New research has revealed the institutions most likely to lead to the highest salaries – with those ranked at the top earning £52,167 on average five years after graduation.
Job search engine Adzuna analysed more than 120,000 jobseekers' CVs from between 2019 and 2022, looking at the careers taken by recent graduates and the jobs they are working in five years after graduation.
The list was dominated by many universities one might expect. Oxford and Cambridge ranked second and fourth respectively, with graduates making up to £47,618 a year. However, they were both beaten by specialist business school Bayes, part of the University of London, where graduates earn more than £52,000.
They were followed by University College London (£40,866), Cranfield University (£39,695), and Durham University (£39,147). London-based universities such as King’s College London, Imperial and London School of Economics also ranked highly.
Paul Lewis, of Adzuna, said the dominance of Russell Group universities was proof a “stamp of approval from a prestigious academic institution can still make all the difference”.
Former polytechnics featured prominently at the tail end of the list with Middlesex University ranking lowest for expected graduate salary (£29,844). It was followed by Birmingham City University (£29,884), the University of Kent (£30,089), and Northumbria University (£30,167).
The only non-Russell group to crack the top 10 was the University of Reading, whose students earn £37,430 on average five years after graduation. A spokesman said this was due to changes made in recent years in how it teaches courses and provides support with careers and employability.
Anne Delauzun, of the university’s career service, said: “University education is also about much more than providing the economy with skilled workers or boosting graduate earning power.
“Our message would be that you don’t have to be an Oxbridge or a Russell Group university graduate to make a real difference in the world.”
According to figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, more than half a million students will graduate this year – with around 36 candidates vying for individual jobs.
A spokesman for the University of Nottingham said the university's eighth-place ranking demonstrated the "quality, excellence and drive of Nottingham graduates" and a robust careers service.
He added: "Students get involved with co-curricular activities, take responsibility for shaping their own career, take part in placement opportunities and they are switched on about what they need to do.
"Lots of careers don’t require a specific degree subject so we help students make career choices, assist with applications and signpost them to opportunities. Our expert advice and services tied into an excellent academic experience is a powerful combination."
The Telegraph has revealed the “dull but lucrative” degrees, such as information systems and computer engineering, were the most likely degrees to lead to a high salary, while “Mickey Mouse degrees” in English literature and events management would leave graduates earning salaries too low to begin paying off their student loan.