The South African universities that lead to the best salaries

Data from research group, PayScale, shows which graduates from South Africa’s top universities have gone on to have the highest average salaries.

PayScale uses big data to analyse and present salary data through a variety of metrics – from level of working experience, degrees studied and job fields employees work in.

One of the metrics is salaries based on which universities an employee graduated from.

According to the data, graduates from the Wits University have the highest average salary range (between R145,580 and R861,370) – though it’s the University of Cape Town which has the highest average salary for those with a bachelor’s degree (R348,000).

Meanwhile, graduates from smaller cities – like Durban and Port Elizabeth – have lower salary ranges, with the latter having the lowest average for a bachelor’s degree (R229,790).

The data below is based on over 2,000 data entries from South African graduates. Numbers have been rounded.

University Average Low Average High Bachelor’s Average
University of the Witwatersrand R145 580 R861 370 R301 910
University of Pretoria R142 290 R820 640 R262 060
University of Cape Town R141 740 R765 850 R348 000
UNISA R117 420 R762 070 R328 220
Stellenbosch University R142 290 R725 070 R260 860
University of Johannesburg R109 420 R680 370 R225 060
Durban University of Technology R91 110 R592 550 R217 200
Nelson Mandela University R96 310 R552 680 R229 790

PayScale’s data generally reflects the regional data recently published by jobs portal, CareerJunction, showing how salary ranges differed across South Africa’s three major metro areas.

In the study, salaries in Johannesburg were consistently higher than the national average when compared to Durban and Cape Town.

In the latter two regions, salaries were mainly lower, but also higher depending on the specific industry or sector.

With graduates from any given university typically going on to work in the same area as the university (Wits graduates working in Johannesburg, UCT graduates in Cape Town, etc), it stands to reason that the salary ranges attached to those universities reflects the area they are in.

For a more detailed look at how salaries for specific jobs change from region to region, you can read: South African salaries in 2018: Joburg vs Cape Town vs Durban


Read: The best degrees in South Africa if you want to make the most money

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