Here’s what you’re going to do with your life, based on your degree

We can tell your future

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What are your employment prospects like?

How much money will you earn? Are you even going to move out of your teenage bedroom into a real job when you graduate? We ranked your subject on where you’ll end up based on stats from the data geniuses at the Higher Education Statistics Agency and the Sunday Times.

English

Starting salary: £18,483
Chances of being unemployed six months after graduation: 6.19 per cent for girls and 10.13 per cent for boys

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What they say about their future
“I’ve actually got a few meetings with publishers next week – I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I really think this is a story people will want to read.”

What we say about their future
You stumbled into uni with your in-depth analysis of John Agard’s ‘half caste symphony’ and your thought-provoking critiques of the dumb one in Of Mice And Men squeezing pets to death. Yet your relationship with the masters of the English tongue has been strained ever since – probably because you don’t read their fucking books. If you’re smart, you’ll listen to your dad’s advice, sell out and do a Law conversion.

Otherwise, it’ll be £15k a year in the crumbling publishing world (printing other people’s novels, not writing yours), graveyard shifts on the emerging digital wing of a clueless national newspaper (which you won’t even get if you don’t write for us) or a stint in PR clacking away on a keyboard wondering what you actually do. Your boss doesn’t know either – but he’s too busy masturbating over your Facebook pictures in his office to care. At least with the Law conversion you might get a Lexus.

History

Starting salary: £20,045
Chances of being unemployed six months after graduation: 5.85 per cent for girls and 10.05 per cent for boys

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What they say about their future
“I’m going to apply for a Master’s at Yale to study the Civil Rights movement in greater depth, then look around for positions at think-tanks in Washington DC, researching my historical novels on the side.”

What we say about their future
When you started as a fresher, you may have kidded others you study History because of a fascination with the French Revolution and Gladstone – but you never kidded yourself. Your degree was only ever a stepping stone to accountancy, consultancy, insurance or some sort of nightmare combination of the three.

Grad schemes and a high salary will rope you in and later bonuses will tie you down until suddenly you’re supporting three public school brats and a Xanaxed wife in Surrey. Now the only trace of your old degree will be stealing a few hazy paragraphs of Boris Johnson’s new Churchill biography in bed before slipping off into a restless white-wine slumber.

Sociology

Starting salary: £19,652
Chances of being unemployed six months after graduation: 7.35 per cent for girls and 10.06 for boys

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What they say about their future
“I just came to uni for the parties anyway”

What we say about their future
Even sociology students don’t pretend their degree is anything more than a ticket to three more years of daytime drinking and walks of shame. That’s the great thing about them. The bad news is that they’ve basically just dropped £27,000 when they’d be better off getting a job aged 18. It’s not a bullshit subject, there’s some real intellectual value to it, but unfortunately it doesn’t lead to many top jobs. Sociology graduates are what happens when the government makes it official policy to get half the country going for uni. You don’t get a “highly skilled workforce”, you get a lot of blonde girls doing unpaid PR for charities based in Woking.

Law

Starting salary: £19,598
Chances of being unemployed six months after graduation: 5.81 per cent for girls and 7.76 for boys

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What they say about their future
“I’ll move to London after uni for my LPC, and spend every weekend living like I’m still at uni only now I’ll be blowing thousands of pounds at parties in the City. Then it’s on to a Magic Circle firm, a seat abroad for six months somewhere beaut like Hong Kong and then back to London to rise up the ladder and become one of the most powerful people in the country.”

What we say about their future
Any image you had of life in the big city being one big Wolf of Wall Street orgy will be abruptly dispelled when the partner at your law firm is using your £10,000 suit to stub out his cigarette and making you carry his vomiting, soiled body home from the latest firm “away day”. You’re a small fry and you will be for the next thirty years of your life, so get used to being everyone else’s dogsbody and having working hours that are so unsociable the only other people you’ll see are other lawyers.

Sure, you’ll be earning loads of money but with 14-hour shifts week after week you don’t really get to enjoy the amazing flat you’ve splashed out on. What you do get to enjoy though is cocaine. Lots of it. Add in all the over-priced drinks that people only buy to prove they’re a prick and you’ve got every night out you’re going to have forever. No wonder none of your old friends end up keeping in touch with you. You are scum.

Languages

Starting salary: £20,133
Chances of being unemployed six months after graduation: 6.19 per cent for girls and 10.13 per cent for boys

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What they say about their future
“I’m passionate about travelling round the world and breaking down social barriers through language. I’m going to work for the government as an interpreter and end wars with my translating skills.”

What we say about their future
When you finally realise native language speakers are always preferred, you’ll be banging on Teach First’s door. You’ll spend the rest of your life killing the dreams of other wannabe language gurus and doing college trips to Paris. You’ll get a pen pal in Canada, have a break down when you’re 40 and run away to live there instead.

Maths

Starting salary: £24,075
Chances of being unemployed six months after graduation: 5.22 per cent for girls and 10.84 per cent for boys

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What they say about their future
“I’ll probably do a PhD before going into lecturing and spend my years as an academic. I’m going to balance my love of maths with actually going out, kind of like a sexy Isaac Newton.”

What we say about their future
You’ll be an academic of sorts- in terms of moving to a shit area in Milton Keynes to teach maths in a state school with a nice golden hello. You’ll teach higher if they’re lucky, intermediate if not, and dream of the day when you’re not spending 9-3pm in a New Look grey suit trying to explain the quadratic equation to spotty 16-year-olds. Your weekends will be spent creating witty maths chat up lines on your OK Cupid profile – “I wish I was your derivative so I could lie tangent to your curves” – that you’ll never actually execute because you never had any practice with actual girls at uni.

You’ll execute probability to pick an average wife and marry in a registry office at 33. You’ll keep in touch with all your friends from uni, but only because they’ll be the same adult that you are – painfully pragmatic and boring human beings. Except for the one who actually did his PhD and wrote a book. Fuck that guy.

Geography

Starting salary: £21,252
Chances of being unemployed six months after graduation6.45 per cent for girls and 9.92 per cent for boys

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What they say about their future 
“I’ll figure it out, something will come along.”

What we say about their future
Your practical shoes and micro-fleeces will gather dust at the bottom of your cupboard next to intrepid studies of Bolivian oxbow lakes and Iranian rift valleys. All you reach in there for now are drab suits and sombre ties, which you throw over your growing belly before your drive to work as an insurance broker, underwriter or recruiter. You’ll vainly buy Lonely Planet guides to faraway countries you’ll never visit and analyse cloud patterns on over-enthusiastic walks in the countryside while your kids stay at home watching telly.

Engineering

Starting salary: £26,362
Chances of being unemployed six months after graduation: 6.56 per cent for girls and 8.42 per cent for boys

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What they say about their future
“I’m going to get work for a beaut firm, designing skyscrapers in Dubai but clock off every day to play squash.”

What we say about their future
After a period out of work, frantically sending out applications, you’ll accept a job at an arms company. Defending your morally bankrupt decision with the claim you’re making drone missile systems more accurate, you’ll have to ignore the reality that Yemeni villages keep having their families blown to kingdom come thanks to your ingenuity designing Predators. Pol Pot could not never have imagined such digitally orchestrated brutality. There’s blood on your hands but you won’t think about that as you drive home in your polished Mercedes, ignorant that it all began when you innocently turned up to Mechanics and Thermofluids in flip flops and rugby shorts.

Medicine

Starting salary: £28,548
Chances of being unemployed six months after graduation: 0.24 per cent for girls and 0.16 per cent for boys

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What they say about their future
“Of course I’m dedicated to helping people – it helps I’m going to be doing it in a top surgeon role earning enough to send my kids to a private school.”

What we say about their future
By the time they’ve graduated from their exhausting science degree that masquerades as a life choice, gone are the impressive dreams of being a flying doctor in Afghanistan and the willingness to sacrifice yet another two years of their social life just to drop the “Dr” they’ve worked so hard for and join the boys’ club of surgery. So they’ll spend their Foundation years trying to claw back their lost youth by taking up smoking and trying Class As four years later than everyone else.

But then the horror sets in the Computer Science kid who used to have his head down the toilet now earns double their annual salary for far more appropriate hours. Then they’ll happily melt into the comfortable role of GP under the guise of “helping the local community”. They’ll spray digestive biscuits over you as they spout on about your BMI being in the red zone as they fantasise about boffing the nurse on placement.

Philosophy

Starting salary: £21,869
Chances of being unemployed six months after graduation: 5.85 per cent for girls and 10.05 per cent for boys

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What they say about their future
“I don’t really need a job you know, I’m just going to track my thoughts and in generations to come, everyone will be pondering my great philosophical mind. I’m one of the greats, me and Nietzsche just really get each other.”

What we say about their future
You’ll move back home after graduation and begrudgingly take a job in banking to pay off the £27,000 you borrowed to pay for your wasted degree. You’ll have a bookshelf full of The Greats (untranslated versions, of course) and throw the occasional dinner party where you can bore your vanilla wife and wanker banker friends as you slowly become more corporate and capitalist. Your soul is black.

Computer science

Starting salary: £23,699
Chances of being unemployed six months after graduation: 12.54 per cent for girls and 13.11 per cent for boys

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What they say about their future
“Tech is the new rock n’roll. I’m expecting minimum £50,000 basic, plus share options, health insurance and a bonus.”

What we say about their future
Gone are the days of sweaty loners graduating from a dingy IT dungeon and becoming the resident real ale and heavy metal fan at the Slough branch of a second rate paper merchant. Today’s computer science graduates are going straight into £40,000 a year jobs and penthouse flats in Hoxton. Some of them even have vaginas now. And the best ones get hoovered straight up by Google, where they will spend the rest of their lives getting filthy rich while sitting on a space hopper enjoying a massage from a post-Soviet bloc megababe. That’s what happened to the guy you bullied at school – think about that when you’re sleeping on your aunt’s sofa, six months into an unpaid internship.

Vet Science

Starting salary: £23,742
Chances of being unemployed six months after graduation: 5.21 per cent for girls and 7.41 per cent for boys

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What they say about their future
“I’ve known I wanted to be a vet since I was five years old, this is a dream come true.”

What we say about them
Five long years to be a bit like a doctor, but less important and with poorer people skills. Most people graduate and move to the big city, these welly wearers shack up with their “partners” on the outskirts of a sleepy market town. Marriage is on the cards within two years of graduating but their one true love is horses – whether they’re riding them or sticking their hands up their bum. Proud animal lovers don’t do kids but it’s fine – they’ll be earning £50k a year and surrounded by them, screaming when they accidentally stand on their cat’s head.

Science: Biology, Chemistry and Physics

Starting salary: £17,260 – £20,469
Chances of being unemployed six months after graduation: 5.02 per cent for girls and 8.47 per cent for boys

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What they say about their future
“Going to the City to nail some spreadsheets and live the baller lifestyle, then retire early and start a hedge fund and actually enjoy myself and time spent with my family.”

What we say about their future
You’ll leave a soullessly high-achieving university like Imperial or Cambridge to go straight into the City as an analyst. Without compassion or emotion, you’ll devise ingenious algorithms designed to extract delicious liquid assets from property industries. You view life and work with cold precision: essentially, you are a human spreadsheet.

You’re talented and highly-functioning in a stressful job for most of your twenties until, one day, cracks will appear in your code. One mistake leads to another and you turn to chemicals to ease the pain. Before you know it, you wake up from an opium binge to see the motionless, tangled bodies of masseuses and the sounds of Thai police hammering on your hotel door.

By Harry Shukman, Rachel Donald, Roisin Lanigan, Matt McDonald, Craig O’Callaghan, Catherine Reid and Jack Rivlin