Degrees which will get you the biggest starting salary in South Africa

New data from Analytico, a data and earnings consultancy, shows that engineering and information technology graduates can expect much higher salaries than other major fields.

Analytico’s data is based on a sample of 93,658 university graduates – who supplied salary information and other insights.

According to Analytico, people with a matric certificate can expect to be paid almost double the salary of someone who has not completed high school.

The research further showed that a tertiary qualification will significantly increase the earning potential of a person.

According to the report:

  • Someone with a grade 12 can expect to earn R4,977 in their first job.
  • Someone with a bachelor’s degree increases their starting salary to R8,270.

All bachelor’s degrees are not equal, however, with a big salary difference apparent in different fields of study.

The average starting salary for a person with an engineering or IT degree is R19,180 – far higher than social sciences at R6,612 and life sciences at R7,412.

It should be noted that the salary figures are not occupation-specific, and attempt to provide a picture of what graduates with a particular degree can expect to earn each month.

The graphics below provide an overview of the starting salaries of graduates in South Africa – based on their studies.

Social Sciences


Life Sciences and Physical Sciences


Business and Management Sciences


Engineering and Engineering Technology


Reporting by BusinessTech.

Now read: Developer salaries and the managerial salary “bump”

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Degrees which will get you the biggest starting salary in South Africa