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Guest Blog by Adzuna “Getting a 1st or a 2:1 worth over 300k over working life”

Degree results matter: Getting a First or 2:1 worth £300,000 over working life!!

After Adzuna.co.uk, a comprehensive search engine for job ads, based in London, contacted The Employable, and asked if we could detail their graduate research findings on http://theemployable.com we were delighted to help.
According to analysis conducted by job search engine Adzuna.co.uk, graduates with a 2:2 or Third class degree should expect to earn on average almost £8,000 p.a. less than their peers entering the job market with a 2:1 or First, a potential deficit of £300,000 over their working lives.  While a few marks here or there on final exam may be the only difference, employers use degree results to screen CVs, meaning a lifetime of earning implications.
Here’s the headlines:
  • Graduates with a 2:1 or higher earn £8k p.a. more than those with a 2:2 or Third
  • Engineering, Law and Economics grads are sitting pretty, while Tourism, Art & Design and Sociology degree holders may struggle to pay off student loans
  • High salaries for Oil Riggers, Nuclear Energy Workers and Police Sergeants show that university isn’t always the best-paying option

The research also shows a huge gulf in salaries between the best and worst paying degree subjects.  Civil Engineering graduates can ultimately expect to earn an average of £46,940, while employers looking for Hospitality & Tourism degrees pay only £18,996 on average.  Economics, Engineering and Law degrees top the list of high earners, closely followed by Maths & Computer Science, whereas Art & Design, Sociology, Anthropology and Media Studies languish towards the bottom.

For school leavers who are put off university education entirely by rising debts and expected average tuition fees of over £8,000 per year from 2012, all may not be not lost.  Offshore Oil Platform jobs topped Adzuna’s analysis of the highest-paying jobs that don’t require a degree with an average of £76,155, followed by Nuclear Energy Workers at £42,945 and Police Sergeants at £39,033.

Adzuna.co.uk analysed every single job advertisement posted in the last month on over 100 different UK job boards, a total of over 1M unique records, using the advanced search technology that powers its job search engine. Adzuna’s study is the first to look at a complete index of actual employer demand for degree subjects and grades in the marketplace.

Doug Monro, Co-Founder of Adzuna, commented “With over 2.5 million unemployed and rising, young people need to be smart about their choices to maximise their employment prospects and the return on their time and money.  Our study confirms that working hard to get a ‘Damien’ or a ‘Trevor’ pays, but also that dead-end degree subjects don’t help your financial prospects.  With increasing fees and debts, it’s not surprising that some potential Alan Sugars and Richard Bransons are by-passing university entirely.”

Adzuna.co.uk’s comprehensive job search engine lists over 400,000 open job vacancies throughout the UK including 25,000 live opportunities for graduates.

Salary by Degree Result

Degree Result Slang Term Average Salary
First class honours (1st) Damien (Hirst) £38,753
Upper Second class honours (2:1) Trevor (Nunn) £38,123
Lower Second class honours (2:2) Desmond (Tutu) £30,437
Third class honours (3rd) Douglas (Hurd) £26,535

Top 5 Degree Subjects By Pay

Degree Type Average Salary
Civil Engineering £46,940
Economics £41,796
Law £41,296
Maths £40,833
Computer Science £40,107

Bottom 5 Degree Subjects By Pay

Degree Type Average Salary
Hospitality & Tourism £18,996
Art & Design £19,209
Anthropology £21,321
Sociology £22,102
Media Studies £28,019

Best Paid Jobs Not Requiring A Degree

Profession Average Salary
Offshore Oil Platform Worker £76,155
Nuclear Energy Worker £42,945
Police Sergeant £39,033
Military Security Worker £38,860
Hazardous Waste Manager £38,181

About Adzuna

Adzuna.co.uk is a comprehensive search engine for job ads used by hundreds of thousands of jobseekers every month which makes it easier for users to find the right job locally. We search hundreds of sites so you don’t have to, bring together hundreds of thousands of ads so you can find them all in one place, and organize them with useful and unique features so that you can easily find what you need.

Adzuna was founded by Andrew Hunter and Doug Monro, formerly of eBay, Gumtree, Qype and Zoopla and is backed by leading Venture Capital firm Passion Capital.


To find out more about TheEmployable & how to get involved in TheEmployable movement please check out http://theemployable.com/how-to-get-involved/


One Response to “Guest Blog by Adzuna “Getting a 1st or a 2:1 worth over 300k over working life””

  1. It was nice to read your post. Thank you for posting this piece!

    Posted by kahlua recipe | October 18, 2011, 9:02 am

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