Top 5 highest paying degrees

For our parent’s generation the path to success was rather simple: finish secondary school, go to university, get your undergraduate degree, and enter the workforce where a “good job” was all but guaranteed to be waiting for you.

Unfortunately, it is not such a clear-cut path anymore and for many people, the decision to pursue higher education is something to be debated with great thought. With the cost of tuition rising globally and the uncertainty of the job market, many prospective students are unsure if continuing education is the right path for them. This can be especially true for those who would be faced with student loans following completion.

For many people, this decision is heavily influenced by what future salary lies ahead following the completion of their studies. If a high-paying career is on the other side of the graduation stage many feel the decision to pursue post-secondary education is worth the price tag. 

In this blog post we have compiled a list of the top 5 highest paying degrees in the UK that result in the most millionaires because at the end of the day, money does equal happiness (at least according to science). 


1. Engineering 

There are many types of engineering specialties but overall the degree produces the highest number of millionaires. With so many paths to follow within the field the average salary varies depending on your specialty, but you are pretty much guaranteed to do well for yourself no matter which path you follow.

For example, the average salary for a Petroleum Engineer is £110,000 per year and the average salary for a Big Data engineer is £112,000 with many large companies paying £140,000+.

This is well above the national average salary of £39,966 for full-time employees in 2022 according to the Office of National Statistics. With so many avenues to explore within the engineering field, pursuing an engineering degree is a great way to get started on the path to becoming a millionaire.


2. Finance/economics

The next top-paying degree is in finance/ economics. Similar to engineering there are many potential paths that one could follow in the realm of finance as all businesses and organizations require financial management.

Whether you decide to become a hedge fund manager and oversee huge amounts of wealth or work as a financial advisor with individual clients, financial management is essential in our capitalist society. With a degree in finance/ economics, one can pursue many different avenues but luckily all of them result in high earning potential.

The average base salary for an investment banker after graduation is £60,000 with bonuses on top of that. There is plenty of potential to earn more as you progress with many VP’s at top firms making £400,000+.

That path is certainly not for everyone and there are many other finance-related careers such as a financial analyst which makes an average of £70,000 and typically has a better work-life balance.


3. Medicine

Studying medicine to pursue a career in healthcare is a great way to both make money and make a difference in the world by directly helping people. One can take many paths after a degree in medicine, but unlike engineering and finance, most working professionals will require additional schooling before starting their careers.

Whether that be as a doctor, surgeon, pharmacist, or anesthesiologist, healthcare professionals have many routes they can go. Once out of school, these careers result in high earning potential with the average salary for an anesthesiologist being £95,000 and for a surgeon £100,000. 

Architectural blueprint

4. Architecture

With an ever-growing population the demand for more homes and buildings continues to increase keeping architects busy. A career in architecture requires knowledge of mathematics, structural engineering, and computer science all in one, and as such architects are very well compensated.

There are a few different paths for architects following getting their degree all with high levels of compensation making this degree one of the best for producing millionaires. For those who love technical problem solving, a career as an architecture manager has an average salary of £109,000 and an industrial architect makes an average of £89,000. 

Computer Science code

5. Computer science 

A degree in computer science has become increasingly popular as technology continues to take over our lives. The tech industry boom has created a job market where computer science graduates can find a job that not only compensates them well financially, but also often offers a great work-life balance which makes the field particularly appealing compared to others like finance or medicine.

Some popular career paths for computer science graduates are data scientist which makes an average salary of £82,000 or machine learning engineer which makes an average salary of £101,000. 

If you are looking at getting a university degree anytime soon, taking any of these five majors would be a great option for those who are looking to have the most bang for their buck. For anyone concerned with whether or not the price tag and time commitment of a degree is “worth it”, the salaries of these professions are certainly an important factor in their decision. 

Whether you are looking to start studying, just finishing your degree or well into your professional life Emma can help you make the most of your money!

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