You don’t need a degree to be a high earner

15 August 2018

Job site Indeed has revealed there are plenty of high-paying jobs which don’t require a degree.

With A-level results out tomorrow, 18-year-olds who have not done as well as expected could have their dreams of a university place shattered. 

But analysing the salaries offered by tens of thousands of adverts posted on its site, Indeed has identified non-graduate roles offering attractive salaries which beat the national average wage of £27,600.

Topping the list of well-paid, non-graduate jobs are ethical hackers – who hack into a computer network in order to check or evaluate its security. While some will have degrees, others learn through experience and can earn, on average, £56,547 a year. Currently, there are more than twice the number of adverts on Indeed for this type of job as there are searches by job hunters.

Here are the top 10 jobs and average salaries:

  1. Ethical hacker: £56,547
  2. Construction manager: £53,118
  3. Software engineer: £39,097
  4. Maintenance manager: £38,675
  5. Sales manager: £37,991
  6. Fitness manager: £34,374
  7. Executive assistant: £33,150
  8. Pilot: £32,691
  9. Head chef: £30,867
  10. Mechanic: £28,734

With these non-graduate salaries available, some sixth-formers may question whether the cost of a university education is worthwhile. The job site points out that with university fees currently capped at £27,750 for a three-year course, graduates could find themselves with debts of £55,000-plus once living expenses are included.  

Taking an apprenticeship straight after school may also work out to be a better option financially than going to university. In 2016, almost a third (29%) of graduates from British universities earned less than the average non-graduate with an apprenticeship, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.

Still a ‘graduate premium’

Bill Richards, UK managing director at Indeed, says: “This data proves that choosing not to go to university after school does not automatically mean a lower salary. Although all the roles in our list do require some form of training, they don’t require a degree.

However, Mr Richards points out there is still a ‘graduate premium’, with graduates often earning more than school leavers, but this is usually once they have spent a few years in the workplace.

He adds: “The figures should reassure parents and teenagers at the end of exam season that there are numerous routes into study and employment, and that high salaries are by no means the exclusive domain of those heading off to university in September.”


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

you will likely earn more without a degree , common sense is more important and their isn't anyone qualified to teach that at uni

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