A-Level results 2015: Why a degree is the way to get ahead in business

 
Billy Ehrenberg
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If you want a highly-paid, professional role then higher education is often key (Source: Getty)

Thousands of students got their A-Level results today, with pass rates rising, but fewer students getting top grades.

Of more than 850,000 exams taken, 25.9 per cent achieved the top A* or A grades, a 0.1 per cent drop from last year. Passes rose 0.1 per cent.

Read more: Which English schools lead to the best A-Level grades

A smaller proportion of high grades could have an impact, because when it comes to the power of a degree to launch your business career, the evidence is clear: higher education pays.

According to detailed data from the last census in 2011, 14.6 per cent of managers, directors and senior officials stopped their education after getting A* - C grade GCSEs, or equivalent. A similar figure – 13.8 per cent – stopped after A-Levels. The figures then jump impressively: 43.6 per cent went on to higher education. The remainder either did not do GCSEs, did not get A* - C grade GCSEs or had other qualifications.

The career-boost given by a degree is even more pronounced in professional occupations, where 4 per cent stopped at GCSE, 5.8 at A-Level and 84.7 per cent went on to higher education.

Of course, not all sectors show the same trend – only 11 per cent of people working in skilled trades went to university – but if you want to work in business it could be well worth securing that university place.

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