10 degrees that could bag you the highest paying jobs.
With university tuition costing £9250 a year, and the average debt of graduates topping £50,000, the decision whether to study or not for a degree is getting harder.
Ideally, experts say that you should choose your degree based on your passion for the subject. But, if you're still undecided and finding it difficult to choose between courses it’s useful to understand what your long-term earning potential could be.
We researched which degrees could earn you the highest salaries. We looked at the top-end end salaries using data from the National Careers Service, so don’t expect to earn the top whack straight away…
Up to: £ 102,500 (surgeon)
Other jobs: pathologist, GP, hospital doctor, anaesthetist
The UK has a shortage of doctors and the competition study medicine is fierce, if you missed out on a medicine degree there are other pathways, for example if you already have a degree in a science subject (minimum 2:1) you could take a 4-year graduate entry programme into medicine.
Up to: £100,000 (insurance underwriter)
Other jobs: financial adviser, accountant, banker, data analyst-statistician
There’s a shortage of maths graduates, and that looks set to continue – in fact the government is so worried about the number of students studying maths at A-level they’re going to pay sixth form colleges more money if they recruit more maths students!
Up to: £100,000 (management accountant)
Other jobs: accountant, banker, financial analyst
Money does make the world go around and careers in finance have long been some of the best paid on the planet. London is one of the world’s largest financial districts -let’s hope Brexit doesn’t change that.
Up to: £99,500 (pharmacist)
Other jobs: chemical engineer, biochemist, meteorologist
The UK government is encouraging more young people into STEM subjects (although the national audit office has recently suggested that there is an over-supply of biology graduates). You may have heard about London’s MedCity and the Francis Crick institute? Both have been setup to encourage growth in science.
Up to: £90,000 (architect)
Other Jobs: architect technician, interior designer, set designer
It takes seven years to become a qualified architect, including several years working in agencies on placements.
Many junior roles are taken-up by trainees who are still studying and graduate level jobs are higher paid than most. The government’s initiative around getting Britain building is good news for architects.
Up to: £80,000 (auditor)
Other jobs: accountant, management trainee, actuary
A career in accounting is a particularly safe bet, especially in tough economic times. Global companies such as KPMG, Deloitte, PwC, and EY employ thousands of graduates (and school leavers) each year, who are then able to climb the corporate ladder.
Up to: £80,000 (economist)
Other jobs: banker, financial analyst, statistician
Economists work in a variety of sectors, in both public and private settings. The Civil Service is the largest employer of economists in the UK. The Bank of England also offers careers through their graduate scheme.
8. Civil engineering
Up to: £80,000 (civil engineer)
Other jobs: surveyor, site engineer, structural engineer, environmental consultant
Airports, bridges, dams and railways –none of these would be possible if we didn’t have civil engineers. They work in highly skilled roles which include housing projects as well as across huge infrastructure projects like Crossrail and HS2.
Up to: £70,000 (nuclear engineer)
Other jobs: Aerospace, defence, automotive, chemical, and construction engineer; patent officer; management consulting
According to the IoD, engineering in its many forms – mechanical, chemical, electrical, biological accounts for £1.2trn of the UK’s turnover, 27 per cent of its GDP, about half of its exports and at least 3.6 million jobs.
10. Computer science
Up to: £70,000 (software developer)
Other jobs: games developer, systems administrator, IT consultant
With technology driving more and more industries, the demand for talent in this area is growing. Many successful individuals in the world of tech are in fact computer science drop-outs (Mark Zuckerberg), but actually graduating shouldn’t hold you back.
Salary sources: National Careers Service website March 2018