The Top 10 Best-Paid Jobs (That Don’t Need A Degree)Posted: 7th of October 2016 by
Despite the progress made by other routes into work, many of the very best-paid jobs in the UK require you to get a degree, which could make you think that in order to earn the best-possible wage you need to go to university.
However, things are not always as simple as they may seem at first, and many graduates find that they are struggling to find well-paid work, despite having been through university. Indeed, there are some very well-paid jobs out there that don’t need a degree at all.
The trouble with getting a university degree is undoubtedly the cost versus your potential to earn a good wage once you graduate. The fact is that not all universities are seen as equal, which means that where you got your degree from can be as important as what grade you achieved.
The snobbery that exists around different universities means that an Oxbridge graduate is likely to be seen as better quality (and therefore more likely to get the job) than a graduate from a different university with the same grades.
Added to this is the relatively low number of genuine graduate opportunities or other well-paid ‘graduate-only’ careers compared to the number of young people coming out of university each year. It is a case of supply and demand - with the number of university students outstripping the number of well-paid jobs that they can apply for.
What’s more, even if you do manage to land a decent job, you have to bear in mind the debts that you accrued through university and ask if that well-paid job is as well-paid as you thought it was once you take £45,000 of debt into account too?
It seems that, while a degree can lead to a high-paid career which makes the debt and time all worth it for some, for many others a university degree doesn’t leave them any better off. In fact, in many cases graduates are financially worse off than if they had never gone to uni at all!
With this in mind, Indeed.co.uk published a list of the top-10 best-paid careers which don’t require a university degree. The list was compiled from their job postings from the second quarter of 2016, providing an indicator of other careers you might like to investigate.
The list also includes information on how likely the career is to become automated – meaning that you could be replaced by a machine in the future! The automation info was compiled from Oxford University’s study into ‘The Future of Employment:’
Job Title Median Salary (£) Automation Risk
- Construction Site Manager 50,000 Low
- Pilot 41,153 Medium
- HR Manager 35,000 Low
- Executive Assistant 30,000 High
- Electrician 28,615 High
- Farm Manager 24,000 Low
- Power Plant Operator 24,000 High
- Sales Executive 22,500 Low
- Firefighter 21,000 Low
- Estate Agent 20,000 High
You should remember that the basic salaries of some of these jobs may seem quite low (such as with Estate Agent), but the potential to earn is much greater once bonuses or commission is taken into account.
The interesting thing with these well-paid jobs is that most require you to undertake some vocational study or on-the-job training (such as an apprenticeship). As more careers become available via the apprenticeship route, the number of highly-paid careers that don’t require a degree is also surely set to rise. You can, for example, now start a career in law without the need for a university degree!
As the cost of university continues to rise, more people are thinking about the price against the potential benefits of going to university – and the margin is getting narrower. There is a tipping point between the cost and the benefit of going to university and even those who talk of the ’University lifestyle’ as being attractive - £9,000 a year in tuition fees is a lot to pay to eat noodles and watch daytime TV!
This list shows that you don’t need to go to university to get a great career – and a decent wage too. However, there are alternative ways to get the degree without the debt – meaning that you could have the best of both worlds – and a good chance of a job at the end of it!
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