Why a degree doesn't mean higher pay


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Thousands of teenagers who leave school with just GCSEs are earning more than those who go on to complete a degree course, according to research published today.

Figures show 15 per cent of graduates earn less than the average for those who quit school at 16. One in five who are not qualified beyond A-level also earn more than the average graduate salary.

The research, published by the Office for National Statistics, also shows a fall in the overall earnings gap between degree holders and those with just A-levels or GCSEs.

On average, graduates still fare better, earning 85 per cent more than those with just GCSEs (or £16.10p an hour rather than £8.68p an hour). But the differential has dropped from 95 per cent in 1993.