Brits now need a postgraduate degree for higher pay
Young Brits now need two degrees to earn a significantly higher income, according to official data.
Graduate earnings figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that up to the age of 30, postgraduates typically earn £9,000, or 43%, more than non-graduates. This is compared to £4,000 — 20% — more for undergraduates.
Postgraduates earned a median salary of £30,000 in 2018, undergraduates made £25,000, and non-graduates made just £21,000.
This is an increase of £2,000 over 10 years for postgraduates and £1,500 for non-graduates. However, undergraduate salaries only rose by £500 during this period.
Those with two degrees are also more likely to be employed in high-skilled roles, data shows. Almost three-quarters (72%) of young postgraduates were employed in high-skilled roles in 2018, compared with 57% of undergraduates and just one in five (19%) non-graduates.
At 7%, non-graduates had the highest rate of unemployment. This is compared with 4% of all graduates.
The data suggests young people in Britain are struggling to find jobs. While those aged 21-30 were more active in the labour market than others between the ages of 16-54, they also have a lower rate of employment.
Across all ages, postgraduates were the most employed and active in the labour market.
The inactivity rate of young non-graduates (20.6%) was more than double the rates of young graduates (8.5%) and postgraduates (10.3%).
Women looking to earn more could also benefit from a postgraduate degree, with the ONS data highlighting Britain’s gender pay gap.
While men across all categories made more money than women in 2018, the difference was most pronounced for undergraduates, with men aged 21-30 earning £9,500 more than their female counterparts. Postgraduate and non-graduate men aged 21-30 both made £6,500 more than their female peers.