high salary
You could be earning the big bucks soon! Source: Shutterstock

If you’re keen to study in the UK and earn a high salary after graduation it might be wise to take either economics or medicine, according to new research.

The report from the UK’s Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found that those who studied medicine or economics at a British university were more likely to earn higher salaries than their peers.

The Guardian reported that medicine and economics graduates received a salary approximately 20 percent above average five years after starting work.

This was followed by business, computing and architecture; subjects that earn pay packets over 10 percent higher than average.

Economics and medicine graduates even ended up earning more than former private school students and those from wealthy backgrounds, who normally go on to earn more than any other group.

Despite the fact that 10 percent of students in the UK study a creative arts degree, the average graduate in this field earns around 15 percent lower than the average wage – and this drops even further if they come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The courses that produced graduates who earned the most on average were Economics at the London School of Economics (LSE) and Mathematics at Imperial College London, with graduates from both earning twice above the national average.

The lowest earning courses earned 40 percent below the average wage for a graduate in the UK.

“Average graduate earnings are around £26,000 (US$34,800) to £30,000 (US$40,000) five years after graduation, and so these differences could amount to earnings differentials of more than £10,000 (US$13,300) a year.

“If these persist over the life cycle, this could represent a significant difference in lifetime income,” The Guardian reported that IFS claimed.

In the midst of numerous gripes over whether certain courses or universities offer value for money, the report prompted the UK’s Higher Education Minister Sam Gyimah to address the issue.

“The clutch of underperforming degrees is a problem for students – it is likely they include many of the courses whose students feel they are not getting value for money,” The Guardian reported Gyimah said at a Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) conference.

The research also highlighted that male graduate salaries had risen at a much quicker rate than female and those who attended independent schools also felt the financial benefits.

“Family background has an important impact on graduates’ future earnings, but subject and institution choice can be even more important,” Senior Research Economist and author of the study Jack Britton said.

And it’s not just which course you choose, it’s also where you study. As mentioned earlier, LSE and Imperial produce some of the highest earners in the country but Britton added “compared to the average university, going to a Russell Group institution adds around 10 percent.”

The report gathered information over the course of several years, looking to education and taxation data to calculate results. Authors of the study admitted that results from particular courses or universities could be a result of other contributing factors that are difficult to measure and therefore excluded from the study.

“They may reflect differences in unobservable characteristics between different student bodies if, for example, some courses are more likely to take students with better socioemotional skills or greater preferences for work,” the researchers wrote in the report.

It just goes to show, it may be wise to choose your university and course carefully if you want to be bringing home a weighty salary every month.

Liked this? Then you’ll love…

Step by step: How to apply to medical school in the US

Guess where the majority of the world’s billionaires were educated…