These Danish university degrees lead to the best-paid jobs

These Danish university degrees lead to the best-paid jobs
File photo: Keld Navntoft/Ritzau Scanpix
University degrees within the fields of mathematics and natural sciences are at the top of the list of higher education fields that result in top-end wages.

A summary by Danish free market thinktank Cepos shows the subjects with the highest average earnings for graduates.

A record number of successful applicants – 69,529 – were accepted to begin their studies at Danish universities in 2020 after intakes were announced earlier this week.

But a record number who met entry requirements have also been disappointed, according to a report by DR, with 10,686 qualified applicants rejected from their desired study programme.

The number of places at university was also higher this year after the government passed a bill providing funding for an extra 5,000 university spots as part of its response to the coronavirus crisis.

Despite the higher number of applications, acceptances and rejections, 373 courses still have places available, according to DR’s report.

Whether those correspond to lower earning potential is unclear.


However, Cepos calculations take into account salary, income from self-employment, shares and stockholdings and interest earnings, along with welfare benefits like unemployment insurance (dagpenge) and child support payments.

The highest-earning qualification is for students of Actuarial Science (Danish: Forsikringsmatematik), who go on to qualify as actuaries. This group has an average income of 1,383,000 kroner (185,800 euros) annually, according to the Cepos top 20, which was also reported by Finans.

In second place, accountants who qualified after taking relevant the Master’s degree stand to earn an average of 1,106,000 kroner (148,600 euros) per year.

The third-highest earning group by study background is Mathematics-Economics (Matematik-Økonomi), whose average annual income after graduation amounts to 1,103,000 kroner (148,200 euros).

Popular degrees Medicine and Law also fare well in the analysis, placing 7th and 10th respectively on the Cepos list.

Cepos head economist Mads Lundby Hansen told news agency Ritzau that women were more likely than men to study the subjects which gave lower salaries.

“Our calculations show that women are underrepresented in the top 20 and, in turn, overrepresented in the bottom 20,” Hansen said.

“There has been a tendency for more women than men to choose degrees which give jobs with lower wages,” he added.

The economist added that he expected this to change in future, citing upper secondary school (Danish: gymnasium) grades and changing gender roles in society.

“… girls get higher grades at upper secondary school than boys. I expect the girls to take advantage of this in future,” he said.

The lowest-ranking subjects for earning potential feature art and music, according to the Cepos analysis.

Top 20 degrees in Denmark for potential earning:

  1. Actuarial Science (Danish: Forsikringsmatematik)
  2. Business Economics and Auditing (Revisorkandidat)
  3. Mathematics-Economics (Matematik-Økonomi)
  4. Dairy Agricultural Science (Mejeribrugsvidenskab)
  5. Management Engineering (Virksomhedssystemer)
  6. Political Science (Statsvidenskab)
  7. Medicine (Medicin)
  8. Advanced Economics and Finance (Avanceret økonomi og finansiering)
  9. Business Economics and Mathematics (Erhvervsøkonomi og matematik)
  10. Law (Jura)
  11. Chemistry (Kemi)
  12. Civil Engineering (Civilingeniør)
  13. Dentistry (Tandlæge)
  14. Business Economics (Erhvervsøkonomi)
  15. Computer Science (Datalogi)
  16. Pharmacy (Farmaci)
  17. Civil Engineering with specialisation
  18. Forestry (Skovbrugsvidenskab)
  19. Energy Technology (Energiteknik)
  20. Business Economics with IT (Erhvervsøkonomi og informationsteknologi)

A guide to all Danish higher educational programmes can be found at

Jobs in Denmark

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