Attending one of these 10 universities could mean a higher salary in the first 5 years after you graduate

Choosing the right university can be a tricky decision, especially as rankings might not be as clear cut as they seem.

Another factor to consider is what position you’ll be in once you graduate. For freshers, this can seem like a million years away, but as anyone who has been to university will tell you, those three or four years fly by.

New research by job website Adzuna has taken 155,000 CVs belonging to graduates in their first five years after university to determine their pay potential.

According to the results, graduates from Imperial College London are the “most valuable” in their first year after graduation, earning up to £37,000. That’s almost £4,750 more than those graduating from King’s College London, who are is second place.

These universities deliver the highest pay in the first year after graduating:

1. Imperial College London — £37,006

2. Kings College London — £32,270

3. Oxford — £31,584

4. UCL — £30,935

5. Cambridge — £30,680

6. Edinburgh — £30,538

7. LSE — £30,268

8. Exeter — £30,088

9. York — £29,997

10. Bristol — £29,102

The study also looked at the universities where graduates see the biggest growth in value. Apparently, graduates from the London School of Economics have the quickest pay progression — an average of 38% within five years.

While all the universities in the previous chart are Russell Group institutions, only four are in the top ten for pay growth.

These are the universities where students see the quickest pay progression in the five years after graduation:

University First year beyond graduation Five years beyond graduation Average salary growth
LSE £30,268 £41,810 38.1%
Nottingham £26,548 £36,556 37.7%
Bournemouth £24,230 £32,717 35%
London Met £24,147 £32,574 34.9%
Durham £25,835 £34,317 32.8%
Sheffield £26,425 £34,834 31.8%
Birmingham City £23,232 £30,408 30.9%
Lancaster £25,332 £32,660 28.9%
Sheffield Hallam £24,678 £31,500 27.6%
Leicester £25,381 £32,285 27.2%

According to Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, studying at a Russell Group university clearly adds value to someone’s career potential, but it isn’t everything, as the research shows graduates from other institutions such as Bournemouth and London Met have quickly made their way up the career ladder.

“With almost all UK universities charging maximum tuition fees of £9,000 a year, students are rightly concerned with getting the best bang for their buck, and the current debate asking if the fees should be scrapped throws the value of higher education further into the spotlight,” he said.

“Degrees now come with a hefty price-tag, but while the costs of studying are largely even the earning potential of graduates is more imbalanced.”

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