Degrees: Which Ones Pay Better?

by Chad Agrawal

Given the staggering cost of degrees in this day and age, savvy students need to think more about what they can get at the end of their studies before ploughing thousands and thousands into three years study. Some degrees appear to offer better value for money than others as they have better job prospects and most importantly, more hard cash. Here we look at the degrees which have the best returns and whether it is worth embarking on one at all.

The High Cost Of Degrees

The cost of a degree is now staggeringly high at many universities - and that is just the course fees. You then need to consider how much student accommodation is going to cost plus loans for maintenance while you are studying. Before they know it, most students leave university with a debt of tens of thousands with no way of knowing if they will ever be in a position to pay it back or not. Studies have shown time and time again, that university graduates earn far more in their lifetime than non graduates, however, these statistics were before university fees cost more than a house deposit and when students could saunter out of university straight into a graduate paid job.

Highest Earning Degrees

Medicine is always going to be number one when it comes to the best return for your money. Although student doctors pay a small fortune for their education and spend the best part of a decade studying, they have a far better chance of a job at the end of their stint at university and many start earning triple fingers as GPs or consultants a decade after that. Law follows closely after this with so much scope in the industry to earn as little or as much as you want. From solicitors to criminal lawyers to high-end barristers, the potential to earn a huge salary is there and as it is so specialised, there are far less candidates for jobs as there are for say, Journalism. Engineering is hot on the heels of the previous two with specialised engineers earning big figures, however, jobs in this sector are like gold dust so it all depends on whether you can nab yourself a paying position in the first place and this is the big problem of the 21st century. These well paid positions pay your degree off almost instantly – if you can get one. Aerospace is probably the most sought after engineering career and you can imagine how many jobs like that are floating around.

Lowest Earning Degrees

And then come the lowest earning degrees which some people would argue are not worth having. Visual and performing arts, Drama and Theatre, Social work, Early- childhood education and somewhat surprisingly, Psychology, are all down there as not being too good if you want to be a millionaire anytime soon.

However, whether the industry your degree is in is full of high earners or not, many people for higher education would argue that at least, after all that study, you have a degree. You are educated to the standard that is expected from many employers these days and at least have given yourself the chance to be a serious candidate for the more well paid graduate jobs. A degree puts you on a pedestal among many other young people and there are schemes available that take graduates on from any sector but the key is that they have that degree.

However, on the flip side, if you have started paid work from the age of 16 and haven’t shelled out thousands at university, plus the absence of wages during this time, overall, this could be a more lucrative start to your career. It also addresses the problem of not being able to find a job after university. However, many people who opt for this career path reach a ceiling point in their career where, to go any further they need that all important degree qualification. They could find their options for future jobs severely limited and find themselves ‘trapped’ in the same company for years to come while their graduate peers are rising through the ranks. The choice is up to every individual but there are certainly pros and cons with each option.

This article was written by Alfie Davenport, who works for Telegraph Jobs.

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This post was written by Chad Agrawal

Chad Agrawal is the founder of CCTS, helping students transfer from community college to Ivy League, tier 1 or anywhere else by following this community college guide.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Janessa October 16, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Hello, I read your blogs regularly. Your humoristic style is awesome, keep up the good work!


Ryan Deanese October 17, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Hello, I read your blog regularly. Your writing style is awesome, keep up the good work!


Chad Agrawal October 17, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Hey Ryan, thanks for the support 🙂


Sammy Kuntz October 18, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Hi, just wanted to tell you, I liked this article. It was helpful. Keep on posting!


Chad Agrawal October 24, 2012 at 12:28 am

Thanks Sammy 🙂


Sonia Calrizi October 20, 2012 at 6:07 am

Hi, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this post. It was funny. Keep on posting!


Chad Agrawal October 24, 2012 at 12:22 am

Thanks Sonia


Tina Min October 23, 2012 at 11:48 pm

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Chad Agrawal October 23, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Great to hear! Thank you Tina 🙂


Dodo October 25, 2012 at 7:04 am

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Chad Agrawal October 25, 2012 at 8:48 am

Thanks Dodo


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