NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The number of men working in education has declined steadily over the past ten years and shows no signs of slowing.
According to the executive director of Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Mike Krause, the current ratio of men to women in higher education is about 40-60. However, male students currently studying education even lower than that.
He says the data is alarming because not having male teachers can be harmful to male students.
"The data is very clear that having role models in the classroom that students can identify with is a huge accelerant for success," he said.
Whether the decline is caused by the low pay teachers receive or by an increase in jobs outside of education, Krause couldn't say. But, in general, the male population studying in colleges and universities is decreasing.
"64% of high school seniors, when they leave high school, they go on to enroll in one of our colleges. That always leads us to say who didn't go an why," he said.
Not all of the news is bleak. Meanwhile, the number of females attending college is growing, he says.
Krause said he doesn't understand the socioloy of the issue, but knows receiving higher education, even as much as a trade skill, can greatly improve a person's life.
"Going directly into the workforce with no prior knowledge here in Tennessee, the data tells us you'll make about $13,000," he said.