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Top Degrees to Study to Get the Highest-Paying Jobs

With so many courses on offer, it can be difficult to choose a subject to study at university - especially when there’s £9,000 a year on the line. To help you make your decision, we’ve figured out which degrees are most likely to lead to high-earning jobs and make those student loans pay for themselves.

Civil Engineering

According to job search engine Adzuna, graduates who studied civil engineering are among the highest paid in the country, pulling in an average yearly salary of around £44,851. Graduates often end up working in roles such as consulting, contracting and surveying - although the degree can also prove useful if you want to work in geological or environmental fields. According to the Guardian’s 2017 University Guide, Imperial College in London is the top place to study Civil Engineering in the UK, followed by Southampton.


The sciences also ranked as one of the highest earning fields, with scientists in the UK earning an average of £40,409 per year. Career options obviously depend on your chosen speciality, with chemists often going on to healthcare and pharmacology and physicists to research or lab work. Sussex topped the list in Chemistry, followed by Oxford, while the St Andrews and Birmingham were the favourites for Physics.


Mathematicians also appeared on Adzuna’s list of the top-paid graduates. Earning an average of £89,010, those with a maths degree have many options open to them, particularly because there’s currently a shortage of graduates in their field. If you’re looking to make money right off the bat, look into a career as a Graduate Analyst. According to The Telegraph’s round-up, it’s the top-paying graduate role of 2016. Unsurprisingly, Oxford topped The Guardian’s University League Table for the subject, followed by Imperial College.


Another one for those looking to start earning straight away, Dentistry has the highest average new-graduate salary of all professions, according to Save the Student. You can expect to earn an average of £30,432 - which is one of the reasons that it’s such a competitive course, often requiring three A grades at A Level. The Guardian’s top schools for studying Dentistry in 2017 were Queen’s in Belfast and Plymouth.  


The best way to make serious money? Take the top job. It comes as no surprise that Chief Executives and Senior Officials were ranked the top-paid roles by the Office of National Statistics, pulling in an average salary of £123,577 per annum. While some self-made millionaires have proven that a degree is not a necessity, more than half the CEOs on the Fortune 500 list have Business degrees.  


Also claiming a spot in the UK’s top five highest earning professions are Marketing and Sales Directors, who make an average of £87,890. It’s a competitive field, so your best bet at making it in (and up the ladder) is to complete a degree in Marketing to make sure you know your brand identities from your customer profiles. Oxford and Surrey were chosen as the top choices in this field for 2017.

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This article is sponsored content.