The uni degrees that get students the highest paid jobs

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When people think about what to study at university, they usually end up pursuing the subject they love the most, or that they are particularly good at. Many have a specific job in mind and apply for the degree that will prepare them for that profession. However, if you can’t decide, or if making plenty of money is one of your top priorities, then check out this list of the university degrees that lead to the highest paid jobs in the UK. Let’s start at the very top…

1. Dentistry: £30,408
The highest graduate salary goes to fledgling dentists, a profession that held its own against the recession. A stable and reliable career, dentistry also has one of the highest employment rates in the UK, similar to medicine. It has a similar time commitment, too – dental surgery is typically a five-year course, requires you to pass the UKCAT beforehand and features plenty of training outside the institution by the final year. Cardiff University’s dental surgery course, one of the best in the UK, boasts that typically 100% of their graduates found employment within six months: (www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/course/dentistry-bds).

2. Chemical, process and energy engineering: £29,275
There aren’t enough chemical engineers in the UK, so if this sounds interesting to you, it’s a savvy career choice. Most graduates go on to a longer MEng course, gaining more skills and achieving Chartered Engineer status. These courses can take between three and five years to complete, depending on the path on which you decide. You’ll typically need good A Levels in Mathematics and either Physics or Chemistry.

3. Medicine: £28,525
The field of medicine is a great and noble calling, offering rewards far beyond a good starting salary (though it helps!). Even better, employment rates are high, so working incredibly hard for a long time should definitely be worth it. Studying medicine will also open up other careers such as health service management and clinical genetics.

4. Marine technology: £27,742
This is a highly specialist and vocational degree, for those interested in marine engineering, and the design and construction of water vessels and other types of maritime machinery. If this floats your boat (sorry), seriously consider signing up. The BAEng at Plymouth requires 300 UCAS points, lower than many courses on this list, as well as Cs at GCSE.

5. Operational research (mathematics): £26,099
Maths whiz with a head for numbers? Good news – there are excellent starting salaries on offer and several career options open to you. Many maths graduates go on to the world of finance, but you could also work in IT or embark in a career in accountancy. Business and manufacturing are also on the lookout for newly minted mathematicians.

6. Mechanical engineering: £25,604
The engineering sector is swiftly recovering from the recession, which whacked a dent in construction and other critical industries, so mechanical engineering graduates can expect better employment rates and decent starting wages. This is also a good option if you want to build a career outside London, as industry hotspots are scattered across the North and the Midlands and generally feature higher starting salaries. And, of course, engineers think up the best research project, like this man who created a Thor’s hammer only he can lift: www.studentmoneysaver.co.uk/article/scrawny-scientist-builds-working-thors-hammer-only-he-can-lift/

7. Economics: £24,927
Students in this field gain transferable skills that make them desirable in a wide range of fields including finance, retail, public sector management, banking and marketing. It’s also common for economics graduates to convert their degrees to accountancy qualifications, opening up another potentially lucrative career path. Budding economists can get a fabulous deal on a subscription to, funnily enough, The Economist here: http://www.studentmoneysaver.co.uk/the-economist/

8. Aerospace engineering: £24,884
If you’re excited by the prospect of designing and building aircraft, check out aerospace engineering, a degree which produces relatively very few graduates each year and prepares you for careers in not only aircraft and electronics engineering, but also engineering research, the armed forces, and investment advising. You’ll need to be excellent at mathematics and physics in order to apply – expect rigorous testing in these!

9. Veterinary medicine and dentistry: £24,547
Up in the top earners with human medicine and dentistry you’ll find the furry equivalent – most graduates from veterinary medicine quickly snap up jobs as vets, especially in rural areas. These courses are also typically at least five years long and you’re often expected to have undertaken work experience beforehand. Find the top rated university courses for veterinary medicine here: www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/league-tables/rankings?s=Veterinary+Medicine

10. Statistics: £24,446
With the advent of Big Data, statisticians are increasingly in demand. It could lead you to a career as an actuary, management consultant, software developer, market researcher or analyst. The degree is often challenging, and you’ll become an expert in advanced data collection, analysis methods and interpretation. Of course, a strong background in mathematics is needed, but there are also links to the social sciences including sociology, accounting, finance, and sociology.

There you have it – the 10 degrees that generally lead to the highest starting salaries (though of course it’s no guarantee!), and have high employment rates. This list could help you choose between degrees, or inspire your search. Good luck!

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