It Pays to Be a University Graduate - lifetime salary comparisons for graduates and non-graduates

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 12:00 AM


Chart 1: Salary by age, for graduates and non-graduates

It pays to be a graduate

This chart clearly shows the value of a university degree in relation to salary outcomes over the course of a lifetime. The median salary for non-graduates at the peak of their earnings, aged 45, is £21,095, compared to the median salary for a UK graduate at the same age of £38,415 – 82% more than the non-graduates.  Both the graduate and non-graduate data is for all types of employment i.e. full-time and part-time.


The Russell Group premium

The orange line on the graph shows the lifetime salary premium for graduates of Russell Group universities. At the age of forty, Russell Group graduates are making £43,745, compared to £37,025 for all graduates (18% more), and £20,420 for non-graduates (114% more).


Not all Russell Group universities are the same

Students just from global top 20 universities earn £52,295 aged forty, which is 19% more than students from the Russell Group as a whole.  Global top 20 university students earn £53,130 at age fifty five, which is 28% more than students from the Russell Group as a whole.

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