Higher education at 18+

Benefits of doing a HE level course

Employment benefits

The skills you can gain from a higher education course can give you an edge in the job market and help you progress in your career. Employers are often looking for people with graduate level skills - irrespective of the degree subject studied.

  • People with higher level skills are less likely to be unemployed, partly because their higher-level skills allow them to do a range of jobs. And with new jobs being developed all the time, a higher level qualification will put you in a stronger position. By 2024, around 54% of people in employment are expected to be qualified to at least Level 4. For more details see this report
  • Many professional jobs require a university degree - architecture, dentistry, physiotherapy and lots more.
  • Many professions only employ graduates and many of the opportunities they offer can be open to graduates with any degree subject.
  • Even if you have no career in mind you can, through a degree, develop skills employers want such as team working, communication skills, research skills.
  • Many universities will give students the opportunity to do work experience, either in this country or abroad, which will add to your CV.
  • You will meet new people and build a network of contacts that can really help with your future career.

Financial benefits

  • Of course there is debate about the figures, and they can vary widely between surveys, but on average graduates in the workforce earn £10,000 more a year compared to non-graduates. 
  • Employers pay most for skills and qualifications that are specialised and are particularly important to their business or are in short supply.
  • In 2017, graduates and postgraduates had higher employment rates, with a greater proportion in high-skilled employment. 
  • An Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) report shows "Higher education leads to much better earnings than those earned by non-graduates, although students need to realise that their subject choice is important in determining how much of an earnings advantage they will have." Read more here
  • The same report found that women benefit more from a degree than their male counterparts. Median earnings of English women around 10 years after graduation were just over three times those of non-graduates, compared to the median earnings of male graduates, which were around twice those of men without a degree.

Personal benefits

  • Graduates enjoy better health outcomes by being less likely to smoke, more likely to exercise, and less prone to depression.
  • Graduates’ children also benefit from the educational success of their parents: graduates tend to have a greater involvement with their child’s education.
  • Graduates are more influential in the community by being active citizens who are more likely to vote and participate in voluntary activities.
  • Graduates show positive attitudes towards diversity and equal opportunities, such as on race and gender equality issues.
  • Graduates, with their higher levels of skill, are a source of wider innovation and economic growth.

What Are The Benefits of Higher Education?

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