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Degrees Of Pay - £2K More For A 2:1 & An Extra £1K For A First

31 May 2013

Degrees Of Pay - £2K More For A 2:1 & An Extra £1K For A First

Two PhD students at the London School of Economics (LSE) have produced new research which highlights the financial benefits of a higher level of degree achievement.

According to the new findings by LSE students Andy Feng and Georg Graetz, an upper second class degree translates to a potential increase in average earnings of around £2,000 in a first graduate job when compared to a graduate who leaves with a lower second class degree.

Over the course of the typical working career, such a degree of difference of degree could lead to extra lifetime earnings of more than £80 thousand! Makes you want to stick your head back into the books doesn’t it?

Additionally, the study also suggested that a first class degree could add a further £1,000 a year to the average salary when compared to a 2:1. Curiously though, at this top end of the scale, it would seem to be primarily male graduates who can squeeze out extra financial rewards from a first class degree. Men with firsts tend to receive six percent more per year, whereas women with firsts don’t appear to receive any more than women with 2:1s

Tentatively attempting to explain this gender anomaly at first class degree level, researcher Mr Feng said: “Our study is probably the best evidence available that exam results matter, but there's a lot more work to be done in understanding what drives the gender split and figuring out if the differences in pay-offs by degree result eventually go away.The difference between monetary gains for men and women is a puzzle. Perhaps men are more likely to ask for or be given a higher wage offer.”

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