Better University Scores Lead to Better Earnings, Suggests New UK Research


Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Apr 20, 2022 07:15 PM IST

A recent report from the UK’s distinguished Institute of Fiscal Studies revealed that focusing on your studies and working towards scoring high marks directly results in better earnings after graduation.

Better University Scores Lead to Better Earnings, Suggests New UK Research

For ages, our elders have pushed us to perform well and score high during our studies. Well, their advice may just be the one all students studying in the United Kingdom need. A recent study has revealed that those who graduate with a first-class honours degree in the UK were found to have earned far more than those who passed the same degree in a lower second class.

Produced by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) in the UK and commissioned by the Department of Education of the UK, the study revealed that a difference of GBP 3,800 per year had been found between the salaries of first-class graduates and the lower second-class graduates in the UK.

The research revealed that men and women who had earned a degree from one of the UKs top institutions in 2013 with a lower second-class distinction, also known as the 2:2 in the UK were earning an average of GBP 3,800 less per year, five years later. Meanwhile, students graduating with an upper-class distinction, also known as the 2:1, also the average grade received by British students in the UK, were earning significantly higher.

Also Read: Graduate Route to Help Fill Million Job Vacancies in the UK

According to a report published by CNBC, the first-class honours degree is called the 1:1 and is the highest distinction a student can receive, followed by 2:1 (upper-class distinction) and 2:2 (second-class distinction) and a third-class distinction.

As per IFS, the data for the research was collected from a sample of nearly 470,000 graduates, who had started their undergraduate or postgraduate course by the age of 21 (around (2007-09) and completed their studies by the age of 27 (around 2013-15).

The IFS also reported that women graduating with a 1:1 degree from UK universities were earning GBP 2,200 on average more every year than those with a 2:1 degree five years later. Meanwhile, men with a 1:1 were found to be earning around GBP 4,100 more every year than those with a 2:1 degree.

Inevitably, the IFS also found that earning a 2:1 degree from a top UK university resulted in a much bigger payoff. On the other hand, students with a 2:2 degree from some of the most selective UK universities were found to be earning 20% less at the age of 30, compared to graduates with a 2:1 degree, stated CNBC quoting the study.

Further findings from the IFS report also highlighted the pay differences between men and women achieving a 1:1 degree at these most selective UK universities.

Also Read: Concerns Raised Over Significant Employability Gap Faced by International Students in the UK

The CNBC report quoted the study saying that a near-zero payoff was seen between women with a 1:1 degree and 2:1 degree, earned from these most selective colleges. Meanwhile, men with the highest distinction were seen to have been earning 14% more compared to men with a 2:1 degree.

CNBC also reported that grades mattered depending on the subject chosen by the graduates. Quoting CNBCs example, graduates with a 2:2 degree in law or economics were found to be earning 15% less than if they had earned 2:1 in the respective subjects.

Ben Waltmann, Co-author of the report and Senior Research Economist at IFS, stated that the data revealed: degree classifications may matter as much as the university attended for later-life earnings.

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Source: CNBC

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