Graduates enjoy earnings bonus, but only in certain sectors

Graduates enjoy earnings bonus, but only in certain sectors

A degree from a UK university increases a person’s net earnings by £100k or more on average over their lifetime, according to new research. 

The research, carried out by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), shows the majority of graduates are better off for going to university and are empowered to make informed career choices.

On average women’s earnings increase by £100k with a degree and for men the increase is £130k over the course of their working life – after student loan payments and taxes are factored in.

Graduates will earn on average 20% more over their working life than those who did not go to university.

As well as boosting job and salary prospects, the benefits are wider for example studying subjects such as nursing or education is essential for public services.

Dr Tim Bradshaw Chief Executive of the Russell Group said: “The economic value of quality higher education is clear, benefiting both the individual and the Exchequer. Alongside academic excellence, the overall university experience can have a transformative impact on people’s lives.”

However, the data also shows the wide variations in earnings potential. Whereas women earn more £250k more than non-graduate counterparts in law, economics or medicine, creative arts and languages graduates on average earn the same as non-graduates.

For men there is an even larger spread of returns, with negative average returns for men studying creative arts and social care, compared to average returns of around £500k for men studying medicine or economics.

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