Recent analysis from Arden University, a leading UK-based provider of flexible, online and blended learning, has examined which university degrees could give students the best employment and salary prospects in the fiercely competitive post-Covid job market in 2023. The research identifies that psychology features in the top ten university subjects studied by UK CEOs.
Recent research considered LinkedIn analysis of degrees studied by 260,000 UK CEOs and Managing Directors. Whilst the highest results were predictably dominated by business, management, ecommerce and economics related degree subjects, psychology’s top ten ranking illustrates the subject’s potential as a pathway into a lucrative career. According to Glassdoor, the role of CEO ranks amongst the highest paid jobs in the UK, with an average base salary exceeding £96k with jobs offering high earning potential available across the country
Average CEO salaries in the UK:
- Aberdeen, £424,064
- London, £387,435
- Cambridge, £375,578
- Brighton and Hove, £362,899
- Edinburgh, £358,311
- Bristol, £358,294
- Cardiff, £347,279
- Leeds, £344,886
- Birmingham, £343,454
- Liverpool, £342,492
Broad Career Options
Arden’s research shows there is growing demand for careers in business including HR and recruitment which can be a basis for a lucrative career path. The top three popular degrees taken by CEOs: Business Administration, Economic and Marketing shows a propensity towards human capital management and leadership offers potential progression to the highest paying jobs in the UK.
Psychology was the 8th most popular degree by CEOs, showing this attractive skillset can be utilised in a high paying job and can be utilised in a diverse range of well-paid jobs. Management and psychology degrees are growing in demand because of the sheer range of options they open to graduates, who can utilise their qualification to embark on different career directions in many growth sectors in a diverse range of roles. As such, psychology as a foundation subject is valued by employers because of the skillset that students acquire during their degree, which includes analytical and reasoning, research, and communication skills.
Significant Job Opportunities for Psychologists
Equally the options to specialise in psychology-based careers are expanding. Digital technologies have become rapidly adopted in our personal and working lives, and the drive for productivity and competitiveness is exerting increasing pressure on the individual. Graduates focusing on psychology-related careers enter a sector where job opportunities are likely to be strong. New research by the Department for Education shows that there is a nationwide skills gap in psychology, alongside management, business, and IT/computing, with a particular focus on growing demand to support education and mental health. In December 2022, NHS figures show a 30% rise in number of under-18s in England in contact with mental health, and the sector struggling to meet the demand for mental health professionals. Additionally, the number of children in England needing treatment for serious mental health problems has risen by 39% in a year. Prospective students should seriously consider that Government investment into increased psychological therapies is contributing to a rise in psychology-related jobs as demand continues to grow for mental health professionals who can understand the psychology of the human mind.
Entry-level psychology jobs can expect an average UK salary to start at around £30k, with earning potential growing closer to £90k with experience based on Indeed job research.
The biggest percentage growth of job vacancies has been in the human health and social work activities sectors, followed by accommodation and food service, professional scientific and technical activities, retail, and manufacturing according to a Statista report in 2022. In the three months up to March 2022, there were estimated to be 216,000 job vacancies in the UK’s human health and social work activities industry sector alone.
Gail Steptoe-Warren, Head of the School of Psychology and Social Sciences at Arden University said: “Psychology is a highly rewarding sector to work in, with graduates from our programmes going on to work in a wide range of vitally important roles all over the world”.
Job opportunities up North
Inflation has reached its highest level in decades, jumping from 7% to 13.2% in the last year which is having a detrimental effect on standard of living. At a time when graduates are fighting for jobs in a competitive market, studies still suggest that it’s worth getting a degree to significantly enhance lifetime earnings potential. It is equally important for students to evaluate where the best job prospects are in the UK, and considering career options close to home a valuable option.
Despite London being the highest-paid city for managers and the highest average salary for CEOs in England, the cost of living in the capital is significantly higher than elsewhere in the whole of the UK, typified by housing expenditure. According to Trust for London, 45.3% of the median wage in London is required to cover private rent for a one-bedroom dwelling, compared to 25.5% on average across the rest of England. The Midlands and the North offer the best value, with just 22-25% of household income spent on rent according to the ONS report. This is potentially good news for graduates who want to remain close to families outside the capital and are seeking the best economic standard of living, or who are focused on progression into the property market. As such, average salaries for psychologists outside the capital stand up well, with those based in Birmingham for example averaging £37,682 compared to London-based colleagues on £41,017 according to Indeed.
Looking more widely across the UK and focusing on social work as another career which is well suited to psychology graduates. Social Work England Report in 2022 notes that the Northeast has the highest ratio of social workers to the local population, with a ratio of 1 social worker to every 519 people, compared to the South East with the lowest ratio.
For more research and information about Arden University Psychology Degree offering, visit https://arden.ac.uk/psychology-subject-guide