From education to employment

Earnings continue to grow for recent graduates

The Universities Minister has welcomed figures out today which show that median earnings for recent graduates increased in 2016/17.

Earnings for recent graduates have continued to increase, reinforcing the financial benefits a degree can bring for the vast majority of students, new figures have revealed today (28 March).

The statistics published by the Department for Education show that median earnings in 2016/17 for graduates one and three years after completing a degree have increased from the previous year to £19,900 one year after graduating, and £23,300 three years after graduating. These earnings at one and three years also increased after being adjusted for inflation.

The figures are one part of the Government’s drive to make data more available than ever before to help inform students’ choices, and these statistics play a vital role in helping students and parents to understand the likely earnings and outcomes for different subjects.

However financial outcomes are just one of the considerations for students when choosing a degree subject, as students will make career choices not solely based on a likely graduate salary but also social value and job satisfaction.

Universities Minister Chris Skidmore said:

We now have record rates of English 18-year-olds going into higher education, so I am delighted to see that graduate earnings have continued to increase for recent graduates, showing that it pays to study in our world-class higher education system.

We want students and their parents to have the best possible information about higher education. This data is an invaluable tool to help prospective students make the right choice and know what to expect from the course they choose.

It is vital that we ensure that higher education carries on delivering for students, the taxpayer and the economy, and it will continue to do so as long as we focus relentlessly on quality in our system.

The data out today shows how earnings varied for different subjects in 2016/17 from one to ten years after graduating, from disciplines like creative arts and design through to medicine and dentistry.

The figures also show that the gap between median earnings for male and female graduates has widened in 2016/17, with a 15% difference between what male and female graduates earned five years after completing their degree, compared to 12% in 2014/15.

This latest data on graduate earnings follows research published in November which, for the first time, used the LEO dataset to compare the earnings by subject, institution and course for people who went to higher education to those with similar background characteristics who did not.

The research by the IFS showed that the vast majority of graduates with a degree earn more at the age of 29 than those who did not go to university – particularly female graduates who saw a greater difference in what they earned compared to women who didn’t complete a degree than male graduates to their counterparts.

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