What's the real value of an Oxbridge degree? Watch

KittyCattie
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Hey, firstly let me tell you that I wasn't sure whether this is the right forum, so please move this thread in case it isn't.

Now to my issue:
I am from Switzerland and thinking about applying to Oxbridge, probably Nat Sciences at Cambridge.

Oxbridge has an excellent reputation in Switzerland and probably worldwide - often ranked 1st. According to the discussions I ve read on TSR it's something 'special' in the UK, too.
Now my question is: Which advantages do Oxbridge students really have?

I have seen some starting salaries on the Cambridge website and to be honest I was really surprised, but rather in a negative way. I expected these salaries (engineering) too be much higher, I think you can get the same if you graduated from another university. Because your tax is less, the salaries in the UK are probably a bit lower than in Switzerland or Germany, so this might explain this partially.

Is there really a big difference between Oxbridge starting salaries and the ones from worse universities? Do you know how companies outside of the UK value Oxbridge degrees?
Is it maybe necessary to go to Oxbridge to get into some special jobs?

Are there any advantages besides a maybe higher salary you get from Oxbridge? Like for example better creativity skills, entrepreneurial skills, ....

I hope you can give me some interesting answers and maybe there ll be a nice debate. Thank you very much and please forgive me these terrible grammatical mistakes I made, I am not used to write English anymore and I'm a *bit* sleepy.
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Jacktri
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Low graduate salaries are the result of English employers being *******s that is all.
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Bobifier
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My dad has been explicitly told by interviewers that he got an interview because he had an Oxford degree. That's the value it gives him.
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Tommyjw
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The starting salaries are obviously a complete average, especially if you were looking at the university wide figure and not subject areas.
However, it is perfectly acceptable to see this figure as a 'true value' . And yes, Oxford will have a higher starting salary than a lot of others, if not all.

One issue is, however, is that Oxford is not the best for everything by any means at all.. people forget this.

But, which is one big advantage of Oxford (and any similarly ranked university) is pure reputation. If you have essentially the same qualifications and such with another job applicant, the reputation may well be the deciding factor.
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KittyCattie
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I was talking about this:
"The average starting salary of Cambridge Engineering graduates in 2009 was £27,600."
(http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/unde...ing/index.html)

There was a man in tv some days ago who earned more than this and complained that he had not enough money to buy necessary goods like clothes for his kids. (in Switzerland)
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KittyCattie
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I just submitted a post but it says a moderator has to approve first? Why?

Edit: And why did this post appear immediately?
Anyways, I wrote that I was referring to this: "The average starting salary of Cambridge Engineering graduates in 2009 was £27,600." (http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/unde...ing/index.html)

In Switzerland someone who earned more than this complained that he had not enough money to buy necessary goods like clothes for his kids...
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FinalMH
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won't you be paying like £10,000 pa for the degree regardless?
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Drewski
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(Original post by KittyCattie)
I was talking about this:
'The average starting salary of Cambridge Engineering graduates in 2009 was £27,600'
(http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/unde...ing/index.html)

There was a man in tv some days ago who earned more than this and complained that he had not enough money to buy necessary goods like clothes for his kids. (in Switzerland)
1- How many freshly graduating students [usually 21/22] would have children to support? For someone straight out of uni that's a brilliant wage. I was on £15k.
2- £27k is more than enough to support people so long as you don't want to buy them prada...

Oxbridge has an excellent reputation in Switzerland and probably worldwide - often ranked 1st. According to the discussions I ve read on TSR it's something 'special' in the UK, too.
How would something be ranked 1 or 2 in the world and not be seen as something special in it's own country?!


Tbh, a part of me's inclined to think that if you can't understand the value of a degree from one of the most prestigious universities in the world then perhaps you aren't quite the level they're looking for...
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cpchem
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(Original post by KittyCattie)
I just submitted a post but it says a moderator has to approve first? Why?

Edit: And why did this post appear immediately?
Anyways, I wrote that I was referring to this: "The average starting salary of Cambridge Engineering graduates in 2009 was £27,600." (http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/unde...ing/index.html)

In Switzerland someone who earned more than this complained that he had not enough money to buy necessary goods like clothes for his kids...
It probably needed moderator approval because you're new to the forum. Re. the salary not being enough to clothe his children, he either has too many kids, overly expensive taste in children's clothes, or the costs of living are higher there.
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nexttime
  • Volunteer Team
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(Original post by KittyCattie)
I just submitted a post but it says a moderator has to approve first? Why?

Edit: And why did this post appear immediately?
Anyways, I wrote that I was referring to this: "The average starting salary of Cambridge Engineering graduates in 2009 was £27,600." (http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/unde...ing/index.html)

In Switzerland someone who earned more than this complained that he had not enough money to buy necessary goods like clothes for his kids...
£27,600 (circa $37,000) is almost the average UK household income and only slightly under the GDP/capita in switzerland. Its loads of money and certainly enough to afford clothes!
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ily_em
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(Original post by KittyCattie)
I just submitted a post but it says a moderator has to approve first? Why?

Edit: And why did this post appear immediately?
Anyways, I wrote that I was referring to this: "The average starting salary of Cambridge Engineering graduates in 2009 was £27,600." (http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/unde...ing/index.html)

In Switzerland someone who earned more than this complained that he had not enough money to buy necessary goods like clothes for his kids...
:lolwut: My mum has earned half that her whole life and supports two children... That's a huge wage!
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Johnny Luk
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(Original post by KittyCattie)
Hey, firstly let me tell you that I wasn't sure whether this is the right forum, so please move this thread in case it isn't.

Now to my issue:
I am from Switzerland and thinking about applying to Oxbridge, probably Nat Sciences at Cambridge.

Oxbridge has an excellent reputation in Switzerland and probably worldwide - often ranked 1st. According to the discussions I ve read on TSR it's something 'special' in the UK, too.
Now my question is: Which advantages do Oxbridge students really have?

I have seen some starting salaries on the Cambridge website and to be honest I was really surprised, but rather in a negative way. I expected these salaries (engineering) too be much higher, I think you can get the same if you graduated from another university. Because your tax is less, the salaries in the UK are probably a bit lower than in Switzerland or Germany, so this might explain this partially.

Is there really a big difference between Oxbridge starting salaries and the ones from worse universities? Do you know how companies outside of the UK value Oxbridge degrees?
Is it maybe necessary to go to Oxbridge to get into some special jobs?

Are there any advantages besides a maybe higher salary you get from Oxbridge? Like for example better creativity skills, entrepreneurial skills, ....

I hope you can give me some interesting answers and maybe there ll be a nice debate. Thank you very much and please forgive me these terrible grammatical mistakes I made, I am not used to write English anymore and I'm a *bit* sleepy.
Primary value:

Excellent reputation to get you that first interview
Great old boy/girl network to get further employments via contacts
Inspiration/confidence/arrogence that you can follow other people into the top jobs in industry/life

Secondary value:

Great education (pop it to the primary if you want to go into research)
Great pastoral care/sports/societies

Oh and the salary thing, that is completely up to you. If you go into Investment Banking, your gonna go wayyyy above that. Go into science, haha...good luck scraping the minimal wage for a few years, especially in the Ecology/Conservation side.
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KittyCattie
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(Original post by Drewski)
1- How many freshly graduating students [usually 21/22] would have children to support? For someone straight out of uni that's a brilliant wage. I was on £15k.
2- £27k is more than enough to support people so long as you don't want to buy them prada...



How would something be ranked 1 or 2 in the world and not be seen as something special in it's own country?!


Tbh, a part of me's inclined to think that if you can't understand the value of a degree from one of the most prestigious universities in the world then perhaps you aren't quite the level they're looking for...
Maybe we are talking about different figures? Do you mean before or after tax? 27k before tax in Switzerland is definitely not enough to pay for food, rent, insurance, clothes, car, ... (Edit: Well, probably not definitely, I was not happy with this interview myself because there are many people who earn less and are possible to afford their lives. He had 3 kids. But let's not talk about this but the value of the degree.)

I KNOW that Oxbridge are very good universities, but I think I overestimated it. I wanted to know from you how much more it really brings, and this doesn't seem that much.
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Drewski
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(Original post by KittyCattie)
Maybe we are talking about different figures? Do you mean before or after tax? 27k before tax in Switzerland is definitely not enough to pay for food, rent, insurance, clothes, car, ...

I KNOW that Oxbridge are very good universities, but I think I overestimated it. I wanted to know from you how much more it really brings, and this doesn't seem that much.
Then Switzerland has a far, far higher cost of living than the UK. I'm not saying it will be a good living, but you definitely can live on £27k before tax - especially so if you're a 21/22yr old single graduate. If you're older, well, then it's up to you whether it's worth it.

Are you saying that you have a family to support...?
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hobnob
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(Original post by KittyCattie)
I just submitted a post but it says a moderator has to approve first? Why?

Edit: And why did this post appear immediately?
Anyways, I wrote that I was referring to this: "The average starting salary of Cambridge Engineering graduates in 2009 was £27,600." (http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/unde...ing/index.html)

In Switzerland someone who earned more than this complained that he had not enough money to buy necessary goods like clothes for his kids...
Posts from new forum members are automatically sent to the mod queue if they contain links (or quotes, which contain a link to the quoted post). This is to help us catch out advertisers and bots, so it's nothing to do with you or your post.

Regarding your question: if you intend to live and work in Switzerland in the future, the real value of an Oxbridge degree for you will probably be in the name. Outside the UK, people are often ridiculously in awe of the name 'Cambridge' (or 'Oxford', for that matter) - more so than in the UK itself. People will be impressed by the sheer fact that you went there, and although the extent of their reverence for Oxbridge probably isn't completely justified, this will work in your favour.
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cros
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(Original post by KittyCattie)
Maybe we are talking about different figures? Do you mean before or after tax? 27k before tax in Switzerland is definitely not enough to pay for food, rent, insurance, clothes, car, ... (Edit: Well, probably not definitely, I was not happy with this interview myself because there are many people who earn less and are possible to afford their lives. He had 3 kids. But let's not talk about this but the value of the degree.)

I KNOW that Oxbridge are very good universities, but I think I overestimated it. I wanted to know from you how much more it really brings, and this doesn't seem that much.
27k is still in the 20% bracket in the UK and is absolutely enough to live on (in Britain, anyway)...there isn't much point in comparing it to Switzerland as, presumably, the statistics reflect the jobs that people went into in Britain!

In terms of 'overestimating' Oxbridge, you haven't. They are both excellent universities BUT they do not automatically grant you a higher salary in every single field...you are more likely (if you have a good 2.1 and extra curricular) to get an interview if you go to Oxbridge for careers such as IB and law (not sure about other careers as I haven't looked into them. If salary is such an issue for you why not go into one of these careers? I stand to earn around the 37,000 mark in my first year of graduation, which rises to around 42,000 and then 90,000 (though, I am looking at American firms, the average is around £60,000) as a lawyer.

The point is that NO university will guarantee you a higher salary but being at Oxbridge does guarantee you a greater likelihood of a job, which millions of people don't currently have! It also guarantees you the best education in the country and amongst the best education in the world. You'd have to be an idiot not to realise that they are the best places to go if you aren't doing something really specialist (e.g. Drama or Art) which Oxbridge doesn't necessarily excel in.
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Hanvyj
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(Original post by Drewski)
1- How many freshly graduating students [usually 21/22] would have children to support? For someone straight out of uni that's a brilliant wage. I was on £15k.
2- £27k is more than enough to support people so long as you don't want to buy them prada...
I saw an article in the daily mail about some families on 60/70k that were complaining they didn't have enough to live off... I figured the daily mail was out to make people mad at them (that was the way the article was written) but how on earth did they manage to find someone like that in the first place!

edit - found it: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/ar...-sympathy.html
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Drewski
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(Original post by Hanvyj)
I saw an article in the daily mail about some families on 60/70k that were complaining they didn't have enough to live off... I figured the daily mail was out to make people mad at them (that was the way the article was written) but how on earth did they manage to find someone like that in the first place!

edit - found it: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/ar...-sympathy.html
Families have their own issues. Simple management of finances would work wonders.


But in terms of the OP, a 19yr old student, comparing themselves to families struggling to make ends meet is rediculous and pointless.
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Hanvyj
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(Original post by Drewski)
Families have their own issues. Simple management of finances would work wonders.


But in terms of the OP, a 19yr old student, comparing themselves to families struggling to make ends meet is rediculous and pointless.
Oh I agree, but where I grew up there were families with a household income of £9000 and things, I felt pretty damn lucky with what my parents got. How you could be complaining that you are having to downsize from a 4 bedroom to 3 bedroom house is beyond me - they own a house!

But yeah, families cost loads of money so you can't really compare. Interesting too that they earn "twice as much as the national average" but that is for two people. So in reality they earn the national average, I wonder what the national average family income is.
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NaturalDisaster
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People will think you is well smart.
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