You Should Know

/ 3 years ago /

 Article by Alex Ekong

These universities get you the highest graduate salaries in 2018

There are plenty of important factors that students consider when they’re looking for a graduate job. Sectors, locations, the opportunity to grow and develop, company culture – yes, these are all important things. But the Wu-Tang Clan famously said cash ruled everything around them and the same is still true in this day and age. It’s all about those graduate salaries, people.

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Most of us assume (correctly) that your choice of industry or company are the main drivers of how much salary you make when you graduate. But there’s another factor which affects this, and it was a decision you made long before you applied for a job which caused it.

Your choice of university affects your graduate salary

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That’s right, y’all. Research conducted by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA, for the anagram enthusiasts among you) shows that the university you chose to go to, waaaayyyy back when you were 17, has at least some bearing on how much you earn once you graduate.

Why? Well, every university has different relationships with top employers, not to mention different careers and employability services available. The help that these give you as a student can make all the difference when it comes to how quickly you get a job post-graduation and how much you earn when you do.

So which one is the best?

At this point, you’re probably gagging to know which universities set you up for the highest graduate salaries, aren’t you? Well thankfully, the good people at The Student Room have used the course salary data collected from HESA to make a handy table, and calculated the average median for each university.

Here are those average medians ranked from highest to lowest, and the results might just surprise you.


University  Average median salary   Average upper salary   Average lower salary  High-paying course
The Open University  £26,373  £35,529  £20,402 Computing & IT (£50K)
City, University of London  £24,453  £28,133  £20,800 Civil Engineering (£29k)
London School of Economics  £23,818  £28,436  £19,982 Mathematics & Economics(£40k)
Queen Mary University  £23,644  £27,649  £19,986 Economics & Finance (£33k)
The University of Bath  £23,399  £27,065  £19,698 Politics with Economics (£32k)
Brunel University London  £23,246  £26,860  £19,706 Economics & Management(£31k)
Loughborough University  £22,942  £26,572  £19,444 Computing & Management(£31k)
University of Surrey  £22,826  £26,456  £19,626 Chemical Engineering (31k)
University of Cambridge  £22,606  £26,576  £19,030 Economics (£33k)
University of Southampton  £22,008  £25,452  £18,946 Medicine (£33k)

In a result that some people might find shocking, The Open University assures its graduates the highest median salary – £26,373. This is doubling surprising considering that it’s a university defined by distance learning and adult education. Graduating with a degree in their highest paying course – computing and IT is likely to get you a £50,000 starting salary – a clear confirmation of the importance of digital skills.

Next up were London universities City and LSE with £24,453 and £23,818 respectively. Interestingly, of all the universities in the Top 10, only 4 of them are part of the esteemed Russell Group, with Cambridge languishing in 9th place and no sign of Oxford anywhere. 😱

It just goes to show you that success isn’t where you go to uni, it’s what you do while you’re there.

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