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These are the UK’s highest paying and most employable degrees

most employable
Which degrees pay off the most in the UK? Source: Shutterstock

Using official data from the UK government, Satsuma Loans has uncovered the degrees that lead to the highest paying jobs, which graduates are the most employable, and which jobs have the highest growth rates.

If you’re unsure about which degree to pursue at college and want the most bang for your buck, or you desire a job that promises long-term growth, this guide can help you make the right decision.

Most employable jobs

According to Satusma Loans, “With 97.5 percent entering into further study or sustained employment within the first year of leaving university, graduates in the field of Medicine and Dentistry are the most likely to be in full time work or education after completing their course.

“The second most employable degree is Nursing, with 95.2 percent of graduates either entering the workplace or staying on for extra study within one year of completing their course.”

In third and fourth place are Veterinary Science and Education and Teaching degrees with “93.6 percent and 91.7 percent of graduates finding full time employment or further study one year after graduating respectively.”

most employable

Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Veterinary Science graduates in the UK are the most employable in the first year after graduation. Source: Shutterstock

Health and social care come in fifth on the most employable list, with 91.3 percent of graduates landing opportunities for further study or sustained employment one year after graduation.

On the flip side, those with degrees in Languages, Linguistics and Classics are least likely to find sustained employment opportunities or opportunities for further study. Only 79.8 percent of graduates were able to find full-time work or study a year after graduation.

Those in Philosophy or Religious studies were found to be the “least likely to result in first year employment opportunities, with just 82.4 percent of graduates in full time work or study, followed by Politics degrees in third (82.7 percent) and Humanities and liberal arts and Media and Communications degrees in joint fourth (83.2 percent).”

Highest paying jobs

Medicine and Dentistry graduates start out with the highest average salaries a year after graduating at an average of £36,600 per annum. This is followed by Veterinary Science with an average first year salary of £28,000.

Close behind are graduates with Engineering and Economics degrees, “earning an average of £26,500 and £26,000 in their first year of employment respectively”, followed by Nursing graduates in fifth with a first-year salary of £25,800.

Similar trends are seen in the US for Medicine and Dentistry, and Nursing in Australia, which is one of the most in-demand jobs.

Those graduating in Creative Arts and Design, however, earn the least a year after graduating at only £14,900 per annum – which is nearly five percent less than the current National Living Wage, according to Satsuma Loans.

This is followed by Sport and Exercise Sciences, with graduates earning an average of £15,800 in their first year, and Communications and Media, English Studies and Psychology, paying £16,500, £16,800 and £17,100 respectively.

Highest growth rates

However, those currently studying in fields that fall at the bottom of the above categories shouldn’t necessarily be rushing to change their majors, as data shows that some of these jobs have good growth rates, even if they’re not the most employable in the first year or highest paid.

Plus, job satisfaction, stability of income and quality of life are often more important to people than high wages.

According to Satsuma Loans, while Sports and Exercise Sciences graduates are one of the lower income-earners during the first year of employment, the subject “has the highest growth rate of graduate earnings, at a staggering 93.67% increase in wages over a ten-year period.”

“The tenth-year average graduate salary of £30,600 is well above the UK average of £27,600* and goes to show that low pay in the first year doesn’t always result in lifetime low pay.”

With Law graduates, the statistics show an increase from a starting salary of £17,200 to £33,600 – an increase of 95.35 percent in 10 years.

Economics graduates see a 90 plus percent growth rate in pay over a ten-year period (91.54 percent growth rate in wages), while Technology and Politics graduates typically increase their pay over a ten-year period by an average of 74.03 percent and 71.78 percent respectively.

Conversely, the subject of Veterinary Science – the second highest-paying job in the first year of employment – has the lowest rise in graduate pay over a 10 year period, at just 11.43 percent.

“With a decrease in graduate earnings of 13.33% YOY (for the tenth year of employment), the data reveals that Veterinary Science graduates in fact earn LESS in their tenth year of employment than in their third (£31,400) and fifth (£32,500) respectively.”

This is followed by Nursing, where graduates increase their first-year salary by just 16.67 percent over a ten-year period to £30,100.

Combined and General studies and Humanities and Liberal Arts are in the third position with growth rates in graduate pay of just 22.05 percent and 28.09 percent in a 10-year period. Graduate wages fall below the UK national average of £27,600 at £25,500 and £22,800 respectively.

In fifth place is Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmacy, where graduates increase their pay by 30.58 percent over a 10-year period.

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