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Student News

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.
student gender pay gapCredit: 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 quoting figures below the national average graduate salary, with females giving themselves a £3,325 pay cut compared to their male counterparts.

Despite the current national average graduate salary being £23,000, the female students we spoke to told us they were expecting a salary of only £19,662, while male students quoted £22,988 - much closer to the national average.

Not sure what the current average graduate salary is for careers in your uni subject? Find out here.

Why do females think they'll earn less?

graduate gender pay gapAs this is a matter of salary expectations, 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.  And whilst men typically dominate high-paying STEM subjects, women outnumber men in subjects like Law and Medicine.

HESA data also 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.

Our research shows that the gender pay gap begins before you even enter the workforce. Read our simple guide to the gender pay gap for more information.

Confidence with money matters

Close-up calculator shot with loose coins in backgroundThis 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). Only 33% of the females we asked said they fully understood their student loan repayment conditions, whilst 45% of males said they felt confident understanding theirs.

As well as the psychological 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.

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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