Graduates who went to private school ‘get bigger pay rises’

Times Higher Education, 06.017.15, graduates’ wages increase more quickly if they went to a independent school according to a new study published today by the Sutton Trust and upReach.

It says that UK graduates who had an independent school background and entered a professional career were earning an average of £24,066 six months after graduation, and £36,036 three years after that – a 49.8 per cent increase.

In contrast, graduates who went to state schools and entered a high-status job started work on an average salary of £22,735 and were on £31,586 three years later – up 38.9 per cent.

This means that the pay gap between state and private school pupils widens from £1,331 (5.86 per cent) to £4,450 (14.1 per cent) over the course of three years.

The study, conducted by Jake Anders from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, was based on data from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey, and the longitudinal version of the same exercise, which is conducted three years later.

The study says that about half of the difference can be explained by factors such as academic attainment prior to university, the type of university attended and the degree that the student achieved.

However, about half cannot be explained by any of these factors, and the research suggests that non-academic skills such as articulacy or assertiveness may play an important role in career progression.

Previous studies have found that graduates from less privileged backgrounds do not perform as highly as their privately educated peers on some non-academic attributes such as self-confidence and awareness.

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