Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Medicine & Agriculture Students Make UK's Happiest Workers Says New Research

Students who choose to study medicine or agriculture are likely to have the highest job satisfaction according to economics researchers at the University of Warwick. Researchers Reamonn Lydon and Professor Andrew Oswald. say it is all to do with how much your subject limits your career choices.

The researchers questioned 15,000 people in the UK for the study, looking at groups who graduated between the middle of the 1980s and the early 1990s. The graduates were asked to rate how happy they were with their jobs.

Reamonn Lydon said: "We think that those who studied agricultural science were the happiest because they can go into a wide variety of jobs - from working the land to the food industry."

The researchers found that teachers were among those who reported a lower level of job satisfaction.

Reamonn Lydon said "If you study something like architecture which tends to lead to a narrow choice of directly related jobs and find out you don't like the profession at all, you will need extra training to do something else. We found that people who studied broader subjects, with more possible applications, were the happiest."

The authors of the study also found a higher level of job satisfaction among graduates of the older, traditional universities than the new universities. "They have more job satisfaction and more money," said Mr Lydon but this difference was less noticeable among the younger people questioned - those who graduated in the early 90s. He said it appeared that the levels of happiness for those students who went former polytechnics - the "new universities" after 1992 – differed much less than their counterparts in "old" universities.

Reamonn Lydon Department of Economics, University of Warwick email Tel: 07870 523136

Professor Andrew Oswald, Professor of Economics University of Warwick Tel: 024 76 523510 (Office), 01367 860005 (Home) email Web

Further information about the above press release and all other media services at the University of Warwick can be obtained from:

Peter Dunn, Press Officer Public Affairs Office Senate House University of Warwick Coventry, CV4 7AL West Midlands Tel: 024 76 523708 Email: