This story is over 5 years old.

The VICE Guide to Right Now

These Are the Most Employable Degrees in the UK

And also the highest-earning ones, in case you're all about the pay cheque.

Some students having a nice time during freshers week (Photo: Jake Lewis)

A-level results are released this Thursday. That means there are hundreds of thousands of teenagers out there right now who are, a: shitting it; b: feeling quietly confident; or c: trying to forget about it completely by going abroad and smashing both their phone and computer – and, in fact, any other communication devices – with a brick. If you're reading this, it's likely you're either in camp A or B, because if you're in camp C you would not currently be on the internet.


Some nerve-settling news: regardless of whether or not you'll be celebrating or commiserating on the 18th, chances are you won't have applied to study on any of the most-employable university courses in the UK – so hey, while you're probably screwed, at least you no longer have to get your hopes up. Just to confirm that's the case, here's a rundown of the ten degrees most likely to help you find employment in the real world.


Beating out physics and computer science degrees for the number 10 spot, an impressive 85.4 percent of graduates from historical or philosophical courses found jobs or further education within six months of finishing their courses, proving that – somewhat bizarrely – you can spend four years reading about Descartes and apparently waltz on into meaningful employment.


In less surprising news, engineering students come in at ninth place, with 85.4 percent of graduates working or studying some more after finishing their courses.


The ability to speak another language fluently is a highly valuable skill in the job market, and language students reap the rewards of years of infuriating conjugations and grappling with feminine and masculine words soon after receiving their certificates. In eighth place, 86 percent of language graduates can expect to get jobs or a spot on a post-graduate degree course within six months of graduation.


At seventh on the list, 85.6 percent of maths graduates either get jobs in the banking and financial sectors straight after graduation, or go back to university to spend even more time punishing their brains.


Students with enough foresight to take on a degree in biological sciences are quickly rewarded for their efforts; as the biotech industry booms, 87.1 percent of graduates can expect to get a job or a spot on a post-grad degree within six months of finishing.


Law graduates nab the fifth spot on the list, with some 88.6 percent of graduates finding something worthwhile to do after graduation. It's perhaps worth mentioning that around half of all graduates go on to further studies, because for whatever reason one law degree is just not enough.


Fourth on the list are the students who clearly had their shit together at the tender age of 18 and chose to study biomedical science and neurology. 91.8 percent of students who graduated from courses allied to medicine were able to find work or further education right off the bat.


Purely in terms of employment, veterinary science as a subject ranks second, with 85 percent of graduates finding jobs in the UK and another three percent opting to work abroad. When the number of graduates who take up further studies is added into the mix, the figure soars to a very robust 91.9 percent.


In second place are the students who studied education at tertiary level. This makes sense; we always need teachers. A solid 92.6 percent of teaching graduates go on to get jobs or embark on postgraduate study after finishing their first degrees.


Taking out the number one spot – completely unsurprisingly, as graduates have just spent half a decade learning actual skills – is medicine and dentistry. An amazing 99.4 percent of graduates land themselves a job or further study within six months of finishing their courses.

Enough about job prospects; what if you want to make a stupid amount of money from the get-go? According to The Telegraph, the best degree subjects to shoot for if a big pay packet is your main goal include Japanese Studies, with graduates making an average of £36,437, and Operational Research, which yields graduates an average salary above £36,000. Meanwhile, Civil Engineering grads earn a £37,000 every year, Industrial Relations students can expect to make £37,139 throughout their careers, and Minerals Technology grads average a salary of £42,305.


South Asian Studies graduates can look forward to a yearly paycheque of £38,516, while Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering students rake in £38,538 over the course of 12 months. General Engineering grads average a salary of £39,528 from the outset, while trusty Architecture, Building and Planning students make around £39,751. Back on the list at the number one spot are Medicine and Dentistry graduates, who can expect to make £41,624 per annum after years of gruelling training.

So what can we glean from all this? Basically, if you've applied to study any form of media or something extremely niche, like Viking and Old Norse Studies, now's probably the time to resign yourself to a jobless and / or badly paid future.


More on VICE:

A Third of Graduates Regret Going to University

What It's Really Like to Go On 'University Challenge'

My Life and Times at Britain's Worst University