How Much Extra Does a University Education Give You in Monetary Terms?

How much is a university education worth in monetary terms

62% of British adults believe that a degree has no impact on earning potential. But according to new data, this does not seem to be the case. In this article, we look at the monetary advantage a higher-education can give you during the average working life.

If you’ve watched any UK news broadcasts today or listened to the radio, you’ve no doubt learned of the furore regarding exam results. Some will be saying “it’s all a fuss about nothing” while others will be thinking it’s the end of their world. Both points of view are valid. Some people have achieved great things without a university education while others have achieved incredible fame and fortune with one.

A university education doesn’t come cheap, and the added spectre of a large amount of student debt might put people off higher education. But, according to the people at, there is a significant advantage in monetary terms to having a degree.

A study of 2,042 UK adults revealed that as many as 62% believe that gaining a university degree will not increase an individual’s lifetime financial value. To uncover whether there is a real monetary benefit to university education, combined its own data with salary data from the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

The data showed that the average graduate would earn 23% more over their lifetime when compared to those who decided against a university education.

The numbers shown from the Degree Valuation Calculator showed the average university graduate earns £582,532 over their working life which is £107,532 more than those with a minimum of five A-C grade GCSEs.

For women, the difference is even more obvious. A female graduate can expect to be earning as much as £31,500 per year by the time they reach the age of 29. This is in stark contrast to women who left education at an earlier stage who’s typical salary will be £20,800 per year, more than a 50% difference.

Degrees in economics provide the largest monetary increase

Degrees in economics, maths and medicine appear to offer the largest monetary increase over a working lifetime for females. An economics degree should provide an increase in earnings of 122%, medicine 113% and maths 95% when compared to someone without a degree in any subject.

Graduates of Oxbridge and Russell Group universities are likely to see the biggest increase in lifetime earnings amongst those who have a degree. The average graduate of these universities can expect lifetime earnings of £651,000, which is an increase of £176,500 compared to the average UK non-graduate, with a minimum of 5 A-C GCSEs, who will earn £475,000 across their lifetime.

According to the Chartered Association of Business Schools, the most popular degree to take is currently business. According to’s calculator, business graduates can expect to earn an impressive £659,000 over their lifetimes, which is £184,000 more than individuals without a University education.

So, is a university education worth it in monetary terms?
The simple answer is yes. However, it’s not quite a clear-cut as this. You should take into account the initial cost outlay of university education, what debts you might be left with and whether a university lifestyle is something you want. If you’re happy with this, get a university education and watch the money roll in!

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How Much Extra Does a University Education Give You in Monetary Terms? 2


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