Finance isn’t the best way to change your life
If you want to be socially mobile… Avoid business, economics, or law. Study pharmacology.
The Sutton Trust, an eFinancialCareers Partner, has produced an extensive report analysing universities, studied subjects, and social mobility, using data from the UK government. It’s available here.
The report found that, predictably, STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and LEM (law economics and management) subjects were the most likely degrees to assist in a student’s upwards “social mobility,” defined as the percentage of disadvantaged students become high earners.
Pharmacology and computing – both STEM subjects – are best for upwards social mobility, followed by law, economics, and business.
Degrees that don't lead to much upwards social mobility include geography, languages, history and politics - all the humanities and the arts.
The Sutton Trust ranked the degrees by multiplying the accessibility rate of a degree (the percentage of disadvantaged students studying it) with its probability of placing disadvantaged students into high earning categories after graduation.
Medicine, historically seen as the Platonic ideal of social mobility, placed eighth. Despite generating a high amount of social mobility (63% - the highest on the list by some margin), its overall result was hamstrung by having an abysmally small access rate - hardly any disadvantaged students study it.
Professionals in the finance sector usually come from a business, economics, or (more rarely) a STEM background – but prospective pharmacology students are over twice as likely to be social mobile than both economics and business graduates. Let’s blame it on consultants.
Click here to create a profile on eFinancialCareers. Make yourself visible to recruiters hiring for jobs in finance and technology.
Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: Zeno.Toulon@efinancialcareers.com in the first instance.
Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)