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The top 12 degrees that will secure you a job


With UK university graduates now enjoying the highest amount of debt in the world - an average of 44,000 - it is becoming increasingly prudent to pick a course that is likely to guarantee you a well-paid job. Knowledge broadens the mind, sets us free, and all the other clich s - but what we really want is for universities to be producing graduates with practical, job related skills. Living costs are on the rise, and the cost of higher education is increasing, so many students are understandably asking which university courses offer the best value for money.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) conducted a survey in last year, covering the 2014-15 period. They determined the 12 university degrees that successfully enabled more than 80% of graduates to find a job in their chosen field within 6 months of leaving university. Here is a list of the subjects in reverse order:

12. Historical and Philosophical Studies

This is perhaps a surprising inclusion into the list - how many professions can there be for which a history and philosophy degree would be seen as a major asset? Apparently many businesses view these qualifications highly, with law and accountancy firms, along with media outlets regularly taking on graduates. The HESA survey showed that 87.7% of students leaving university with this degree secured employment within 6 months.

11. Engineering and Technology

This is certainly a predictable degree to have on the list - demand for STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) has always been high. The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has said the UK economy is due for a science and technology boom, and that this sector will account for 25% of all new jobs by 2016/17. A solid 87.8% of Engineering and Technology graduates secured further education or a job or within six months of leaving university.

10. Creative Arts and Design

Degrees in the arts are often disparaged, and seen as qualifications for those not up to the rigorous academic demands of the more `serious` subjects. The fact that 87.9% of these graduates went on to find work or further study in this field is testament to the vitality and economic importance of this sector.

9. Languages

With the rise of globalisation, businesses can have the whole world as their marketplace. The multiplicity of languages can be an obvious impediment to this, and so fluency in different tongues will certainly be seen as an asset. Spanish and Mandarin are among the most demanded languages, and 88% of language students found work within 6 months of graduating.

8. Business and Administrative Studies

Someone with a sound knowledge of how a business works will be an asset to any company. 88.3% of graduates with this degree found work within six months of leaving university, a figure up from 85% back in 2013.

7. Biological Sciences

Many specialists predict that we are on the cusp of a biotech revolution, a boom which will be spoken of with the same importance as the industrial revolution by future historians. ; Better drugs and antibiotics, stem cell applications, improved organ transplantation - these are among the things that graduates in this field will be working on. An astonishing 89.2% of of students with a biological sciences degree found work in their chosen area within 6 months of leaving university.

6. Law

A degree in law has always been a very desirable accolade, perhaps because it virtually guarantees you a well-paid and interesting career. In this litigious age there is huge demand for graduates with a law degree, which is why 89.9% of those in the HESA survey went onto find work or extra study within 6 months of completing their course.

5. Architecture, Building and Planning

With London`s skyline reaching for the sky, and the the rocketing housing prices making designer flats appear all over the capital, architects and planners are in huge demand. Its not just the London that needs them though - proved by 90.1% of these graduates finding jobs or seeking further study throughout the country.

4. Education

We keep hearing about how the mounting bureaucracy and and endless lesson plans are putting people off becoming teachers - this could be why 94.4% of those with degrees relating to education found work or further study within six months of graduating.

3. Any subjects affiliated with medicine

This is such a broad category simply because demand is so high. If you have a degree in any medical subject, from neurology, reflexology, parasitology, or microbiology, you are almost guaranteed a job upon leaving university. 95.3% of students with one of these qualifications found work in their chosen discipline, or went on to further specialist studies within six months.

2. Veterinary science

Becoming a vet is a childhood dream for many, but few actually complete the four years of veterinary medicine - perhaps most augment their aspirations, and choose instead to study human anatomy. There is a huge demand for graduates in this field, which is why 95.9% of them will find work or further study within six months.

1. Medicine & dentistry

Most people would probably have expected these subjects to be placed in the top position. We are all living longer, and as such will require more healthcare for longer periods of time; and our appetite for all things sweet means that dentists will always be in demand. An astonishing 96.6% of students with a degree in Medicine or dentistry either walked into a job, or found further studies in their field within six months of graduating.

4 years ago