Published: 20 April 2016

Liverpool graduates fare strongly in graduate salary study


A new longitudinal study of English-domiciled graduates shows that Liverpool graduates are thriving when it comes to salary levels up to ten years after graduation.

While Cambridge, Oxford and LSE graduates are identified as the top average earners, the survey also notes the ‘very strong performance of some northern universities, Liverpool, Newcastle and York, which have graduates that achieve highly competitive earnings even though their local labour markets have lower earnings than we see in the southern part of England.’

The study, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, and led by researchers from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), and Cambridge and Harvard universities uses a ‘big data’ approach to examining how graduate earnings vary by factors such as institution of study, parental income, and degree subject.

The study uses anonymised student loan and tax data to track 260,000 graduates starting University between 1998 and 2011.

Graduate premium

The ‘graduate premium’ (i.e. the earnings gap between graduates and non-graduates) remains a reality within the study, with graduates earning, on average, around £8,500 more per year than their non-graduate counterparts.

The research finds significant variations by institution and programme of study, gender, and parental income. There are significant differences in relation to graduates’ parental income, with the average gap in earnings between students from higher-and lower-income backgrounds being £8,000 a year for men and £5,300 a year for women, ten years after graduation.

Challenging and fulfilling work

Paul Gaunt, Head of Careers and Employability said: “The University’s Strategy 2026 commits us to support our graduates into ‘challenging and fulfilling work’ and so our graduates’ salaries are not the only measure of their career success. Nevertheless, it is good to have longitudinal data that shows our graduates progressing into well-rewarded employment.

“On the other hand, it is clear that more work needs to be done nationally to tackle the social mobility issues raised by this survey. We will continue to develop the nationally commended employability initiatives the University delivers to our Widening Participation (WP) cohort, including the employability bursary scheme, our alumni mentoring programme, and our partnership with the social enterprise, UpReach, providing students enhanced access to high profile graduate employers.”

Click here to access the full IFS report:

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