Degrees that earn money

We all know that British university tuition fees have been increased dramatically a few years back. As a result, the average UK student debt is £50,800 at graduation. It’s only normal that young Brits wonder what the most useful degrees are today on the job market before investing their time and a whole lot of money in their studies.

Not everyone is fresh out of high school though. More and more professionals decide to go back to uni (sometimes choosing part-time or online classes) to expand their skillset and boost their competitivity in the job place. 

The effects of Brexit on education are still to be seen and analysed in full. However, as it’s understood that the demand for European language skills will increase, language degrees are gaining popularity again, and students are expressing more interest in signing up for certifications like Spanish A levels and French A levels.

Let’s see how you can maximise your employability with a useful degree and/or non-academic short qualifications.

Best paid degrees in the UK

As you may already imagine, the highest-paying degrees in the UK can be found in the scientific/economic field. You may be surprised that finance and computer science graduates earn less than accountants at first, but don’t let this put you off your passion. Several degrees may not make you a millionaire within 6 months but these salaries tend to spike dramatically just a few years into the career. 

Find below the 10 best-paid degrees for UK graduates:

  1. Civil engineering. Average salary £44,851. This is a position of great responsibility and the paycheck reflects that
  2. Engineering. Average salary: £42,837. Engineering graduates are highly valued both in the public and private sector and a non excessively specialised degree allows them to adapt quickly
  3. Accounting. Average salary: £42,404. British accountants are sought after all over the world, if you double major with a second language you will become extremely competitive on the international job market
  4. Computer science. Average salary: £41,950. Although junior salaries can start at around 20k, they grow very impressively very fast 
  5. Economics. Average salary: £41,144. Economists have a unique understanding of several aspects of society and their knowledge pays well
  6. Finance. Average salary: £40,908. If you like fast-paced work and aren’t scared by big numbers and taking risks, this is the field for you
  7. Architecture. Average salary: £40,788. London grows at full rhythm, will you be adding your signature to its skyline?
  8. Science. Average salary: £40,409. Pharmaceuticals have been working and hiring hard long before COVID-19. There are plenty of opportunities in Europe in countries like Germany, Austria, and Switzerland if you speak German
  9. Mechanical engineering. Average salary: £39,106. These graduates are highly palatable for governments, groundbreaking start-ups, and car manufacturers all over Europe and beyond
  10.  Mathematics. Average salary: £39,000. Mathematicians can easily find placement in the IT and finance sectors

Are these the only high-paying degrees?

Of course no, they are not. In fact, highly paid doesn’t necessarily mean highly employable. Easily transferable skills can reward you much better than uniquely specialised expertise. 

Think of context, contacts, and training too. A French degree can allow you to work in Paris and make the right connections and/or start out with an internship at a designer brand, even though you don’t have a formal education in fashion. While if you have the right degree but don’t know anyone in the field nor the language, you’ll hardly get a placement in the city of lights.

Should I study languages at university?

At the European level, speaker confidence in foreign languages is twice as high in young people aged 25 to 34 as in the 55-64 age group. Moreover, between 2000 and 2008 the average number of languages studied in EU primary schools increased by roughly a third. Competition is high and multilingualism is likely to become the norm.

That is why increasingly more students take a major subject with a language, such as a Business and Spanish degree. This makes them significantly more employable both at home and abroad.

Should I get a language degree?

If you want to become a language teacher or translator, then yes, your best move would be to graduate in foreign languages. However, it’s not normally necessary to study a language as a major degree for the average UK professional. 

Taking it as an extra elective or minor subject can expand your skillset and boost your employability.

Moreover, it may help you make your dream lifestyle come true. If you enjoy the beach and warm weather, for example, studying Spanish will open up possibilities like working remotely in the Canary Islands.

What are quick certifications that pay well?

In general, professional development and preparation are becoming much less linear than what we were used to. Non-academic courses, workshops, and boot camps are popular options that are often less expensive and time-consuming than traditional degrees. If taken at reputable institutions, they can easily turn into junior position. 

Some of the most marketable skills nowadays can be found in the tech sector. Whether you work in sales or production, learning the latest tools, the basics of programming, and agile workflows will make your profile extremely attractive in a well-paying and rapidly expanding industry. And if you add Spanish and German to your CV, you will be able to be hired in tech hubs like Barcelona and Berlin.

Here are examples of well-paid professions that require short certifications:

  • Web developer
  • Air traffic controller
  • Medical coder
  • Ultrasound technician
  • Electrician
  • System security specialist
  • Web designer
  • Court reporter

Remember: sometimes, adding something as simple as a second language to your resume can push your paycheck up by 10-15%. Upskill considering your field and the market but also your personal inclinations and passions. Learn today how My Language Lab can help you achieve your professional goals with online and in-person classes.

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