Men in Ireland who have been through third level education earn 28% more than their female peers, according to a report published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The study also shows that the wage gap in Ireland between those who have a third level education and those who do not is considerably larger than the OECD average.
The report calculates that female graduates in Ireland earn on average around €80,000 less than male graduates over their lifetime. The new report ranks Ireland as having the largest gender pay gap among graduates of third level education among the OECD’s 36 member countries.
The report further suggests that the average financial benefits women receive during their lifetimes from attaining a third level education are about 22 times the cost of the degree, while for men they are 15 times the cost.
The study shows the number of women in Ireland who attend third level education is higher than men. 51% of women attend third level education, compared to 43% of men.
Adults with a bachelor’s degree earn in Ireland on average 81% more than those with upper secondary education, compared to 44% more on average across OECD countries.
Earnings for those with third level education are also shown to vary significantly according to age. 25-34 year-olds earn 42% more on average if they have completed a tertiary programme, compared to 71% more among 35-44 year-olds and 116% more among 45-54 year-olds.
Those with a master’s degree earn on average twice as much as those with upper secondary education.
In Ireland, 85% of graduates are employed, 11 percentage points higher than for those without a third level degree, according to the report.