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How Can Graduates Earn £500,000 More Than Non-Graduates?

04 Aug 2014

How Can Graduates Earn £500,000 More Than Non-Graduates?

Is it really possible that current graduates could earn £500,000 more than their peers who don’t go to university and secure a degree?

Although half a million pounds might seem like a rather implausible bonus figure for students who attain a graduate job rather than a lower-level entry position, the latest real-time data of over 800,000 jobs by search engine Adzuna would seem to suggest that you could earn hundreds of thousands pounds more over your working lifetime if you hold a degree.

The Adzuna research extrapolates data which reveals that graduates in the UK job market can currently command a starting salary of £15,000 more than their non-graduate counterparts. Taken over the course of a typical working lifetime, Adzuna reckons that such a head start in the career stakes would amount to more than £500,000 in real terms before retirement age.

Some other facts unearthed by the latest Adzuna figures reveal interesting - but perhaps not completely unexpected figures - about regional pay scales for graduates throughout the UK.

Although there are more graduate vacancies in London and the South East than other parts of the nation (including almost half of all entry level graduate jobs), the average starting salary for a degree-holder is only around £28,000 in those areas. That amounts to only about £3,000 more than the national average for a graduate entry level job. Compare that to Aberdeen where the average starting salary for a graduate can be as much as £42,000!

At the other end of the scale, graduates seeking work in places like Hull and Sunderland can consider themselves lucky if they command a graduate starting salary which is higher than the national average.

As for which degrees are in high demand in the current jobs market, graduates from an Engineering, Computer Science or Maths background are currently attracting the top salaries, while their Hospitality & Tourism contemporaries, along with Sports Science graduates might not be able to find the highest paid entry level graduate positions.

Another trend at the moment seems to be fewer employers are now offering their graduate vacancies exclusively to students with a First Class honours degree. The number of vacancies now available only to graduates who leave university with a First has fallen 80% over the last two years, offering a massive boost in confidence to students who obtain 2:1 or 2:2 at degree level.

Commenting on the new graduate salary statistics, Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, said: “In June 2014, Adzuna data shows graduate salaries turning a corner, with the highest year on year salary increase (5%) of any sector in the UK. And the good news for graduates doesn’t stop there, as employers increasingly open up top jobs to candidates with the right attitude, regardless of their final degree classification.”

Well then, if you believe that stats never lie and you are hoping to earn a substantial amount more than your peers, then you’d better get your skates on and find a graduate job ASAP. Luckily, we advertise some great graduate careers all over the UK and our listings are constantly updated. Start the hunt for a half million pound lifetime bonus opportunity in your corner of the world now on our page of UK Graduate Jobs.

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