Salary benchmarking site Emolument.com have analysed graduate salaries from European universities to see who goes on to earn the most.

Unsurprisingly, Switzerland dominates the top places on the list, with the University of St Gallen students earning around £160,000 per year 5-10 years after graduating.

The top 30

Position University Country Median Pay
1 University of St Gallen Switzerland £160,000
2 University of Zurich Switzerland £140,000
3 Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich Switzerland £135,000
4 Zurich University of Applied Science Switzerland £127,000
5 London Business School UK £102,000
6 HEC Paris France £97,000
7 MINES ParisTech France £91,000
8 Ecole Polytechnique France £88,000
9 ESLSCA Business School France £86,000
10 London School of Economics UK £85,000
11 ESCP Europe France £84,000
12 Ecole des Ponts ParisTech France £83,000
13 Erasmus University Rotterdam Netherlands £83,000
14 Bristol University UK £82,000
15 Cambridge University & Judge Business School UK £82,000
16 Oxford University & Said Business School UK £82,000
17 Ecole Centrale Paris France £81,000
18 Imperial College London & Tanaka Business School UK £75,000
19 Maastricht University Netherlands £74,000
20 Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management Belgium £73,000
21 EM Lyon France £72,000
22 ESSEC France £71,000
23 Leuven University Belgium £70,000
24 City University London & Cass Business School UK £70,000
25 Warwick University & Business School UK £69,000
26 Catholic Institute of Business Administration Comillas Spain £68,000
27 EDHEC Business School France £67,000
28 Bocconi University & SDA School of Management Italy £66,000
29 University of Lund Sweden £66,000
30 Paris Dauphine University France £65,000

Emolument.com has analysed 5,622 alumni’s (5-10 years’ professional experience) salaries and bonuses who graduated from a European university with a Bachelor or Masters degree.

 

Cost of living Index for featured countries

Country Cost of Living Index
Switzerland 125.67
Sweden 77.63
France 76.89
Belgium 76.21
Netherlands 73.03
UK 72.73
Italy 69.65
Spain 57.01

Super Switzerland best for graduate salaries

The top four positions are held by Swiss universities, The University of St Gallen is renowned for its Masters Programme, which is highly regarded by top Swiss financial institutions.

The number of well-paid financial jobs also plays its part in Switzerland, known for its banking heritage. Graduates are well placed to take lucrative banking jobs, many of which pay big bonuses as well as good salaries.

However, the high pay is somewhat offset by the cost of living being significantly higher in Switzerland than other European countries.

Tuition fees

A big concern for students is return on investment from their degree. Eight of the UK’s universities appear in the list, however with a bottom line of £9,000 per year – the tuition fees are significantly higher than their European counterparts.

Tuition fees from the top Swiss university on the list are £2,000 per year, and like most Europeans, start their career in less debt than those studying in the UK.

Mastering the pay

The level of degree can also have a significant bearing on potential future graduate salaries. Until recently French universities didn’t offer Bachelor degrees, so the majority of French students leave with not only a Masters but higher expectations in terms of salary.

Alice Leguay, Co-Founder & COO at Emolument.com said: ‘The question of return on investment is at the forefront of most students’ mind when they look to enrol on a course. Being mindful that Masters’ fees tend to be higher than Bachelor’s, they clearly drive high pay levels upon graduation. Some universities also see a high proportion of their students start their careers in the high paying financial sector, which a clear aim: pay off their debts and polish off their formal education with hands on experience before moving to other horizons.’