Maths A-level adds a wages bonus

People with maths A-level earn up to 7 11% more on average than people with identical backgrounds who dropped maths at 16, according to research published tomorrow by the London School of Economics’ Centre for Economic Performance (CEP). This premium, evidence of a shortage of employees with higher level maths skills, shows that ‘in some […]

People with maths A-level earn up to 7 11% more on average than people with identical backgrounds who dropped maths at 16, according to research published tomorrow by the London School of Economics’ Centre for Economic Performance (CEP).

This premium, evidence of a shortage of employees with higher level maths skills, shows that ‘in some respects, the education system is failing employers’, an article in CEP magazine CentrePiece says.

Anna Vignoles of the CEP and Peter Dolton of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne based the research on a 6,000 strong sample from the National Child Development Study (NCDS) and from a postal survey of graduates. They looked at the earnings at the age of 33 of the NCDS sample, while the postal survey looked at the earnings six years on of people who graduated in 1980.

Vignoles said the maths premium applied to both groups and became ‘more robust as they moved on’.

People may drop maths at 16 because they are unaware they could earn more, the study suggested, or as a result of maths teaching as far back as primary school. It found no evidence that people with a wide range of A-levels, which the Government wants to encourage, earned more than those with only science or arts A-levels.