Nottingham, UK, July 2018
- UNiDAYS report reveals that more than half of students expect to earn £30,000 within three years of graduating - more than the national average wage
- Most students expect a starting salary of £25,000 which is £6,000 above the actual average graduate salary
- Over half of students will be disappointed with the average real-life starting salary
A survey of 2,000 current undergraduates by Student Affinity Network UNiDAYS showed that aspiring influencers – stars of social media who charge brands in exchange for exposure to their social following – expect to to earn £55,000 in their first year of work, far more than prospective lawyers and medics, according to new research.
That’s more than prospective investment bankers expect to earn as a graduate salary (£25,600), and higher than engineers (£26,600) and medics (£25,900). It’s also more than the national average wage, which according to the Office for National Statistics is £550 per week or £28,600 per year.
The average student expects to earn £25,150 as a starting salary, some way above the £19,000-£22,000 true average salary.* Among the more realistic students were those who want to become a journalist (who expect to earn £21,850), civil servants (£21,200) and teachers and academics (£21,240).
Graduates working in chemicals, pharmacy, oil and energy have some of the highest salary expectations, while those who want to work in retail have the lowest of all.
66% of students expect to have secured a job within three months of ending their time at university, while more than half expect to earn £30,000 or more within three years of graduating.
When asked to disclose what they would consider to be a ‘good’ starting salary in their first job after graduating, 83% said they would be happy with £25,000, but just 51% were similarly enthused about a typical £20,000-a-year role. The high expectations suggest students are looking to recoup the costs of their degree: some 45% of students believe that tuition fees don’t offer good value for money.
However, students were more realistic when it came to estimating how much disposable income they will have after graduating. Though two thirds (65%) of students have under £50 per week after bills and rent, the vast majority (82%) expect this figure to decrease once they’ve entered the working world.
Mai Fenton, Vice President of Marketing at UNiDAYS said: “The alluring lives of YouTubers and Influencers are constantly on display on social media, so it’s no surprise that students who want to follow that career path have higher salary expectations than those seeking traditionally high-paying roles that require years of rigorous study.
“UNiDAYS understands that securing a graduate job is a difficult and often costly task, so we try to relieve as much of the cost burden of being a student as possible by providing big discounts on brands offering student essentials such as food, clothing, books and tech."
Starting Salary Expectations:
1 - Aspiring YouTuber - £55,000
2 - Chemicals and pharmacy - £32,183
3 - Oil and Energy - £29,000
4 - Influencer - £28,700
5 - Marketing and PR - £27,650
6 - Engineer - £26,600
7 - Law - £26,550
8 - Banking - £26,500
9 - Investment Banker - £26,400
10 - Medicine - £25,900
11 - Consulting - £25,100
12 - IT and Telecommunications - £24,200
13 - Accountancy - £23,600
14 - Transport - £23,600
15 - Technology - £22,700
16 - HR - £22,260
17 - Armed Forces - £22,100
18 - Construction - £22,000
19 - Journalism and Media - £21,850
20 - Teaching/Academia - £21,240
21 - Civil Service - £21,200
22 - Charity - £20,600
23 - Property/Estate Agent - £20,000
24 - Retail - £18,970
Average = £25,150