A Degree Of Wealth

A-Degree-Of-WealthQuestion: The salary of a graduate in medicine is how much more than that of a graduate of one of the creative arts?

Answer: £21,000 – The courses which offer the highest potential earnings are law, medicine, economics and engineering.

This week the results of a study by researchers at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the Institute of Education and the universities of Cambridge and Harvard were published.  The report reveals how the salaries of graduates compare to one another and to those of non-graduates, with some interesting – though not terribly surprising – results. At Education Quizzes our aim is to get the very best out of your child so, to keep you informed of how the choices they make may affect their prospects in later life, here are a few of the key findings of the study.

Graduates earn between £8,000 and £9,000 more than their non-graduate counterparts.  They are also much less likely to be out of work for long periods of time. That may seem obvious to you but is it something your child is aware of?

The university you attend also has an effect on your future income. Graduates of the London School of Economics earn the most followed by alumni of Oxford and Cambridge.  10% of men with degrees from one of these three institutions are earning in excess of £100,000 per year by their early 30s. This comes as little surprise. These titans of academia dominate the University League Table for 2016.

At the opposite end of the scale there were 23 universities (their names have not been revealed) whose former male students went on to earn less than the average for non-graduates. Women fared a little better with only 9 universities doing as poorly. Clearly, the choice of university is an important one.

Another factor in potential income is the course studied.  The highest earners are graduates in economics, medicine, law and engineering. To give you an idea, a man who studied medicine earns £21,000 more each year than his equivalent who studied one of the creative arts.  There are some very fortunate artists, writers, actors and musicians who hit the big time and do very well for themselves.  However, most earn very little and may wish they’d heeded their parents’ advice and gone to law school instead!

The report also revealed some inequalities which linger on from the past.  As you will have noticed in the statistics already discussed, male graduates earn more than female ones.  Surely in this day and age women should be earning just as much as men, but alas not so. This is an outrage, affecting as it does 50% of the population.  But there is a discrepancy which affects a staggering 80% of us…

Graduates who come from the wealthiest fifth of the population earn 30% more than their fellow students – even if they studied the same course at the same university. To quote the report’s author, the research economist Jack Britton:

“The advantages of coming from a high-income family persist for graduates right into the labour market.”

If you’d like to know more, then you’ll find answers to your education questions in the Education Quizzes Knowledge Bank. We have a library of articles aimed at finding answers to the questions asked by parents. As well as covering all aspects of education, from the Early Years Foundation Stage all the way up to university, it also has tonnes of information and advice on parenting issues, such as promoting self-confidence in children and protection from online dangers. It’s well worth a visit.

Despite the inequalities exposed in the above mentioned report, it is undeniable that those who graduate from university do much better financially than those who do not.  We may assume that our children know this but it won’t hurt just to check. If they understand the advantages of universities they are much more likely to want to go to one!

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