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Research suggests a degree is a good investment

Published: Monday, 15 April 2013

Research carried out for the Million+ group by London Economics states that a UK undergraduate degree is a great financial investment and postgraduate attainment can boost your earnings even further.

The question is often asked about the value of a UK degree and the answer is a good one. First of all is the question about whether a degree gives greater financial rewards than A-levels. Recent research for the Million+ group suggests that an undergraduate degree will give you, on average, 27% greater average earnings than 2 A-level qualifications.

In monetary terms this equates to an average of additional income (taking into account the cost of studying) of £110,000 over a lifetime. However the actual figure would fluctuate by degree discipline and evidence suggests that there are significant differences in gender income. For example a male could, on average, see increase in lifetime earnings of £127,000 compared with an average of £87,000 for women. It should be noted, however, that women are more likely to take a career break or work part-time following the birth of children which may impact on their potential lifetime earnings.

The value of a Masters qualification is more significant that had been assumed with an average increase in lifetime earnings, over an undergraduate degree, of £62,000 for men and £44,000 for women.

There are other benefits to a degree and the most significant is probably employment stability.

In conclusion London Economics, on behalf of Million+ state that:

A UK degree remains an exceptionally good investment for both the individual undertaking the qualification, as well as the Treasury funding their provision - and therefore, by default, the taxpayer.