THE Office for National Statistics has released information on how your level of qualifications can affect your earning.
According to the ONS, in October to December 2010, the bottom 20% of employees with a minimum of a degree, earned less than the average pay for those educated to around the A-level or equivalent qualification.
The bottom 15 per cent of employees with a degree also earned less than the average for those educated to around the GCSE or equivalent level.
The data show, on average, employees with a minimum of a degree earned 85% more than those educated to around the GCSE level, down from 95% in 1993. Employees with a higher education (but not degree) qualification earned around 45% more, down from 54% in 1993, and those educated to around the A-level or equivalent qualification earned around 15% more, down from 18% in 1993.
Over the same period, the percentage of people in the UK with a degree has more than doubled from 12% in 1993 to 25% in 2010.
Also, the percentage of workers with a degree in the highest skilled jobs in the country has fallen.
In 1993, 68% of workers with a degree were employed in a job in the highest skill group, falling to 57% in 2010.
The highest skilled jobs include those in managerial positions, engineers and accountants.
There has been a fall in the percentage of people with no formal educational qualification, from 25% in 1993 to 11% in 2010. This was mainly driven by people aged 50-64 in 1993 who, because of the education system at the time, were less likely to have stayed on in school to obtain a formal qualification. By 2010 these people were over the age of 64 and therefore likely to have retired from work.