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Getting a degree is still a good investment?

7th Mar 2012

Despite more than a third of recent graduates being in lower-skilled jobs, David Willettts, the universities minister, believes that a degree remains a good investment in the long term and is one of the best pathways to a good job and a rewarding career. Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) suggest he is right − graduates earn a lot more than non-graduates. The typical wage of graduates between 21 and 64 is just over £15 an hour while that of non-graduates is £9. But there are, of course, huge differences between what graduates with different sorts of degrees earn: earnings of graduates in medicine and dentistry average £21, in contrast to graduates in the arts and humanities who average just under £12 per hour − still a lot higher than non-graduates. And of all graduates 86% were in work at the end of 2011 as compared with only 72.3% of non-graduates. For most young people getting a degree still looks like a good bet.

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