Top 10 Highest Paying STEM Degrees in the UK
These degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics pay the real big bucks. Source: NESA by Makers/Unsplash

Analysis of over one million job ads by Adzuna has revealed which Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) degrees lead to the highest salaries after graduation.

Engineering graduates receive the biggest paychecks

The research, conducted in August 2018, considered the average salaries of job ads seeking applicants with a specific STEM degree. Aeronautical engineers topped the results table, with an average salary of £51,448 offered to those who hold a bachelors or masters in the subject. Those with civil or chemical engineering degrees didn’t trail too far behind, landing in second and fourth place with salaries of £47,503 and £45,527 respectively.

In contrast, Chemistry and Physics degrees were valued far below the UK average salary of £33,111, taking home between £27,795 and £26,617. Lab technician and teaching assistant roles made up the bulk of job ads seeking people with these degrees, which explains the surprisingly low salaries.

The Highest Paying STEM degrees

Degree Title Average Salary No. of UK Jobs
Aeronautical Engineering £51,448.00 26
Civil Engineering £47,503.00 1,505
Computer Science £47,197.00 4,236
Chemical Engineering £45,527.00 194
Life Science £43,872.00 1,362
Statistics £43,731.00 438
Electrical Engineering £43,412.00 831
Pharmacy £42,984.00 407
Mechanical Engineering £38,752.00 1,435
Mathematics £38,125.00 1,100

Technology graduates have the most job opportunities

Although job-seekers with aeronautical and chemical engineering degrees see the highest salary potential, they are far from the most in demand. Due to their niche nature, only 220 job ads across the UK mention either of these subjects as a requirement to apply for the role.

For those in search of a high salary and an abundance of career opportunities, a technology degree is your best bet. The rise of AI, in both business and society, has caused demand for employees with tech knowledge to sky rocket in recent years. Applicants with a Computer Science degree were the most sought after with a huge 4,236 job vacancies followed by Information Technology (IT) with 1,847.

STEM degrees with the most job vacancies available

Degree Title No. of UK Jobs Average Salary
Computer Science 4,236 £47,197.00
IT 1,847 £36,542.00
Civil Engineering 1,505 £47,503.00
Mechanical Engineering 1,435 £38,752.00
Life Science 1,362 £43,872.00
Mathematics 1,100 £38,125.00
Physics 1,046 £26,617.00
Chemistry 923 £27,795.00
Electrical Engineering 831 £43,412.00
Statistics 438 £43,731.00

Maths and Science Degrees Still Hold Their Own

With almost all UK universities charging maximum tuition fees of £9,000 a year, students are rightly concerned with getting the best bang for their buck. Engineering and technology degrees may appear most appealing due to promises of high salaries and job opportunities but that shouldn’t lead to the maths and sciences being undervalued.

Life science degrees made the top five for both salary potential and number of job vacancies, making it a good choice all round. For undergraduates still uncertain about their future in STEM, maths degrees are a great option, providing a gateway to a host of industries, including finance, engineering and data science.

Written by Nisa Ismail

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