The pay gap between graduate and non-graduate pay could be widening at a greater pace than initially anticipated, according to new research.

While it is suggested that graduates can earn £100,000 more than non-graduates over their lifetime, Adzuna believe the figure may be even higher.

Earning £500,000 more than non-graduates

The research – which analysed 1,000,000 vacancies during June – found that those without a degree can expect to earn up to £12,000 a year less than their graduate colleagues, meaning that graduates can earn the equivalent of almost £500,000 more over their entire working life.

The research stated that while the pay gap continues to widen between graduates and non-graduates, there are better job opportunities for both this year.

However, it was also found that how much a graduate will earn will depend largely on the degree gained. The five top paying degrees and their average salaries included:

  1. Civil engineering – £44,851
  2. Engineering – £42,837
  3. Computer science – £41,950
  4. Mechanical engineering – £39,106
  5. Mathematics – £39,019

Higher employment rates

While career prospects and average salaries are higher for graduates, the research suggested that there are a number of lucrative career choices for those job seekers without degrees.

In fact, roles such as an Air Traffic Controller will offer non-graduates anything up to £35,000 per annum, while an Equities Trader offers an annual salary of £59,475.

This may be good news for those who didn’t go to university, but government statistics continue to show that both graduates and post graduates have extremely higher employment rates, while also being much more likely to work in highly skilled jobs when compared to non- graduates.

According to the Government, full-time employed working-age graduates will earn an average of £31,000 during 2015, while non-graduates can expect to earn £22,100 this year.

If you’re a recent graduate and are excited about the news that you could be earning more than your non-graduate peers, speak to Discovery Graduates today about the roles they have available.