Got money on your mind? This is what you should study at university

While working is certainly not all about the money, you can’t ignore the fact that some careers have better starting salaries than others – which is always going to be handy when you’re faced with a mountain of student debt.

Take a look at 10 of the top paying graduate employers, according to The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers guide, to find out where the money’s hiding.


10. Herbert Smith Freehills, law

Pay: £42,000

Requirements: A 2:1 degree or equivalent is required, but candidates must also be “well-rounded”. Applicants then have to take a verbal reasoning test and perform well at an assessment day.


9. BP, oil and energy

Pay: £33,000 – £40,000

Requirements: Depending on the role you may need a job-specific 2:1 degree, other roles, such as in HR, will take any discipline. Jobs fall into four main areas; business, engineering, science and supply and trading.


8. Unilever, consumer goods

Pay: £30,000 

Requirements: 300 UCAS points and a minimum 2:1 degree.


7. Microsoft, IT and telecommunications

Pay: £34,700 

Requirements:  It depends on the role you apply for in the company. If you want to work in development, a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree in engineering, computer science or a related field is required.


6. ExxonMobil, oil and energy

Pay: £37,500, rising to £42,000 if you have a PhD

Requirements: It depends on the position and area of work but a degree in a relevant subject may be required. Results of psychometric testing and competency-based interviews are also taken into account.


5. Newton Europe, consulting

Pay: £39,000

Requirements: Degree from a ‘top university’ in preferably engineering, science, mathematics or business. Foreign languages are desirable.


4. Clifford Chance, law

Pay: £42,000 for a first year trainee, rising to £70,000

Requirements: You don’t have to have studied law to apply to Clifford Chance.


3. Lidl, retail (area manager scheme)

Pay: £38,000

Requirements: Degree educated, experience managing people and a driving licence.


2. European Commission, public sector

Pay: £41,500

Requirements: A university degree, good knowledge of a second EU language in addition to English (a third language will be required for promotion).


1. Aldi, retail

Pay: £42,000, rising to £70,000 after four years

Requirements: A 2:1 degree, a minimum of 240 UCAS points from your top three A-levels, a driving licence and a commitment to work a 50-hour week.