Is it worth spending £30, 000 or more and three years of your life doing a degree?
If we limit our analysis to purely financial considerations and if we focus on ‘median earnings’ – then yes, on average, it is definitely still worth doing a degree: graduates currently earn about £8K a year more on average than non graduates (graduate labour market statistics 2015)
However, the gap between the earnings of graduates and non-gradates is closing – in 2005 graduates earned about 55% more than non graduates, while in 2015 they only earned 45% more.
If this trend continues, then a degree will be worthless by 2045, at least if we measure the value of a degree purely in economic terms.
A recent YouGov survey (May 2017) found that only 61% of students felt that their degree was worth the money, so possible this is evidence that what students feel is coming into line with the more objective financial trends above…
Of course there’s a whole load of other factors you need to consider to answer the above question fully! But I wanted to keep this post focused on just one dimension.
- Accounting for the costs of university, graduates earn an average of £115,000 more than non-graduates over their lifetime (University think tank million+)
- The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills goes a little further, estimating £200,000 or more.
- 80% of graduates will earn the same or more than the average for A-level leavers, at least according to the latest statistics, and limiting our analysis to purely financial terms. This said, one in five graduates earn less than the average for someone who left education with A-levels alone.
- The Right Degree is Always Worth It (Telegraph article)
- The degrees that are worth the most money (and those that get you the least)