Women With Master’s Degrees Paid Less Than Men Without Them

by : Charlie Cocksedge on : 26 Apr 2019 20:42
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According to official data on graduate earnings, women who have a postgraduate degree still earn less than men who only have bachelor’s degrees.

The figures came from the Department for Education’s graduate labour market statistics. They revealed that women who have postgraduate degrees, such as a master’s or a doctorate, earn a median pay of £37,000 a year, while men with firsts from bachelor degrees earned an average of £38,500. Men holding postgraduate degrees were paid an average of £43,000.

The data also revealed the ‘graduate premium’ – the increase in wages for graduates compared to non-graduates – continues to be significant, with graduates earning around £10,000 more on average than non-graduates.


Since 2008, non-graduates’ wages have been rising faster than those of graduates. Despite this, graduates of all ages earn a median salary of £34,000, while non-graduates earned £24,000. People with postgraduate degrees did even better though, earning around £40,000, The Guardian reports.

According to reports, the figures do not reflect the continued struggle for younger graduates looking for employment since the global financial crisis 10 years ago. Though employment rates are increasing for both men and women, male graduates and the jobs they go into have benefited more from the recovery since the crisis.

Statisticians from the Department for Education said that, though the gender pay gap between non-graduates has remained stable, the median for male graduates has risen by £1,500 more than for women.


The pay gap for graduates under the age of 30 has also widened.

The report noted:

The gaps between males and females, however, may to some extent reflect differences in working patterns between the two genders.


The graduate pay results mirror the company-level results of the government’s gender pay survey too. The results revealed around 25 per cent of companies and public sector bodies have a pay gap of more than 20 per cent in favour of men.

Figures also revealed black graduates to be the lowest paid workers across all ages groups, earning a median of £25,500 compared to the median £35,000 for white graduates. Employment rates were similar to white and Asian graduates, though fewer were likely to be employed in ‘high skilled’ jobs, according to the report.

Chris Skidmore, the universities minister, said:


This government is clear that all graduates, no matter their gender, race or background, should be benefiting from our world-class universities and there is clearly much further to go to improve the race and gender pay gap.

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Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist and sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.

Topics: Life, masters, pay gap, Women


The Guardian
  1. The Guardian

    Women with master's degrees paid less than men without them in England