University Degrees Still Mean Better Pay And Closes Social Mobility Gap, Says Think Tank
University degrees are still a financially worthwhile investment, suggests statistics due to be published, showing those with higher education qualifications are more likely to move up the pay scale, leaving their lesser-qualified peers behind.
Research by the Resolution Foundation found those with A-Levels or GCSEs are losing the social mobility battle, as they are more likely to move down the earning scale during their careers. It also found those with no qualifications whatsoever are 132.9 per cent more likely to move down the pay scale than people with degrees.
The statistics, which have not yet been released in full, are expected to add weight to the argument that high tuition fees could still pay off in the long-term, despite some universities charging up to £36,000 for a degree.
Gavin Kelly, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation said: ‘We obviously already know that education is important for social mobility. But what is new here is what lies beneath – as more people get degrees, those without seem to be at an increasing earnings disadvantage. This is a worrying position for the majority of people in low to middle income households, who do not have a
In comparison to those holding a degree, those with A-levels were nearly 37 per cent less likely to move upwards; those with GCSEs 34.3 per cent less likely and those with no qualifications more than 52.2 per cent likely to move up.
Only 16 per cent of people in low to middle income households hold a degree compared to 39 per cent of people in higher earning households.
Resolution Foundation collected data from 5,683 people born in 1970 to form their results
The independent think tank works towards improving the lives of people on low-to-middle incomes. This includes 11 million adults in six million households.
Minister of State for Universities David Willetts is due to comment on the results on Tuesday.