It’s tough to make serious life choices at the age of 18, but right now thousands of A-level students across the UK are doing exactly that in their UCAS university applications.
If motivated by money, prospective students ought to think very carefully about the degree they’re about to spend at least three years of their lives studying for.
New research carried out by the Institute of Fiscal Studies with the BBC shows that there are huge disparities between the average annual wage of recent grads (five years after graduating) who took different degrees.
The range was from an average salary of a little over £20,000 for students who studied creative arts and design degrees compared to more than double that amount (almost £47,000) for those who read medicine or dentistry.
While it is well known that actors and journalists tend to be underpaid, some of the results are relatively surprising, including the fact that those recent graduates who read history and philosophy are still only earning about £25,000 a year.
Here are the 10 lowest-paying degrees five years on:
10. Historical & philosophical studies — £25,547
9. Social studies (excluding economics) — £24,819
8. Biological sciences — £24,536
7. Combined (joint honours) — £24,520
6. Education — £24,385
5. English studies — £23,906
4. Psychology — £22,399
3. Communications (including media studies, journalism, and publishing) — £22,293
2. Agriculture & related subjects — £21,989
1. Creative arts & design — £20,085
By contrast, the students who studied economics and veterinary science were the second and third highest paid, earning on average £39,963 and £36,007 respectively a year.