Post-graduate income levels likely to be determined by degree subject

Last updated: 30th September, 2013

degree qualificationArguably the main reason why people choose to study for a degree at university is to try and boost their chances of getting a well-paid job after graduation. In many cases, this is exactly what happens, but both employment opportunities and the level of pay are determined by the subject studied, which begs the question – do different degrees have different financial values?

According to Forbes, some degrees are almost completely worthless in terms of finding a job and getting a decent wage. They found that subjects such as archaeology, film, photography and fine art were likely to lead to low starting salaries of under £20,000 a year. They also said that degrees in petroleum engineering were most likely to lead to a massive wage, partly because it’s so dangerous!

Money isn’t everything

In the UK, graduate unemployment remains a hot topic. In this climate, simply getting a job can be seen as a victory, even if the pay is low. Nevertheless, it’s believed that graduates are likely to earn more than workers who don’t have a degree, but the pay in certain industries can vary greatly, thereby distorting figures in relation to average wages.

Officially, the average graduate wage is said to be approaching £26,000 a year, although that’s not the standard for many, especially those going into their first roles since gaining their degrees. Some top graduates from the most renowned universities in the country are being plucked by blue-chip firms in the City, and are paid far, far more than that.

Avoiding future trouble

If nothing else, graduates are at least less likely to fall into the trap of bankruptcy. As explained by, as people with degrees to their name are more likely to earn higher wages, they’re equally likely to have the means to stave off the threat of seeing their finances fall too deep into the red.

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