The 10 best degree subjects if you want to make a lot of money after university

Graduates in creative arts and mass communications might find that their three years at uni is not worth the cash

Zlata Rodionova
Wednesday 13 April 2016 09:55
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IFS tracked the loan records of 260,000 students over a period of ten years until 2013
IFS tracked the loan records of 260,000 students over a period of ten years until 2013

Graduates of medicine and economics degrees are more likely to go on and earn a high salary, according to a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

But graduates in creative arts and mass communications might find that their three years at uni is not worth the cash.

IFS tracked the loan records of 260,000 students over a period of ten years until 2013, and found that what and where you study as well as your family background will have a significant impact on your income, a new report finds.

Male medical graduates could expect to earn an average salary of £50,000 after ten years, while male economics graduates said they could earn about £40,000.

Female medical students, with salaries significantly down compared to male graduates, were still the highest earners typically making £45,000 a year.

About 12 per cent of male economics graduates and 9 per cent of female economics graduates earned more than £100,000 ten years after graduation

Students studying the creative arts had the lowest earnings in comparison.

On average their salaries were not higher than those of non-graduates, at £17,900 for men and £14,500 for women.

Anne Vignoles of the University of Cambridge and one of the authors of the report said students should think carefully before choosing a subject.

“Higher education leads to much better earnings than those earned by non-graduates, although students need to realise that their subject choice is important in determining how much of an earnings advantage they will have,” Vignoles said.

Graduates, from wealthier backgrounds earn thousands more than their peers, the study also found.

The average gap in earnings between students from higher and lower income backgrounds is £8,000 a year for men and £5,300 a year for women, ten years after graduation.

Where you study will have an impact on your income, the IFS says.More than 10 per cent of male graduates from London School of Economics (LSE), Oxford and Cambridge earned the most.

LSE was the only institution with more than 10 per cent of its female graduates earning in excess of £100,000 a year ten years on.

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