Graduates earn £12,000 more - ONS
A degree can see people earn £12,000 more than non-graduates, according to official figures.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the typical graduate earns £30,000 each year in comparison to £18,000 by those without a degree.
However the average salary for a 22-year-old was found to be £15,000, regardless of whether they were a graduate or not.
For non-graduates, earnings then increased every year up until the age of 30 before levelling off and peaking at 34 at £19,400.
But graduates saw their earnings increase faster, and for longer.
Their income levelled off around the age of 35 and peaked at 51 at £34,500.
"This analysis shows there is a big difference between average earnings for graduates and non-graduates," ONS statistician Jamie Jenkins said.
"We also see a big difference between them by age, with graduates' earnings not peaking until they are in their early 50s. After this age, average wages decreased, as the higher earners leave the labour market earlier."
Over the past decade, male graduates could expect to earn 20% more than their female peers. For those without a degree this gender gap was 23 per cent, in favour of men.
The average hourly wage for male graduates was £19.50, compared with £15.50 for female graduates (a gap of 20.4 per cent).
Copyright © Press Association 2011