There simply isn’t enough money in a career as a veterinarian for many boys. The men are migrating towards banking while women are increasingly studying science and mathematics which sets them on a path to veterinary medicine. There is an extraordinarily high ratio of females to males applying for veterinary science degrees. The ratio is 7:1. The imbalance between males and females is greater than that in the teaching profession.
The number of men starting pre-clinical veterinary medicine degrees rose by 17% but for females the rise was 53% to 1,040 in this academic year.
Attitudes towards women becoming a veterinarian have changed. Although starting salaries for bankers are similar to those of veterinarians, bankers have a much higher pay on average than vets.
Jill Maddison, Prof of general practice at the Royal Veterinary College said:
“I think there are a number of factors [for the gender imbalance]: one is that men are going to other professions, particularly the finance industry. Veterinary science doesn’t have very high earnings compared with other similar industries such as law and medicine.”
Back in the old days some veterinary practices did not take women. Now girls are encouraged to do science and become a vet. It appears that at this age i.e. late teens, young women are more confident than men. This allows them to perform better at interviews and on open days. It doesn’t mean that women make better vets, however.
The profession needs to have both men and women because both genders bring something different to the work.
Alexander Davies, 24, is a student at the Royal Veterinary College. He says that he is the only male student on some of his courses. He says that women tend to be more emotionally mature at a younger age. And that most of his female friends on the course have been doing work experience since their early teens.
Bottom line: the men are chasing the money. The training is long and the job of a vet is arduous. It is less attractive to the modern young, ambitious Englishman than the finance industry.