It’s no secret that competition is pretty fierce in the UK job market right now for graduates, and as such it’s probably a bad idea to waltz into a degree in art history because you’re not too sure what you want to do and a friend told you it might be a pretty easy degree. For a start, a degree in Art History is by no means an easy ride, but more to the point, university is the time for hard work and gritty decisions. If you are hoping to go to university you should choose a degree that will give you the best chance to start the career you want when you come to look for employment. As such, here’s our ten most employable degrees that you should consider when choosing which degree to take at university.
Medicine and Dentistry
No surprises here. 99% of all medicine and dentistry graduates land a job or further study within 6 months of leaving university. Imagine a class of 200 people studying medicine and/or dentistry and all but one have managed to land ea job within 6 months. Impressive.
What’s more impressive is that the average graduate salary for medicine and dentistry graduates was £28,500 last year! Don’t be under any illusions though, the graduates from these courses are in such high demand because the degree courses require a lot of dedication and hard work. Med students might well have it harder than anyone, so if you want to go down that road, be prepared to work all day, every day.
Yep, it’s a different discipline from medicine and dentistry, and it still very much holds its own on the employment stakes, with 97% of all graduates finding work or future study 6 months after graduation.
One of the things that makes veterinary science degrees so gruelling is the length. A BVSc is five to six years long, which means the average graduate will only qualify as a vet by the time they’re 25 or so, assuming they start when they’re 18/19!
With such a variety of skills to learn and such an abundance of different species to become familiar with, it’s not wonder veterinary degrees are so long. Perhaps though it’s worth the wait, with an average starting salary of £27,000…
Subjects Allied to Medicine
In this area we include degrees in subjects such as neuroscience, drug discovery and the biomedical sciences. Together, 95% of students found a job or went into further education within 6 months of graduating. Which isn’t too shabby at all. Degrees in this sector involve, hard work, lots of hours and a good return (£22k starting salary).
One thing to add is that you will have the opportunity to study medicine and take a specialisation early on in your career, which is of course a good thing – young professionalism is all very well, but you’ll be able to command higher salaries in the future if you’re an expert in your field first and a young professional second.
The world needs teachers. A still very impressive 94% of all graduates of education degrees get a job or move on to further study within 6 months of graduating, and as teaching jobs tend to recruit at stable level, this is not expected to change. Many teachers study a separate degree and then go onto study a teaching course – very few teachers originally study teaching. Weirdly.
This can make a degree in education a highly sought-after thing, and will be beneficial for climbing up the ranks and getting a better job within education later down the line. Additionally, teachers do get a lot of holidays. However, this does mean they don’t work great hours – a couple of hours on either side of the nine-to-five and then the possibility of another few hours later in the day. But still, think of the holidays!
Perhaps you’ve not considered teaching as a career yet – nobody wants to do the job they just spent the last 13 years making it as difficult as possible to do. Reconsider this approach – there’s more opportunity here than you’d think, and an average starting salary of just over £20,000!
Have a degree in another subject and thinking of becoming a teacher? Then you should look at studying a PGCE.
Architecture, Building and Planning
Architecture degrees allows students to study a varied curriculum covering a combination of arts, maths, technology and sciences. Degrees in architecture also set you up for a varied career, with graduates able to specialise in fields such as residential architecture, commercial building, town planning etc.
Graduate prospects are still great for architecture graduates, with 90% of students being in full-time employment or further education 6 months after graduation. It is worth noting however that a lot of architecture graduates choose the route to self employment, and those that don’t can land themselves jobs in larger companies on a salary of around £22,500.
Law degrees are worth more than their names – a degree in law is not just proof of knowledge of law. It’s a certificate of applied intelligence and memory. As such, students with law degrees are snapped up, but often not actually into the legal industry. Law graduates are able to find work other than as lawyers, and start their career on around £19,500 after graduating.
90% of graduates get a job or continue with their studies within 6 months of finishing their degree. It’s important to note that a lot of this 90% – about half – continued with study after law, which implies that many law graduates choose to specialise further within law after graduating.
Sadly, a degree in the biological sciences doesn’t guarantee you’ll be woken and dressed by forest critters, ride a bear to work where you’ll pull a tooth out of a tiger and then sail off into the sunset with Pocahontas on the back of a blue whale. However, it is a pretty good field for employment, with 89% of all graduates landing themselves a job or further study within 6 months of finishing their degrees.
Tiger dentistry, bear riding and whale sailing aside; there’s still a lot available to a graduate in the biological sciences (including a starting salary of £18,500). Biotechnology as an industry is booming at an incredible rate whilst creating an enormous job gap. And it’s fascinating stuff you could be working in – from photosynthesising paint to glowing crops to mining plants.
Engineers are highly sought after guys and gals. This is made patently obvious with the employment (or further education) rate of 88% for the first 6 months after graduation. Engineering is an immensely wide subject and covers areas such as electrical, mechanical, software, environmental, chemical, acoustic or biological or civil engineering; along with many, many others.
Jobs in engineering tend to fall into two distinct categories – public or private sector. Both are similar as far as the contents of the job is concerned, but generally the private sector is harder to get into and pays more. Still, the average starting salary for engineering graduates was £25,500 last year, putting it in third place behind Medicine & Dentistry, and Veterinary Science. So work hard and try to break into that side of the job market!
Specialisations abound, and degrees in subjects in chemical or biological engineering will seem like more of a chemistry or biology degree than anything else. However, engineers are subtly different from standard science students in that they learn how to do things, without having to look it up first.
Business and Administrative Studies
Skilled academics are needed throughout all industries to ensure businesses run smoothly. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that 88% of business graduates are in full-time employment or in further study within 6 months of graduation.
Tons of jobs are on the horizon for business graduates with roles being available in finance, marketing, project management, human resources, logistics, sales, and economics. On average graduates were able to gain roles paying around £22,500 last year, making business related subjects a great choice for those looking for a good pay-off after education.
“The world isn’t getting smaller, there’s just less in it”, as Cap’n Jack Sparrow put it. Maybe, but there are still a lot of languages being spoken, and that doesn’t look to change any time soon. 88% of all language graduates land a job or further study within 6 months of finishing their degree, and that’s very much to be expected.
Modern languages of particular importance in this smaller world include Chinese, Spanish, Korean, German, French and Spanish. Emerging markets around the world are making businesses very keen to employ those who are able to communicate effectively in a variety of languages, not everyone speaks English, and many people just don’t want to. If you are interested in learning multiple languages a modern languages degree is for you.
Additionally, a job as a translator is a pretty sweet one – interesting experiences, travelling opportunities and a decent paycheck are all part of the parcel, and will open a lot of exciting doors into the big wide world.
And there you have it – the degrees with the highest employment levels. It’s worth noting the subjects that didn’t make this list too. “Purer” subjects like chemistry or physics haven’t made the list, along with subjects like mathematical sciences and computer science, which generally one might expect to pop up somewhere.
It’s also important to notice that the tenth most popular has an employment rate of 88%. Which is good, but not as good as one might expect. That means that 12% don’t get a job within 6 months of graduating, and that’s for the tenth-best degree. It’s a sign of the times, and a good reminder to work very hard even if you do land yourself a place in a well-employed, high-scoring degree.
And if anyone’s wondering, the very worst degree as far as employment goes is… drumroll please… Agriculture and its related subjects! So if you’re intent on a career in agriculture be sure to work hard at your degree and give yourself the best chance of succeeding in your career!