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How your qualifications affect your pay

8:40am Sunday 4th September 2011

By JobsSW Team

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.

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