Research: Medicine, economics and engineering grads earn more than those with law degrees

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10 years on, male law graduates earn nearly 20% more than their female counterparts


Students who study medicine, economics or engineering are likely to be bigger earners than those who leave university with a law degree according to the latest research released today.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies, having analysed the tax data and student loan records of 260,000 students, concludes that law is only the fourth most lucrative degree subject.

Examining the salary trends of graduates, the institute calculated the median pay — 10 years post graduation — for a range of popular university subjects.

According to the research, the median pay for a male law grads sits at £31,100, while the median pay for their female counterparts — over the same period — was at £26,200, almost £5,000 less.

In comparison, those who studied medicine — the top earners according the findings — commanded a much higher median salary, with men taking home £55,300 and women £45,400. Economics also outperformed law in earning power. The median salary for a man with an economics degree is £42,000, while a similarly qualified woman can expect to earn £38,200.

Engineering graduates pipped law to third place with males bagging £31,200 and females £23,200. And it’s bad news for creative arts students. Graduates within this area were found to be the lowest earners, with males pocketing just £17,000 and females £12,000.

Most lucrative degree subjects