It is no surprise that fresh university graduates look for strong employment possibilities and high starting salaries. After all, they spent years studying at a university, and in most cases, invested substantial resources to receive their diplomas. Yet, all degrees differ substantially with regard to their job market opportunities. After some degrees the money we earn is significantly higher than after the others, making it difficult for prospective students to choose appropriate courses.
In this article, we will outline the top 10 university degrees with regard to their respective career prospects for 2023 in the UK.
How is the ‘employability’ measured?
Employability can be measured in a variety of different ways, however, for the purpose of this article we decided to focus on early-career salaries (people aged 22 to 27) and entry-level salaries. Another interesting metric which is often used is mid-career salary (usually for people aged 28 to 35), yet, we believe that at that stage many more factors come into play, other than purely a university degree.
The final rankings will be based on the following study.
If you would like to quickly move to a specific course, which interests you the most, use the following list:
- Veterinary Medicine
- General Engineering
- Physics and Astronomy
- Computer Science
- Business Administration
Average starting salary: 39,467 £
The highest paying degree quickly after graduating in the UK is dentistry. Additionally, this is also a degree after which one can expect to find a job very quickly, as around 90% of graduates find employment within the first 6 months after graduation.
Even though it is not considered to be a very competitive industry once you have graduated, there’s substantial competition to enter and complete dentistry at the university level.
Some of the best universities to study dentistry at the university level for international students are: the University of Glasgow, the University of Bristol, and Queen’s University Belfast.
Average starting salary: 34,890 £
These degrees focus on the health of animals, after which graduates can work as veterinarians, veterinary specialists, or researchers. This is a degree which also offers significant opportunities to make a positive impact on society, apart from great financial prospects.
Salaries increase rather quickly in this industry, and the average salary of experienced professionals reaches around 70,000 £.
Average starting salary: 34,012 £
As with most salary rankings, medicine takes one of the highest spots on the list. Here, apart from great career opportunities, graduates can also make a substantial positive impact on the health and well-being of their clients, which makes this degree even more enticing.
When it comes to starting and mid-career salaries, specialisation plays a key factor in this industry, as each offers different career opportunities (e.g., choosing cardiology will result in a starting salary reaching even 40,000 £).
The most renowned universities which offer the highest level of Medicine in Europe are the University of Oxford, Karolinska Institute, and the University of Amsterdam.
Average starting salary: 34,135 £
Moving away from medical degrees, Economics takes the next spot on the list with a median starting salary of around 34,000 £.
This degree offers great career prospects due to how universal it can be in the further stages of life, where various career and further education paths can be followed. All jobs related to finance, accounting, banking, and consulting are easily accessible to such graduates.
Additionally, if one wants to continue with their educational path, a range of subjects can be chosen, such as business analytics, finance, econometrics, and many more.
This is also a degree which offers great growth possibilities, with the top 10% of experienced economists earning over 100,000 £.
The most renowned universities for the subject of Economics are London School of Economics, Bocconi University, and Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Average starting salary: 31,809 £
Engineering is a field which largely focuses on the application of scientific principles to design and develop various systems. They are in high demand, as the need for innovative technologies and infrastructure continues to increase.
This is one of the most universal degrees to follow, especially for one’s bachelor’s degree, as it offers great foundations in virtually all scientific subjects, such as Mathematics, Physics, and Economics. Thus, its graduates can move to a variety of different fields after graduating or can swiftly transition to more specialised degrees (e.g., Applied Mathematics).
Some of the best universities to pursue a degree in Engineering are the University of Cambridge, ETH Zurich, and the University of Oxford.
Average starting salary: 28,498 £
A great choice for students who are very much into scientific subjects but are not sure in which direction to go. Its graduates often find employment in jobs such as investment banking, analytics, data science, or computer science.
Europe is home to some of the best universities in the world for the subject of Mathematics, mainly: Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Oxford.
Average starting salary: 28,125 £
This is a degree which dives deeper into the understanding of fundamental principles of the universe and the world around us. Very often individuals decide to follow this course and then go on to follow intellectually stimulating career paths, very often in academia.
For those who do decide to follow the academic path, post-doctoral researchers make around 35,000 £, while senior researchers or university lecturers make around 60,000 £.
Average starting salary: 27,500 £
One of the most popular student choices in recent years, due to the constant need for technology-driven talent in the job market.
As the demand for such professionals continues to grow, candidates can choose from a range of positions, such as software development, data science, cybersecurity, and many more.
Some of the best universities at which one can follow a degree in Computer Science include University College London, ETH Zurich, and the Technical University of Munich.
Average starting salary: 26,496 £
This is a slightly less mathematics-intense version of Economics, which prepares its graduates for managerial roles in various industries.
This is also an industry with high potential for growth, where experienced professionals can earn upwards of 150,000 £. Yet, these degrees are heavily oversubscribed because of their massive popularity in the last 10-20 years, which leads to great competition in this market.
Average starting salary: 25,500 £
Finally, the 10th spot on the list is occupied by Architecture, a study which focuses on designing and planning buildings which create our environment.
In this case, it has to be noted, that after registering with the Architects Registration Board, which allows prospects to call themselves “architects”, the salaries can increase to anywhere between 32,000 £ to 45,000 £.
Choosing a university degree is one of the most important decisions one will have to take with regard to their higher education (which we also always emphasise in our workshops). Naturally, potential earning possibilities vary greatly across all industries and their respective degrees, which we tried to outline in this article.
Very often degrees with higher earning potential are more competitive to enter and more difficult to graduate from.
Not to worry, though!
With the help of our mentors, who all graduated from top universities and went on to follow highly rewarding careers, we will help you get you there!