Centre for Vocational Education Research LSE RSS Email Facebook Twitter


Higher vocational education: An alternative to degrees?
Hector Espinoza and Stefan Speckesser
April 2019
Paper No' :

Tags: returns to education; tertiary education; high-level technical education; vocational education; administrative data.

A detailed picture of earnings effects of university degrees is emerging, but not much is known about the benefits of higher vocational education. A recent report by the IFS provides evidence on the extensive earnings benefits for people graduating from university in England: At age 29, the average male university graduate earns 25% more than someone with similar background characteristics who did not go to university. For women, the earnings effect was found to be even higher, more than 50%. However, the report also found that some graduates, in particular male students achieving degrees in creative arts, English or philosophy, had lower earnings compared to similar A-Level students, who did not go to university.