , 5 0 0 in professional and technical occupations and
2 3 , 0 6 5 in clerical and related occupations.

T h e latest data on

earnings in individual occupations b y educational level are for
the decennial census of 1950.
(b) Average earnings are likely to be misleading, as they conceal the
extremely wide range of individual salaries.

Examples of spec-

tacular instances of high earnings are even more


especially to a person looking for her first j o b .
(c) Differences between rural and urban rates, and between


geographical area and another, introduce endless complications.

Other considerations which may influence the choice of a
job are retirement programs, job security provisions, and any
special benefits (health and insurance plans, profit-sharing
plans, and so forth) which the company or organization offers.
Although these may not seem significant in selecting a first
job, they become more important later.
9 However, starting rates under Federal civil service, which are established by law and
apply throughout the country, are given on pages 8-9.


College students may wish to consider several alternative
types of employment within their field of specialization. For
example, they may wish to become teachers, or to work in
private industry, or to work for the Government or for a
nonprofit organization. Chapter 1 offers some suggestions to
aid their thinking. What data are available indicate that
there are significant differences in probable earnings among
these fields of employment.
A social scientist, for example, may enter the educational field,
private industry, or Government employment.

A 1952 study by the

Bureau of Labor Statistics (Bulletin 1169) supplies data on the earnings of 15,000 social scientists and 7,800 humanists in 14



most of these specializations, salaries were higher in colleges and universities than in other educational institutions, in Federal Government than in State and local government, in private industry than
in nonprofit organizations.
Graduate study is the most direct road to professional advancement in the social sciences.
generation ago.

It is more essential now than it was a

T h e Ph. D . group, on the average, earned consider-

ably more than the groups with only the master's or bachelor's degree.








raphy— median salaries were from 31,500 to 31,800 higher for the
Ph. D . ' s than for those having master's degrees.

T h e percentage of

workers who were women ranged from 24 percent in anthropology
to 6 percent in economics.

T h e highest paid women were economists

with the Ph. D . degree.

Graduate Study
As the number of college graduates in the population
increases, graduate degrees become more and more essential
for professional advancement. Many new graduates who
hope eventually to continue their studies, however, prefer to
gain some work experience first, and in many fields, such as
social work and teaching, this is encouraged. The important
thing is to recognize the various alternatives and to have in
mind a plan which is firm enough to prevent drifting and
flexible enough to allow room for growth and change.


Ways to finance advanced study can usually be found by
persons of ability and determination. There are various possibilities : Research or study fellowships, teaching fellowships,
special loan funds, and part-time jobs. Twenty-five percent
of all graduate students in the United States received financial assistance in April 1954 in the form of fellowships, teaching and research assistantships.10 Many social-welfare and
health agencies have resources to help staff members undertake part-time study or to provide for educational leave.
Some business firms encourage career employees to take special training, and may help finance such training.

Governmentfello wships
Government funds are available for graduate study and
research fellowships in certain fields. Through the National
Institutes of Health, Division of Research Grants and Fellowships, Bethesda, Md., the Federal Government awards fellowships for graduate work at predoctoral and postdoctoral levels.
These fellowships are for research in public health, medical,
dental, nursing, and related health fields including mental
health, cancer, and heart disease.
For research in the natural and physical sciences, the
National Science Foundation awarded 715 predoctoral fellowships for 1955-56.
Grants for study abroad were awarded to 979 American
students in 1955 under the State Department's Educational
Exchange Program. The majority of these grants were under
the Fulbright Act of 1946. The fields represented include
the various branches of physical and natural science, social
science, the humanities, and education.

Nongovernment fellowships
Most colleges and universities that grant advanced degrees
have some teaching fellowships for qualified graduates. In
10 "Highlights of a Survey of Graduate Student Enrollments, Fellowships, and Assistantships, 1954." Scientific Manpower Bulletin, National Science Foundation, July 29, 1955.


this way a graduate student can be self-supporting while working for her master's or doctor's degree and acquiring teaching
experience. Many institutions also award a certain number
of full-time study fellowships. For example, the Harvard
School of Public Health has initiated a scholarship program
to encourage graduates in medicine, dentistry, veterinary
medicine, public health nursing, health education, and other
health services to specialize in public health and preventive
Grants for graduate study may also be obtained from other
sources, such as private foundations, women's organizations,
national sororities, and religious and civic groups. The
General Federation of Women's Clubs and the American
Association of University Women, for example, have extensive
fellowship programs.

Sources of information
Fellowships for graduate study, as well as undergraduate
scholarships, are available for study at one or more institutions of higher education in almost every State. These are
listed in a catalog issued by the Office of Education,12 showing
the money value of the fellowships, and other necessary information.
Information on sources of research and training fellowships
in the social sciences can be obtained from the Social Science
Research Council (726 Jackson Place, NW., Washington,
D. C.); and on research fellowships in economic, political,
and social sciences from Brookings Institute (722 Jackson
Place NW., Washington, D. C.)
Information on what fellowships are offered in your field of
study, and how to apply for them, may be obtained through
your own college or from the appropriate professional association.
11 "Opportunities for Women in Medicine," Journal of the American Medical
Association 10: 177-179 (May 1955).
12 Scholarships and Fellowships Available at Institutions of Higher Education.


Degrees earned by women
In all fields, a total of 103,799 women received the bachelor's degree (or first professional degree, including M. D.
and D. D. S.) in 1954—55.13 The master's degree was earned
by 19,464 women, and the doctor's degree was earned by 826
women. This means that one woman earns a doctor's
degree for every 25 women who earn a master's degree.
Twenty-nine percent of the graduate students enrolled in
1955 were women.
Three-fourths of all school teachers are women, and the
number of women receiving the bachelor's degree in education in 1954-55 was five times as large as the number of men
(36,000 compared with 7,500). Nevertheless, only one-fifth
as many women as men (228 compared with 1,128) received
the doctor's degree in education.

Marriage and Career
According to a recent survey, 80 percent of the women
graduates from college were employed a few months after
graduation, most of them on a full-time basis. Nearly half
of the remainder were full-time students (and presumably
intended to practice their professions later). Most of the
others were full-time homemakers. These figures are based
on a survey of women graduates of June 1955, made by the
Women's Bureau and the National Vocational Guidance
Experience shows that many of the employed graduates
will later become full-time homemakers; and that quite a few
homemakers will return to employment, either full time or
part time.
According to decennial census figures, 28 percent of all
women 25 years of age and over were working in 1950; among
13 Earned Degrees Conferred by Higher Educational Institutions, 1954-55.
Education, U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. 1955.

Office of


college graduates, 47 percent were working. In fact, in each
of the age groups 25 years and older, the proportion of college
women who were in the labor force was significantly higher
than the proportion of all women in the labor force (chart 1).

C H A R T 1 . — P E R C E N T OF C O L L E G E W O M E N A N D OF A L L W O M E N IN S P E C I FIED A G E G R O U P S W H O W E R E IN T H E L A B O R F O R C E ,



All Women

Women with 4 years
or more of colleae

Age Group 5

a a ? s s s s














o C

S S 3
o o -S- o o









Source: U. S. Bureau of the Census.

Women students may wisely plan their courses with a
view to qualifying themselves for a job which will satisfy
them. Training of this type is advantageous either for
employment for a few years after college, or for a career that
may develop into professional achievement of a high order,
or for a continuing interest that may at any time be reconverted into profitable employment.


There are various ways for a woman with a profession or
specialized skill to keep in touch with her field during the
years when homemaking and motherhood take most of her
She can retain her membership in professional associations, subscribe to technical journals,





perhaps attend annual conferences.
She can find some way to practice her skills.

For example, a

pianist might play accompaniments for a dancing class, a teacher
might do tutoring or serve as a substitute teacher.
Whatever her specialty, the professional woman might do independent research, writing, or consultation work on a part-time basis.

If, then, she becomes a full-time worker again at any time,
her knowledge and skills will be up to date and ready for use.

Women on the Job
OUR complex modern society has created a vast number
of specialized jobs and occupations, and women work in
most of them.
To provide some perspective on the situation, a summary
is given here of the occupations of women—and especially
college women—in the economy of the United States,
Only once in 10 years are nationwide figures available on
the detailed occupations of women. Our information, therefore, is based on reports of the decennial census of 1950,
issued by the U. S. Bureau of the Census.

Occupations of Employed Women
Educational background appears to be an important factor in determining whether or not a woman is employed in
a professional capacity.
The circle charts (see chart 2) show the occupational distribution in 1950 of employed women 25 years of age and
over at three educational levels.

Professional and technicaljobs
The majority of women college graduates who were in
the work force were in the professional and technical group—
72 percent. Among those with 1 to 3 years of college training, 36 percent were in this group, and among those with no
college training, only 4 percent.

Clerical and related work
Women with 1 to 3 years of college training were equally
divided between clerical work and professional work, with



more than one-third in each. Clerical work also drew 16
percent of the college graduates. Among the employed
women without college training, or with less than 1 year, 23
percent were clerical workers; but this group is much larger
numerically than the college groups.














With 4 Years or More of College

With 1 to 3 Years of College

With No Years of College Training

At All Educational Levels,
Combined 12,074,070

Source: U. S. Bureau of the Census.



College women seldom are employed in operative jobs, but
one-fourth of the employed women without college training
work as operatives, mostly in factories.

Managers, proprietors, and officials
This is the only major occupational group for women that
shows no relationship to level of education. Only a small
percent of the employed women at any educational level were
in the managerial group: 4.4 percent of the college graduates;
6.8 percent of those with 1 to 3 years of collcge; and 5.2
percent of the noncollegc women. The explanation may lie
in the wide range of occupations in this group, which includes
the woman who manages a lodging house as well as the head
of a bank.

Women in Professional Occupations
Nearly 2 million women were employed in 1950 in the 56
occupations listed under "professional, technical, and kindred
workers." This was about 1 in 8 of all women then employed.
Four-fifths of the professional women were employed in
seven occupations, as—
school teachers
professional nurses
musicians and music teachers
social workers (all types)
accountants and auditors
medical and dental technicians

In each of these seven occupations, the number of women
employed was at least 10,000 more in 1950 than in 1940.
Two other occupations also gained over 10,000 women during
the decade—
artists and art teachers
editors and reporters


Half a dozen other occupations, which had never before
been sufficiently important to be listed separately, were each
employing from 5,000 to 50,000 women by 1950—
dietitians and nutritionists
testing technicians
personnel and labor-relations workers
social scientists
recreation and group workers
natural scientists (not elsewhere classified)

Rapidly expanding employment opportunities for women
were indicated in some other professional and technical
occupations, where the number of women more than doubled
from 1940 to 1950. These include some fields which formerly
were chiefly entered by men—



radio operators





Additional information on the numbers of women employed
in professional occupations can be found in Women's Bureau
Bulletin 253, "Changes in Women's Occupations, 1940-1950."
This report also gives information on women employed as
managers, proprietors, and officials; in clerical work, crafts,
and farming; as sales workers; and in service occupations.
The 1956 Handbook on Women Workers (Women's Bureau
Bulletin 261) gives trends in women's employment and
occupations as of April 1956.

College Women in the National Economy
College graduates account for nearly half of all women in
professional, technical, and kindred occupations; women with
1 to 3 years of college training account for another fourth.
The remaining fourth includes many nurses who obtained
their training in a hospital school.


Percent of employed women 25 years of age
and over who have—
4 or more years
of college

Occupation group
All occupations

No college


Clerical workers.











Professional, technical workers.

1 to 3 years
of college









Farmers and farm m a n a g e r s . -




Craftsmen, foremen __










(except f a r m ) _





All other


_ _ _ _ _

*0r less than 1 year; also includes those not reporting school attainment.
Source: U. S. Bureau of the Census.

1950 Census of Population.

Professional women are recruited chiefly from the colleges,
universities, and professional schools. On the graduates of
these schools, past, present, and future, rests a major responsibility for the record of professional women in the United
States—their performance, their advance, and their overall

Additional References
U . S. Civil Service Commission, Washington 25, D . C.
After College . . . W h a t ?

Oct. 1955.

Federal Careers, a directory for college students.
Futures in the Federal Government.


Pamphlet 30.

6 0 cents.

Oct. 1955.

U . S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Washington 25,
D . C.
United States Census of Population, 1950.
5B, Education.


Special Report P E , N o .

6 0 cents.

Vol. II, Characteristics of the Population, Part I, United
States Summary.



U . S. Department of Defense (in cooperation with Department of Labor).
Careers for W o m e n in the Armed Forces.


U . S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of Education,
Washington 25, D . C.




Dec. 1955.



Education for the Professions.


Girls' and Women's Occupations.
Sept. 1954.





Selected References, July 1 9 4 8 -

35 cents.

Scholarships and Fellowships Available at Institutions of Higher

Bull. 1951, N o . 16.

55 cents.

U . S. Department of Labor, Washington 25, D . C.



Service for Youth.


Dec. 1954.

Bureau of Labor Statistics



(in cooperation


Bull. 1169.





30 cents.


with Department




70 cents.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (in cooperation with Veterans' Administration).

Occupational Outlook Handbook: Employment Infor-

mation on M a j o r Occupations for Use in Guidance.
1951 ed., $3.

(1957 ed. in preparation.)

Bull. N o . 998.


Women's Bureau.
Changes in W o m e n ' s Occupations, 1940-1950.

Bull. 253.


Bull. 2 3 4 - 2 .


35 cents.
Employment Opportunities Series:

Bull. 2 3 4 - 1 .


25 cents.

Food-Service Managers and Supervisors.
20 cents.
Medical Technologists.
Occupational Therapists.
Physical Therapists.

Bull. 2 0 3 - 4 .

Bull. 2 0 3 - 1 .

Professional Accounting.


Bull. 2 0 3 - 2 .

Bull. 258.

Professional Engineering.

25 cents.



Bull. 254.

20 cents.

20 cents.
20 cents.


20 cents.

Professional Nursing Occupations. Bull. 2 0 3 - 3 .

1953. 30 cents.

Social Work—General Summary.


Bull. 2 3 5 - 8 .

30 cents.

Also, Bull. 235, N o . 1 (medical social work, 25 cents), N o . 2
(psychiatric social work, 25 cents), N o . 3 (case work with
children, 25 cents), N o . 4 (case work with families, 30 cents),
N o . 5 (community organization, 20 cents), N o . 6 (administration, teaching, and research, 25 cents), and N o . 7 (social group
work, 20 cents).
W o m e n Mathematicians and Statisticians.

Bull. 262.


Employment After College: Report on W o m e n Graduates, Class of



W o m e n of the 84th Congress.


W o m e n in the Federal Service.


1956 Handbook on Women Workers.

(In press.)
Bull. 261.


U . S. Department of State, Washington 25, D . C.
N e w Opportunities in the United States Foreign Service.
Service Series 39.

Reprint 1955.


15 cents.

(U. S.) National Science Foundation, Washington 25, D . C.
Education and Employment Specialization in 1952 of June 1951
College Graduates.

Sept. 1955.




U. S. Government Printing

35 cents.

can be purchased from

the Superintendent

Office, Washington


25, D. C., at

prices listed, with a discount of 25 percent on orders of 100 copies or more.
Publications for which no price is listed may be obtained from the designated



Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102