How much a degree qualification could add to your earnings

Abigail Fenton
·Writer
·2-min read
A university degree could help you earn an extra £100,000 over your lifetime, according to a study. Photo: MD Duran/Unsplash
A university degree could help you earn an extra £100,000 over your lifetime, according to a study. Photo: MD Duran/Unsplash

Despite the majority of Brits believing higher education is now “worthless,” a degree is actually worth more than £100,000, research suggests.

A survey of 2,000 people by Money.co.uk found 62% of UK adults believe a degree will not increase a person’s lifetime earnings.

But this isn’t true. The average UK graduate rakes in nearly a quarter (23%) more than non-graduates over their lifetime, Money.co.uk analysis found.

READ MORE: UK graduate jobs fall but those who get one are getting paid more

Brits with a university degree make about £582,532 ($760,803) in their lifetime — £107,532 more than workers who only have their five A to C grade GCSEs.

The difference is especially prominent for women, with graduates aged 29 making a massive 51% more — £31,500 a year, compared with just £20,800 — than those of the same age who left education at an earlier point, the research found.

Meanwhile, male graduates aged 29 make about £35,500 — a smaller, but still significant 19% wage increase on those without a degree.

READ MORE: Young people increasingly in low-paid jobs, despite rising education

Female economics graduates benefit the most from their degree. Women with a degree in economics make about £671,000 in a lifetime, which is a massive 122% more than their counterparts without degrees.

They are closely followed female medicine and maths graduates, who make about 113% and 95% more than women without degrees, respectively.

Unsurprisingly, graduates of Oxbridge and Russell Group universities benefit from the biggest increase in lifetime earnings, raking in about £651,000 over a lifetime — £176,500 more than non-graduates, who make about £475,000.