Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) from Universities: 2019/20: Scotland

Earnings information for UK-domiciled first-degree graduates from Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Scotland.

Scotland and GB Comparison

Figure 1 shows a comparison of the distribution of total earnings of UK-domiciled first-degree graduates from HEIs in 2013/14 for Scottish and all GB HEIs five years after graduation. Overall, the median total earnings of graduates from Scottish HEIs was £29,300. Comparing this to previous equivalent cohorts of graduates from Scottish HEIs, the median total earnings for the 2012/13 graduates was £28,500, and for the 2011/12 graduates was £27,400.

Out of the 35 subject areas, graduates of Scottish HEIs had higher median earnings in 10 of these subject areas compared to the median earnings for all GB HEIs, although historically, those graduating from Scottish HEIs earn more than those from GB HEIs overall. This is due to the large influence subject choice has on earnings, and how greatly earnings can vary across subjects.

For example, those who studied Medicine & dentistry at Scottish HEIs had median total earnings of £50,500 five years after graduation. In contrast, those who studied Performing arts at Scottish HEIs had median total earnings of £20,500 five years after graduation. For GB HEIs the same variation can be seen in these subject areas. Median earnings can vary between subject and institution for various reasons. Different HEIs will offer different courses that are considered to be in the same subject category, but could lead to vastly different career paths. Earnings also vary greatly across UK regions, particularly for graduates working in South East England and London, who typically receive higher-earnings than graduates in other regions of the UK.

See ‘Data Quality’ for some of the other issues to consider when looking at this data.

In Figure 1, subjects are ordered from those with the highest median earnings to the lowest median earnings for Scotland. The bars represent the inter-quartile range (quartile 1 to quartile 3) – the earnings of the middle 50 per cent of graduates in each subject will fall within this area. This is not comparable with Figure 1 in the DfE’s publication, as this is a distribution of the number of graduates in HEIs by earnings, and DfE’s figure 1 is a distribution of the median earnings for each university in GB.

Figure 1: Distributions of total earnings of graduates* by subject area, five years after graduation (lower quartile, median and upper quartile), Scotland, and GB, 2019/20 tax year
A graphic provides a comparison of distributions of total earnings by subject area, five years after graduation, for both Scottish Higher Education Institutions and Great British Higher Education Institutions. All figures in the graphic relate to median earnings in 2019 to 2020 tax year of UK domiciled first degree graduates in the 2013 to 2014 academic year, which is five years after graduation. The distribution is shown by the lower quartile, median, and upper quartile for each subject area.

*UK-domiciled first-degree graduates 2013/14.

(1) Hours worked are not taken into account.

(2) Overall Scotland and GB comparison is not included as no overall GB figure is published for 2019/20.



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