Which A-level subject leads to the biggest pay cheque? And is it more lucrative to pursue A levels or vocational level 3 qualifications?
New data published by the Department for Education today reveals all – and some of the fundings may come as a surprise.
Students who took a level 3 qualification in economics other than an A level in 2010-11 were, on average, earning £27,700 per year in 2016-17, compared to £23,900 for those who studied the subject at A level.
The data reveals what 16-, 17- and 18-year-olds who achieved level 3 qualifications in 2010-11 were earning six years on. These include A levels and other courses such as BTECs and other applied generals, as well as level 3 awards, diplomas and NVQs.
Long read: Applied Generals in a battle to survive
When it came to the-top earning A-level subjects, Stem subjects dominated, with further mathematics (MEI) and further mathematics coming first and second with average earnings of £25,600 and £25,500 respectively. The least lucrative subjects at A level were Urdu (£13,900), Arabic (£14,600) and Greek (£14,700).
In other level 3 qualifications, economics (£27,700) and engineering (£26,000) came in first and second place - both higher than the same subjects at A level. The lowest earnings were recorded for child development and wellbeing (£14,700), social enterprises (£14,700) and direct learning support (£15,000).
The 10 most lucrative A-level subjects
- Further mathematics (MEI): £25,600
- Further mathematics: £25,500
- Physics B (advancing physics) £24,100
- Physics B: £24,000
- Economics: £23,900
- Engineering (single award): £23,900
- Physics: £23,700
- Physics A: £21,600
- Design and technology: systems and control technology: £22,700
- Physics B: physics in context: £22,600
The 10 most lucrative other level 3 courses
- Economics: £27,700
- Engineering: £26,000
- Architecture: £24,500
- Geography: £23,100
- History: £22,000
- Manufacturing technologies: £21,800
- Transportation operations and maintenance: £21,600
- Agriculture: £21,500
- Building and Construction: £21,400
- Other languages, literature and culture: £21,100