What degrees in the UK have the best prospects for 2023?

“Investing for the long haul results in a greater pay off and this applies to what is arguably the first investment in our life – our education”

Despite evolving edtech and new age subjects like “Surf Science” and “Klingon”, one aspect that remains unchanged for prospective students is the daunting task of choosing the right career path. When it comes time to enrol in university, you’ll have to decide on your career path and the best degree to get for your future. This can be incredibly overwhelming as many points factor in the decision making process. You’ll have to consider your career growth potential, the global economy and of course, job prospects upon leaving university.

While it is vital to select a degree that you have genuine interest in, it is also important to know the prospective job opportunities that come with your degree upon leaving university. Considering most Brits (over 60%) find themselves in jobs for which their field of study is irrelevant, learning app Preply set out to inform students of the potential prospects that come with the list of degrees they can choose from. Investigating popularity, demand and salary prospects, their score-based ranking comprises of sector growth, job listings, flexibility, average salary, course availability and average search volume.

Based on Preply’s findings, let’s take a look at what qualifications in the UK have the best prospects based on scoring popularity, demand and of course, salary.

Best Degrees for Overall Job Prospects

According to the study, the finance, accounting and business qualification group ranks number one for the best overall job prospects. The qualification group tops the list for most jobs available and most remote roles and also comes in third place for the most popular qualifications, averaging 4.3m searches in just the last year. This group is also the second best paid in the UK, with those in the industry earning an average of £43,000 annually.

I.T and Computer Science and Medical, Biomedical and Nursing qualifications take joint second place for best overall job prospects. Based on the study, securing a qualification in IT or Computer Science gives you the second-best choice of undergraduate courses and remote job roles in the UK.

If you’re to choose the medical route, the qualification group not only has the highest number of undergraduate courses, but it also has the second-best choice of jobs and is the country’s second-most searched for  – with an astounding 4.4m average searches from 2021/22.

Completing the top three is the Engineering, Robotics, Astronautics and Aeronautics group. From 2019-2020, the sector has seen the UK’s third biggest job sector growth hike, up 7.4%. Those looking to make a future in Engineering or Astronautics can also expect to be spoilt for choice for undergraduate courses, being the fourth most common.

Most Popular Degrees

When it comes to the most popular degrees in the UK, the sciences take first place, with Biology, Physics and Chemistry leading the way. The numbers are staggering, with over 5 million potential students seeking degrees in these scientific fields.

When looking at the most popular qualifications for the UK’s biggest job hubs, Science qualifications rank as the most popular for most, including London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. However, the Finance, Accounting and Business industry still reigns when it comes to the best job opportunities prospects for most UK cities analysed.

Highest and Lowest Average Salary

Now we get to the monetary stakes! The study found that Mathematics, Statistics and Economics industry jobs come with the greatest salary potential, and those within the industry stand to earn the best annual salary on average (46, 000+), across all degrees in the study. When it comes to lesser earning opportunities, those in Travel, Tourism or Hospitality earn most modestly on average.

Coming bottom for overall prospects are fashion, textiles and Costume related qualifications. Although the ‘Arts, Entertainment and Recreation’ sector has seen the highest growth (+16.1%), Fashion or Costume related roles are much harder to come by with an average of 3,800 being available in the entire country in late 2022.

We know that choosing the best career path isn’t a decision to be taken lightly and one person’s priority may very well be further down the priority list for another. But whether you are looking to zone in on employability, longevity or salary prospects or you’re interested in the entire picture, Preply’s study can help you make one of the best investments for your future.

About the author: Amy Pritchett is the SEO outreach specialist for language learning app Preply.