According to recent research, university graduates can expect to earn up to £15,000 more each year than those without a degree.

Adzuna, the job search engine that conducted the study, reveals that people who started off in a graduate job have an earning potential of around £500,000 more during their working life than those without a degree. The study analysed over 800,000 live jobs and looked closely at the starting salaries of vacancies for those with and without degrees throughout the UK.

The poll also showed some interesting ‒ though not necessarily surprising ‒ figures with regard to regional pay scales for graduates. As an example, even though there are more graduate vacancies in the South East and London than in other parts of Britain, the average starting salary for those with a degree is approximately £28,000; the average starting salary for similar occupations in Aberdeen can be as high as £42,000.

It's also worth noting that the number of graduate openings is returning to pre-recession levels, according to recent figures.

Salaries for graduates in the East of England are among the highest, largely due to the high number of science and technology jobs in the region. Aberdeen and Cambridge have the highest average entry-level salaries.

The study also revealed that although the number of graduate job openings is increasing, the demand for first-class degrees has decreased by 80% since 2012.

These results are in line with Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) figures, which show that graduating with a first-class degree makes very little difference to a job seeker’s prospects in today’s market.

The co-founder of Adzuna, Andrew Hunter, explained: “In June 2014, Adzuna data shows graduate salaries turning a corner, with the highest year-on-year salary increase (5%) of any sector in the UK. And the good news for graduates doesn't stop there, as employers increasingly open up top jobs to candidates with the right attitude, regardless of their final degree classification.”