According to recently published government statistics, postgraduate students are achieving higher paid jobs.
Once it was a case that the undergraduate degree was a coveted symbol of academic flare that only the brightest could achieve. But in recent statistics published by the Department for Education (DfE) we’ve seen a decline in the salaries of graduates ages 21-29, while postgraduate majors thrive with a growth in average incomes in the recent academic year. While a graduate could expect to earn an average £500 more than the previous year, those possessing postgraduate qualifications were dissimilarly greeted with a salary £2000 more than the previous year. But what does this mean for students?
More than ever before, students are choosing to invest in their future by expending vast sums on their first degrees. The published data in fact claims that non-graduates aged 21-29 are now seeing both a faster growth in average salary plus a small growth in those now attaining high-skilled employment.
The problem comes down to a greater supply of skilled labour from all directions. In 2008 UCAS welcomed 533,000 accepted applicants compared with just 457,000 ten years earlier and with the rise of alternative means of higher education within the workplace such as degree-apprenticeships young people are more educated than ever before. It will now fall many students whether or not to cough up and fund another year of education, with average masters tuition fees sitting around £7,000.
The statistics further outlined a negligible change in the gender pay gap for graduates although both genders measured saw a noticeable incline in post graduation pay. These data revealed that a male with a simple bachelors degree on average earns £38,500 compared with a postgraduate female earning an average of just £37,000.
Universities Minister Chris Skidmore said: "There is clearly much further to go to improve the race and gender pay gap.
"We have introduced a range of reforms in higher education which have a relentless focus on levelling the playing field, so that everyone with the talent and potential can not only go to university, but flourishes there and has the best possible chance of a successful career."