9 August 2016
Female students expect starting salary of £3k less than males
Data collected by Save the Student suggests women are priming themselves for lower graduate salaries by giving themselves a 14% mental pay cut.
Credit: CNN Money
We asked more than 2,000 UK students to estimate what they think their starting salaries will be in their first job after uni.
We were shocked to find both male and female students undervaluing themselves, quoting figures well below the national average graduate salary. Not only this, but females gave themselves a £3,325 pay cut compared with their male counterparts.
Despite the current national average graduate salary being £25,000, male students we spoke to told us they expect to earn on average £22,988 in their first graduate job, and females only £19,662.
Why are females undervaluing themselves?
This a question that, quite simply, no one knows the answer to! This is a matter of salary expectations, meaning that in order to really understand these figures, we’d have to tap into the minds of those surveyed and find out why they’re undervaluing themselves in their estimations.
What’s even more surprising about these figures is that they follow official reports this year that female students continue to hold the majority of university spaces, are getting better grades, and are more likely to be in work than male students six months after graduation.
Recent HESA data showed that unemployment rates amongst male uni leavers (2014/15) is 7% compared with 4% of female graduates from that year. Despite this, our survey found that only 45% of female grads are confident about finding full-time work after graduation, compared with 60% of males.
Confidence with money matters
This insecurity about future earnings could potentially be tied to an early lack of confidence with money and money management more generally.
Our National Student Money Survey also showed that females stress more about having enough money to live off when at uni (82% compared with 75% of males surveyed) and only 33% of the females we asked said they fully understood their student loan payment conditions, whilst 45% of males said they felt confident understanding theirs.
As well as the concerning mental gender pay gap evident in our survey results, these figures also say a lot about how students feel about their futures in relation to the cost value of their degrees.
With both male and female students undervaluing themselves in their salary expectations, this is an indication that few students expect their education will secure them a place in top level graduate employment.
With tuition fees due to rise above the £9,000 a year cap next year, it’s therefore unsurprising that 55% of our surveyed students said uni wasn’t worth the money they pay for it.
Do you know how much your degree will cost you in total? Our easy-to-use student loan repayment calculator will tell you the true cost of uni.
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