Degrees and Salaries


Katie Landon Advice, Candidate

The number of people attending university has increased significantly over the decades and as a result, we’ve seen more employers reflecting this by requesting degrees for jobs that you previously wouldn’t have needed one for. Over time, we’ve been told by media how graduates are more likely to earn more over the period of a career than those without. However, Indeed has acknowledged that it might just not be the case for the following positions, paying above the National Average:


Job Title

Average Salary


Ethical Hacker



Construction Manager



Software Engineer



Maintenance Manager



Sales Manager



Fitness Manager



Executive Assistant






Head Chef







These salaries were analysed by Indeed found from tens of thousands of job adverts to show that the top 10 roles open to non-graduates pay significantly more than the average UK yearly salary of £27,600. Whilst these roles may not require a specific university degree; many would gain the necessary skills via experience.  It was even identified by The Sutton Trust back in 2015 that those with Level 5 Apprenticeship experience (equivalent to a Foundation Degree) will result in greater lifetime earnings. Of course, the importance of a degree also varies across the UK, as it’s estimated that by 2022, 60% of advertised posts in London require a degree.

With this, will more people hesitate to enrol and think about whether their course is right for them or even necessary? Although university fees are currently capped at £27,750 and unlikely that such debt will be paid back in full, living costs are increasing and have to be accounted for also. Earning potential may be significant enough to warrant the 3 years of study, but the initial outlay for such a qualification may not always be worth it. Or can you not put a price on the experience alone? University provides that opportunity for those to explore new realms that may not be on offer through an experienced based scheme. Perhaps there needs to be more information provided to school attendees to help them make more informed decisions about their future.