Men could earn +£18,000 more if they study engineering

Going to university should mean you earn more over your lifetime. But how much difference does the choice of university make? This has been calculated for the first time by the Institute for Fiscal Studies as evidenced by a new tool launched by the BBC.

It is data from this tool analysed to determine which UK universities have the power to provide men with a fuller pay-packet, five years after graduation.

To accomplish their research, The Knowledge Academy first sourced the most popular subjects for men to study, using HESA’s ‘HE student enrolments by subject of study 2016/17’ report. Then, each subject was selected using the BBC’s ‘Difference in Earnings’ tool. Lastly, data for the university found to have the biggest effect on earnings, five years after graduation, in comparison with the average degree, was recorded.

The Knowledge Academy found Business and Management is the ‘most popular’ subject to study for men. To earn big in this field, men should consider enrolling at the University of Oxford. Where, five years after graduation, men are expected to earn +£27,102 in comparison with the average degree.

For fellas who favour Engineering, it may come as no surprise that the University of Cambridge offers candidates the chance to earn an extra £18,108 five years after graduation. Next are degrees in Biosciences (+£10,331; Oxford) and Computing (+£21,994; Imperial College London), while men who choose to study Sociology at Aston University, may achieve £7,978 more than the average degree.

In Creative Arts and Design, the biggest boost in post-university earnings can be found at the University of Bristol (+£6,996.) While the University of Liverpool and Oxford (making the list yet again), may increase earnings by £21,994 and £14,713 for men who take the subjects Medicine and Dentistry and Physical, Material and Forensic Sciences, respectively.

History and Education and Teaching are the last two ‘most popular’ subjects for men to study. For avid historians, the London School of Economics (LSE) could provide +£14,217 in earnings five years after graduation, while Sheffield Hallam is the one to beat for teachers of the future, who can expect added earnings of +£5,532 in the same 5-year period.

Joseph Scott, a spokesperson from, commented: “Conducting this research was incredibly interesting, not least because it highlights how lifechanging choosing the right university can be. My advice to those contemplating higher education is, throw yourself into research. Choose the best option for you and you alone. Get the brochures, go on campus tours, and don’t be afraid to ask the big questions. It’s a significant opportunity, one can, quite literally, not afford to overlook!”

Data Methodology

Figures were produced by the IFS. They show how much the choice of a particular subject at a particular university may affect earnings, five years after graduation in comparison with the average degree.

The figures consider the qualities of those students who attend each university, to show what benefit an individual can attribute to the effect of the institution itself.

As the research is based in part on data from England’s Department for Education, only English students are included in the analysis – even for universities that are based in other parts of the UK.

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