A huge income boost from degrees

Steven Joyce released:

New information has been released today which shows what graduates go on to earn once they have studied in different disciplines at universities and other tertiary providers.

Four factsheets on the national employment outcomes for young domestic graduates, released by the Ministry of Education, follow the earnings and employability of students for the first nine years following graduation. The information comes from a dataset administered by Statistics New Zealand using the earnings for each discipline based on actual tax returns.

“Those with a bachelors degree earn on average 40 per cent more than the national median earnings after five years in the workforce. Those with post-graduate qualifications above bachelors earn even more. These benefits continue to increase over time,” says Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce.

The figures show that after five years those with a bachelors degree in medical studies earned 201 per cent more than the national median earnings, those with a bachelors in banking and finance and law earned 65 per cent more than the median and sales and marketing was 47 per cent above the median.

Those with qualifications at the bachelors with honours, post-graduate certificate and diploma level generally had even higher premiums than those with bachelors degrees. Graduates with a qualification in accountancy had earnings 100 per cent above the national median earnings, while graduates in civil engineering had earnings 91 per cent higher, graduates in mechanical and industrial engineering had earnings 83 per cent higher, while graduates in banking and finance had earnings 77 per cent above the national median.

Yet Labour says students should not contribute one cent towards their degrees, but instead taxpayers should spend an extra $1.2 billion a year helping some of the most privileged and well off in society.

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