University degrees that make you rich

Published on 26 November, 2017
University degrees that make you rich


There are many reasons why students attend institutes of higher learning. Some want to pursue a more in-depth understanding in a particular field. Others have strategically set their goals on their earning potential. Some have a family background in specific areas, and this shared interest directs their pursuits. It may be helpful to look at the statistics about earning potential of graduates in a variety of programs, as this knowledge may influence individuals in their choices.

Fields of Study Differences

From the Institute for Fiscal studies as reported by the BBC website , there are significant differences in the choices of study in earning potential. In this study, the earning potential of graduates 5 years after graduation was documented. The graduates of Medicine and Dentistry were at the top of the scales while the graduates of arts, mass communication and agriculture were at the bottom. The top wage earners earned £46,700, and the low wage earners earned £21,000. The difference is almost double for the high wage earners.

The ten top degrees of earning power were:

  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Veterinary Science
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Architecture
  • Computer Science
  • Languages
  • Law
  • Business

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Reputation of the Institution

Another way of looking at the situation is to realize that where you studied makes a difference as well. Students from the London School of Economics earned more than £40,000, while students attending dance and drama colleges had earnings close to £15,000. While a direct comparison is not to be made, the result is astounding.

Wage gap over time

And another statics is sobering as well. As individual careers progress, the trend is for the wage gap to grow over time, indicating that the lower wage bracket earners never catch up to their counterparts.

Gender gap

Although there are many strategies in place to counteract the gender gap, it still exists. After 5 years women earn about £25,000 while men earn about £28,500, a difference of about 14%. And over time it is likely this gap too will increase. It is true that females tend to cluster in creative arts, nursing, psychology and social sciences while males select architecture, computing, and engineering. But the 14% difference cannot be attributed to personal choice alone.

Socio-economic class

Students who attended the same course at the same university who can from a poor socio-economic class earned 10% less than their counterpart who was from a more wealthy socio-economic class.

In essence,

Students will ultimately make their own choices of what studies they will attend for degree programs due to a myriad of factors but knowing what happens after 5 years may give them some sobering thought. Often a passion can be transformed into an interest with a lucrative career supporting that interest. And sometimes a desire can lead to success beyond anyone's wildest dream, even from areas of study that on the average do not seem to be full of prosperity.

Put this to the test by asking a famous artist about their journey, what was their answer?

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