How does your degree subject choice affect your earning prospects?

Tuition fees were one of the hottest topics of the recent general election, and with students facing the potential prospect of further tuition fee increases, young people today must make some huge decisions about their education and what career to pursue when they leave university.

Aside from choosing subjects based on school careers advisers' words and gut instinct, Students have always had very little transparency about where their degree might lead, but our new service now reveals some valuable insights into career paths and earning potential of different degree majors.

Using our Student service, you can now investigate what potential career options different degree subjects might offer in the short and long term, equipping our users to make more informed decisions and manage their own career more effectively. It makes interesting reading, revealing trends like the average salaries of Economics graduates are around 80% more than that of people who studied Fine Art, for example.

Average salaries within 5 years of graduation, by degree major:

Mathematics & Statistics39,000
Chemistry & Natural Sciences38,000
Accounting, Business & Finance37,000
Computer Sciences37,000
Physics, Life Sciences &Healthcare36,000
Management & Strategy36,000
Humanities (History, Geography,Politics...)34,000
Modern Languages32,000
English Literature31,000
Media, Marketing & Communication27,000
Fine Arts & Design25,000

Do not despair if you are an Arts graduate however, as with more than 15 years' experience, people with a Bachelor of Arts degree actually earn an average of 7% more than those with Bachelor of Science degrees.Similarly, a Masters degree is shown to benefit the earning potential of Arts graduates much more than in the Sciences, with a Masters increasing average salary in Arts by 11% with over 10 years' experience versus for 7% the equivalent in Sciences.

Earning potential for different degree subjects is inevitably influenced by which industries graduates go into, so our Student service also provides reports on the most likely career paths for each degree subject. Degrees in Economics, Finance, Mathematics and Statistics are shown to be the best route into lucrative careers in the financial services industry. In contrast,students of humanities like Geography, History and Politics are the most likely graduates to follow careers in charities, not-for-profit organisations and the public sector. An example breakdown is shown below:

MajorsIndustries most likely to hire graduates by major  
Business & FinanceFinancial servicesIndustryTelecoms
Mathematics & StatisticsFinancial servicesConsultingRetail
Chemistry & Natural SciencesPublic SectorIndustryEngineering
LawLaw firmsServices, tourism, entertainmentTelecoms
History, Geography, PoliticsCharity & Non-profitPublic SectorMedia & Advertising
Marketing & CommunicationMedia & AdvertisingRetailCharity & Non-profit


Emolument provides bonus and salary statistics based on data submitted directly by professionals like you. It is free, anonymous, and already a trusted tool for thousands of professionals worldwide. Are you paid enough? Click here to find out now.

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