According to a survey, graduates who are the first in their family to attend college make more money than those whose parents are college graduates.
In families without a history of social mobility, attending university can function as a catalyst for upward social mobility, according to new research released today by Universities UK (UUK).
According to the data, those without a family history of college degrees made an average starting pay of £30,111, while those with a family history of college degrees made an average starting salary of £27,754.
Also, 78 per cent of graduates and 71 per cent of business leaders who were the first to attend university in their family said that going to university opened doors into companies for them.
Findings, compounded by a report from the Institute of Fiscal Studies on behalf of the Department of Education, said graduates who were eligible for free school meals are more likely to enter the top 20 per cent of earnings at the age of 30 than free school meal students who did not attend university.
Nearly 60 per cent of business leaders who were the first in their family to go to university said that going to university helped them become senior faster, while 51 per cent said it helped them fast track their career.
Meanwhile, 73 per cent of business leaders believe that going to university introduces graduates to peers who can help them build their careers, and 77 per cent of graduates said a degree helped them build skills that have been professionally valuable.
The report found universities acted as equalisers across the UK jobs market; enabling all graduates to unlock career opportunities – not just those with strong family connections or a history of higher education.
Vivienne Stern MBE, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said: ‘This new research clearly demonstrates the value that graduates benefit from when they go to university in the UK.
‘The benefits captured by this research are numerous – from job security and career ambitions, to earnings and social mobility.
‘They highlight how highly UK universities are regarded not just by those who attend them, but also by those who hire their graduates and benefit from their skills.
‘It is clear that Universities play a huge role not only in preparing graduates for employment, but also in teaching them crucial, transferable life skills that will serve them throughout their career.
‘Ultimately, what this research demonstrates is that our universities play a powerful role in helping graduates forge successful career paths that can help return the UK economy to growth and continue to power our public services.’
Other conclusions reached included that 73 per cent of UK graduates say they found a job reflective of their ambitions in under a year, thanks to their university education, and almost two thirds believed getting a degree has improved their job security, crucial during a cost of living crisis.
Universities UK is the collective voice of 140 universities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The research is based on the perspectives of 3,500 UK graduates and 3,500 business leaders (business owners, founders, board members, CEOs, directors, and senior managers) across the UK.