The well-educated get the highest pay checks – but demand is important as well
Although higher education usually pays off, bachelors of engineering can easily enter the race for well-paid positions.
A technical education usually results in a job within the first year, regardless of whether you have an engineering bachelor or master’s degree or a PhD. Student counsellors and career advisors recommend that you do not exceed the standard time limit, while companies, on the other hand, often wish to engage you in an internship or keep you on while you are completing your thesis. In other words, it is not always decisive for your first job how far you have made it up the educational ladder. It is your decision if you choose to get off the education bandwagon after completing a professional- or university bachelor.
Bachelors of engineering, i.e. professional bachelors, have a stable vocational education which means that they are attractive to the labour market because they are able to immediately fill a position in a manufacturing company, the building and transport sectors or as export engineers etc. It may be a different ballgame with a university bachelor as you may be associated with a rather theoretical study such as biotechnology, chemistry or medico which makes the master’s programme your moment to shine.
Deciding on whether to go for a PhD after handing in your thesis depends on your study programme and their traditions. But you can expect a higher pay check with a master’s degree or as a researcher than you can with a university bachelor if you view your income over a number of years. The think tank Cepos has assessed 611 higher education programmes in accordance with a so-called “wage profit”, which allows for a comparison between length of education, wages and unemployment. In first place is one of Denmark’s smallest programmes, Actuarial Science.
The table below shows which engineering programmes top the list. You can also view the entire list on the website of Cepos: https://www.cepos.dk/sites/cepos.dk/files/media/documents/notater/2014/notat_-_loengevins.