From Graduation to High Earnings: The Best UK Degrees for High-Paying Careers

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With so many degree options available, which ones have the potential to give you the most lucrative career?


We analysed search data and average salaries to rank the highest-paying graduate jobs for the UK's most popular degrees in 2023. Discover which ones open doors to exciting and high-paying opportunities.


table of degrees and starting salary


1. Computing: Unlocking Tech Excellence with a Bachelor of Science

woman working on a computer


Average Salary for a Graduate Software Engineer: £43,000


In today's digital age, computing professionals are in high demand. With a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Science (CS), you can expect an average salary of £43,000.


At an undergraduate level, you can set a solid foundation for a successful career as a software engineer, data analyst, machine learning specialist and cybersecurity expert, among other things.



2. Physical Sciences: Exploring the Fascinating World of Physics


Average Salary for a Graduate Data Analyst: £39,000


If you're captivated by the mysteries of the universe, a Bachelor of Science (BS/BSc) in Physics might be the perfect fit. With an average salary of £39,000, this degree could satisfy your curiosity about the natural world and offer lucrative career opportunities in research, engineering, and beyond.


Physics graduates can find work as research scientists, aerospace engineers, and data analysts or even pursue careers in finance and technology sectors, where analytical and problem-solving skills are highly valued.



3. Combined and General Studies: Versatility Meets Solid Earnings


Average Salary for a Graduate Administrative Assistant: £37,000


Studying a broad range of subjects can be a wise choice, as it provides you with a versatile skill set valued by employers. A General Studies degree can pave the way for various career paths and earn you an average salary of £37,000. Embrace the power of diversity and open doors to rewarding opportunities across industries.


Graduates with a degree in Combined and General Studies often possess a well-rounded knowledge base, making them suitable for management, sales, marketing, or public relations positions. This degree particularly appeals to those looking to explore multiple fields before settling on a specific career path.


4. Mathematical Sciences: Calculating Your Way to Success

man walking up steps to a building


Average Salary for a Graduate Data Scientist: £37,000


With a degree in Mathematics, you'll join the ranks of problem solvers who are highly sought after in numerous fields. This degree offers an average salary of £37,000, empowering you to apply your analytical skills in finance, data science, research, and other exciting domains.


Graduates with expertise in mathematical sciences are in demand across various industries, including finance, technology, engineering, and healthcare. A Bachelor of Science (MS) in Mathematics provides a strong foundation for pursuing a master's degree and opens doors to numerous career opportunities in mathematics and related fields.



5. Engineering and Technology: Building a Bright Future with an Engineering Degree


Average Salary for a Graduate Engineer: £36,000


Engineers play a crucial role in shaping the world around us, and their expertise is highly valued. By pursuing a degree in Engineering, you can embark on a fulfilling career while earning an average salary of £36,000. Prepare to bring innovative ideas to life and contribute to society's progress.


A Master of Engineering (MEng/ME) provides the necessary foundation for a successful engineering career. Graduates in engineering can work in diverse sectors, such as civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and aerospace engineering, contributing to projects that impact our daily lives.



6. Geography, Earth, and Environmental Studies: Unleashing Your Passion for the Planet


Average Salary for a Graduate Geographic Analyst: £36,000



A Bachelor of Science (BS/BSc) in Earth Science is ideal for those who care deeply about the environment and the Earth's natural wonders. With an average salary of £36,000, you can pursue a career that involves preserving the planet, conducting research, or tackling environmental challenges head-on. Graduates with a geography, Earth, and environmental studies background can work in fields like environmental consulting, urban planning, and geospatial analysis; or they can find a career in research organisations focused on sustainability and climate change.



7. Medicine and Dentistry: Caring Professions That Reward


Average Salary for a Graduate Dentist: £36,000



If you have a calling to heal and help others, dentistry is a field that can provide immense personal satisfaction alongside financial stability. By becoming a dentist, you can earn an average salary of £36,000 while positively impacting people's lives through your expertise and care. Aspiring professionals must pursue a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) for a career in the field. Dentistry graduates can become general dental care practitioners, specialists, surgeons, or even work in research and academia within the healthcare sector.



8. Language and Area Studies: Embracing the Beauty of Cultural Exchange


Average Graduate Salary for an Interpreter: £35,000


A Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Modern Languages can open doors to various opportunities in translation, teaching, international relations, and more. With an average salary of £35,000, you can immerse yourself in different cultures, broaden your horizons, and build bridges between people from diverse backgrounds. Graduates in language and area studies can pursue careers as language teachers, interpreters, translators, and international relations specialists or work in multinational corporations that require language proficiency and intercultural communication skills.



9. Social Sciences: Understanding Society, Shaping Change


Average Salary for a Graduate Human Resources Executive: £34,000


By pursuing a Master of Science (MS) in Social Science, you can better understand society and contribute to positive change. With an average salary of £34,000, this degree equips you with the tools to analyse complex social issues and make a tangible impact through research, policy development, and advocacy.


Graduates in social sciences can work in social work, policy analysis, market research, and human resources or pursue further studies in fields like psychology, sociology, or economics.


Choosing the right degree is crucial to securing a fulfilling and well-paid career. Several opportunities await you whether you're passionate about Law, computing, physical sciences, or any other field.


Explore your interests, harness your talents, and set yourself up for success by pursuing a degree that aligns with your passions and ambitions.


Remember, education is an investment in your future, and with the right degree, you can open doors to a world of exciting possibilities in 2023 and beyond.




We collected data from the following sources:

Highly enrolled courses from HESA

Salary from PayScale

Graduation time through internet research


To identify the best degrees, we ranked subjects by salary and time taken to graduate, then averaged the rankings to calculate the Return on Investment (ROI).


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