The 10 degrees getting UK graduates the highest paid jobs

interviewer looking at document in blue folder with man in interview

Life’s too short for regrets so it’s always comforting to know that you made the right call at one of those crucial times in your life.

If you chose to study one of the top earning degrees then you can read on with a certain amount of smugness while your housemate with the History of Art degree now looks back and views those trips to the gallery with slightly less rose-tinted spectacles.

The truth is that making the right call and studying a degree that will quickly translate to higher earnings and more opportunities just makes sense, especially for the roles at the top end of the careers ladder, and it goes without saying that ideally its something you actually enjoy.

So what are the top degrees which lead to best remuneration? Job search engine Adzuna has scrolled through the thousands of openings on its recruitment database to come up with the best average options on offer for graduates of every degree.

10 Mathematics

Average salary: £39,000

Relevant jobs: Finance, technology, banker, statistician, accountant

The UK has been short of maths graduates for some years so anyone coming out of university with a good degree is going to be a sought-after commodity. Finance and banking are obvious long-term high payers, and IT recruiters are clearly going to look to mathematicians for their analytic and development skills.

9 Mechanical Engineering

Average salary: £39,106

Relevant jobs: Automotive, aerospace, defence, construction engineers

As with maths, engineering graduates are in short supply, even though the Government has worked hard in recent years to boost numbers in the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. There are jobs in everything from Formula One development to sustainable energy projects so there really is an engineering job to suit every graduate.

8 Science

Average salary: £40,409

Relevant jobs: Pharmaceuticals, finance, biotechnology

Forget the image of muddle-headed assistants in dusty labs – science is sexy. Pharma is the future and recruiters have plenty of positions with the big companies and biotech specialists.

7 Architecture

Average salary: £40,788

Relevant jobs: Architect, interior designer

As with medicine, architecture degrees involve extended work placements; you’ve effectively started your career whilst completing your seven-year degree course. Consequently, graduate level jobs pay better than many other careers, especially in London and the South East, where the building boom shows no sign of slowing down.

6 Finance

Average salary: £40,908

Relevant jobs: Banker, financial analyst

The financial sector has always paid well and as the global economy recovers (the odd hiccup aside) banking and investment institutions are in the mood to once again hire and remunerate well.

5 Economics

Average salary: £41,144

Relevant jobs: Financial analyst, banker, economist, statistician

Economics and finance are often interchangeable in recruitment terms. Economists will have an advantage working in statistics and with economic think tanks and official/Government advisory bodies.

4 Computer science

Average salary: £41,950

Relevant jobs: Developer, IT consultant, systems administrator

The technology sector impacts on every modern business and it’s not going to stop. A good computer science degree will make you a target for IT recruiters wherever you go. Coding, website building, project overseeing, firefighting – the strands are many and so are the jobs.

3 Accounting

Average salary: £42,404

Relevant jobs: Accountant, actuary

Everyone needs accountants, and a job with one of the ‘Big Four’ – EY, KPMG, Deloitte and PwC – is secure, well-paid and could take you all over the world: British and British-trained accountants have a high global reputation.

2 Engineering

Average salary: £42,837

Relevant jobs: Chemical, aerospace, construction, automotive and defence engineers, management consultant

Again, demand exceeds supply when it comes to engineering graduates. This broader degree than mechanical engineering is favoured by many employers and salaries reflect that adaptability potential.

1 Civil Engineering

Average salary: £44,851

Relevant jobs: Civil engineer, surveyor, structural engineer, environmental consultant

People who think big are paid well and engineering recruiters are especially busy with projects like Crossrail and HS2 in full flow. If you build bridges, dams, rail systems, high-rise buildings, you have to get it right and you’re entitled to reap the rewards.

The Benefits of Contract Employment

18 May 2020

Contract work in the U.S. has become more common in recent years; however, many people are still unaware of the countless benefits to this type of employment. We explore how contract employment remains a great option for temporary and flexible staffing needs.

Arevon Energy's Asset Management Is at the Top of the League: A Q&A With CEO Justin Johnson

30 Jun 2020

In our latest Q&A, we speak with Arevon Energy's CEO Justin Johnson and learn all about the company's asset management solutions.

An update from Gemma Branney, Head of CSR at Specialist Staffing Group

30 Sep 2020

The bottom line is clear – a strong ESG proposition doesn’t weaken a company’s financial position, it strengthens their return. This data clearly demonstrates that that when CR&S is authentically embedded into the fabric and culture of an organization, that business is more likely to be successful.

What Lies Ahead for the Renewable Energy Industry?

15 Sep 2020

In a recent webinar on what lies ahead for the renewable energy industry, our panel discussed the impact of tax credits, diversity in the workforce, transferable skills for a career in renewables, and more.