The effect of your uni course on future job prospects

15 Feb 2023

The number of UK school leavers applying to university is near all-time highs. As such, it’s been suggested that more details should be given to students about how their chosen courses may impact their employment opportunities. New research by the government’s Social Mobility Commission on the effect of further education employment revealed a broad difference in earnings. Indeed, certain courses failed to lift salaries, whilst the most financially rewarding grad courses often accepted very few students from disadvantaged backgrounds in England, The Guardian reports. “Many of the more selective universities are top performers for boosting earnings but worst offenders for providing access to students from low socioeconomic backgrounds,” stated Alun Francis, the commission’s interim chair. “To improve social mobility, we need these universities to do even more to improve access. We need to ensure prospective students are aware of the earnings implications of all their higher education and further education options, so they can make an informed choice before applying.” The research added that certain universities “would seem to be hindering social mobility” by only admitting very few applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds.


Shift in trend?

Yet, things may be changing. The Social Mobility Commission’s report found that the most selective universities - Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College London and the London School of Economics – had admitted far more state-educated students over the past few years. That said, the findings added it would take several years until the latest grads reached the age of 30 to determine the long-term impact on their employment prospects. Previous research was also highlighted in this report, showing that students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds typically attended less selective institutions, even with the same grades as others from more advantaged backgrounds, leading to lower future earnings. “Of course, students may still choose these courses for other valid reasons, but they need to be aware of the possible labour market implications,” the report stated.


Highest paid jobs

According to SavetheStudent, these are the best-paid jobs currently in the United Kingdom:

  1. Chief Executives and Senior Officials – £79,835
  2. Marketing, Sales and Advertising Directors – £77,695
  3. Information Technology Directors – £73,571
  4. Specialist Medical Practitioners – £68,614
  5. Headteachers and Principals – £66,686
  6. Public Relations and Communications Directors – £66,510
  7. Financial Managers and Directors – £64,193
  8. Aircraft Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers – £62,778
  9. Functional Managers and Directors – £61,139
  10. Senior Police Officers – £59,141
  11. Train and Tram Drivers – £58,868
  12. Barristers and Judges – £53,110
  13. Health Services and Public Health Managers and Directors – £50,789
  14. Rail Transport Operatives – £50,561
  15. Electrical Engineers – £50,487
  16. IT Business Analysts, Architects and Systems Designers – £50,396
  17. Business and Financial Project Management Professionals – £50,287
  18. Research and Development (R&D) Managers – £50,027
  19. Taxation Experts – £49,916
  20. Senior paramedics – £49,909