Earnings for recent graduates are on the rise

graduate celebrate

Median earnings for recent graduates increased in 2016/17, with graduate earnings increasing to £19,900 1-3 years after graduating, and £23,300 three years after graduating.

Statistics summary:

  • Recent graduates are earning more than they used to
  • The pay gap between young women and men who have graduated is getting bigger, not smaller.

The statistics published by the Department for Education on 28th March 2019 indicate that a degree can bring financial benefits to the majority of students, making it a viable choice after school – which should offer some relief for any young people who are having to take student fees into account when deciding if they want to go to university.

The statistics published for one and three years after graduating have all been adjusted for inflation in order to ensure they provide meaningful results.

Why were these figures published? It’s part of the Government’s drive to make more data available so that students can be better informed about their life, study and work choices.

The statistics are useful for young people making decisions about their life, but money isn’t the only thing on someone’s mind when they’re choosing a degree subjects. Students are also likely to make their choices based on their interests and how much they’re likely to enjoy a job related to their field of study.

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.

It’s worth bearing in mind that these figures are from two years ago: 2016/17. Apprenticeships are more wide-ranging than ever before, and many apprenticeships (like degree apprenticeships and management apprenticeships) can help graduates start off their career with some notably high salair

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