The fields of study that will get you the highest starting salary in South Africa

New data from Analytico, a data and earnings analytic consultancy, shows how much a degree and specialist majors can impact the earning potential of starting salaries in four major fields of study.

Previous data from the group showed that a people who earned a matric certificate can expect to be paid almost double the salary of someone who has not completed high school.

Tertiary education is key according to Analytico’s data, with even a tertiary certificate resulting in a 67% jump in potential earnings – while a bachelor’s degree could see a 330% jump in earnings.

Level of Education Gross Income per month
No Schooling R1 704
Some Primary School (Grade 1 – 7 incomplete) R1 867
Completed Primary School (Grade 7) R1 946
Some Secondary Education (Grade 8 – Grade 12 incomplete) R2 660
Grade 12 R4 977
Grade 12 with Certificate R8 326
Grade 12 with Diploma R13 378
Bachelor’s degree R21 527

The group has published new data looking at the earning potential of specific majors across four fields of study.

Analytico’s data is based off a sample of over 93,600 university graduates, who supplied salary information and other insights.

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

The infographics below show the earning potential of a grade 12 (matric certificate) versus a general bachelor’s degree and specific majors.

The data is ordered from lowest to highest earning potential.


Social sciences


Life sciences and physical sciences


Business and management sciences


Engineering and engineering technology


Read: How much you could earn based on your level of education in South Africa

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The fields of study that will get you the highest starting salary in South Africa