Education is always an investment in the student, but not all degrees provide a reasonable rate of return on the investment. Some programmes like law and economics are associated with high salaries for graduates. There are others that pay well that may not require an advanced degree, or having to attend one of the top schools in the country. This is why it’s important to look past assumptions when choosing a degree if job security, salary, and employability are your main goals. Here are six of the highest paying and employable fields in the UK.


Nearly 98 out of 100 students in medicine and dentistry are in full-time work after graduating. They also enjoy the highest average pay at roughly £37,000 a year.

Nurses are the second most employable students upon graduation. More than 95 per cent enter the workplace upon graduation with a four-year degree or after completing a fifth year of study. For comparison, health and social care students see 91 per cent of graduates finding sustained employment a year after graduation. Nursing students also enjoy high pay. They have an average first year salary of roughly £26,000.

However, not every medical and scientific discipline pays well; for example, psychology graduates earn roughly £17,000 a year, and graduates in sport and exercise sciences earn less than £16,000. However, this is partially made up for in their high rate of earnings growth. Sports and exercise graduates have a ten-year average pay rate of £30,000 a year.

Veterinary Science

Veterinary science is one of the most employable degrees in the UK. More than 90 per cent of students find full-time employment after completing their degrees. They’re also among the best-paid graduates. Their average first year salary is around £30,000.

Education and Teaching

Education and teaching is another field full of great opportunities. Roughly 90 per cent of education and teaching students find full-time employment upon graduation. Furthermore, their average pay rate is a little under £30,000 a year, and they can find jobs anywhere. For comparison, just under 80 per cent of graduates with a degree in languages, linguistics and classics find sustained employment a year after graduation. Their job prospects are nearly as low as those for humanities and liberal arts graduates.


The increasingly high-tech world we live in is desperate for engineers. This is why engineering graduates earn an average of £26,500 a year. This could lead to a job in engineering or IT management. This is also one of the highest paying jobs in the world, coming in just behind doctors, nurse anaesthetists and dentists in annual pay. Technology graduates typically increase their pay by 70 to 75 per cent after ten years in the workforce.

Economics and Business

Economics graduates earn an average pay rate of £26,500 a year in their first year of employment. Economics graduates also nearly double their pay after ten years in the workforce. Their average pay rate is around £40,000 a year.

However, students should know that the school they choose will have an influence on the type of offers they will get. For example, Bangor University has one of the best business programmes in the country, and one that is very respected in the field. This will allow you to get the prestige of Russell Group credentials without the price tag.


Law continues to be one of the most lucrative fields for graduates and offers great job prospects. However, most students don’t start reaching higher salaries until they have a few years of experience. Starting pay for law graduates is around £20,000. But, within five years of graduating, pay averages £35,000 a year.

Law has the added benefit of being a natural choice for those who want to go into politics, and it pays somewhat better than political science degrees. The average political science graduate earns less than £30,000 after five years in the workforce. Politics degrees also have a lower employment rate, as only four in five are said to find full-time work in their chosen area within a year of graduation.

There are many factors that affect the earnings potential of graduates. This includes the quality of the programme they choose and how hard they work. However, the field they study has the greatest impact on their future income. Consider the options outlined above, but make sure you consider whether it is a job you can see yourself doing for the foreseeable future.

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