Young postgraduates earn 18% more than graduates

Official statistics from the DfE reveal that postgraduates under 30 earn on average £4,500 more than graduates

Postgraduates under 30 earn 18 per cent more than graduates, official data from the Department for Education (DfE) suggests.

The annual income data calculated the difference in median salaries of graduates and postgraduates under the age of 30. The universities minister Chris Skidmore said it showed a “graduate premium”.

In a statement, Skidmore said: “We have record rates of 18-year-olds in England going into higher education, so I am delighted to see that there continues to be a graduate premium and students are going on to reap the rewards of their degrees.”

The figures are in contrast to the findings of a recent poll from the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) that found most employers do not appear to value Master’s degrees.

Students shouldn’t expect employers to place a premium on the fact they have done a Master’s – Stephen Isherwood, ISE chief executive

Only one in five employers thought postgraduate degrees gave candidates better skills and only 12 per cent said that postgraduates progress most quickly in terms of salaries than other employees.

Stephen Isherwood, chief executive of the ISE, said: “In reality, most employers simply don’t discriminate between those with a Master’s and those with a degree. They see them as the same.

“They are treated the same when they join. They do not go on a faster track or get paid a premium. I think that is a bit of a shock to some Master’s students going into the labour market.

“Students shouldn’t expect employers to place a premium on the fact they have done a Master’s. Just because you have been through the Master’s process doesn’t necessarily prove that those skills will go through to the world of employment.”

The same DfE annual income study also found that male graduates earn £9,500 more than female graduates and white graduates earn £9,500 more than white graduates.


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