Over half of the UK’s doctors, barristers, and journalists went to private schools

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A private school education helps students get ahead both directly and indirectly through connections.
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Graeme Robertson / Getty

A private school education arguably sets people up with certain privileges. Directly, you’re supposedly provided with a better quality education, and indirectly, you can make useful and powerful connections.

The majority of students that attend private schools come from well-off backgrounds, which is also an important advantage when it comes to finding a job.

In fact, according to a recent report by the government’s Social Mobility Commission, in 2016 over half of the UK’s journalists, doctors, and barristers were educated at private schools.

Out of those studying medicine, 51% came from a private education in 1987, and this has jumped to 61% in 2016.

Journalists just overstepped the half way point, with 49% coming from a private education in 1987, rising to 51% in 2016. Those in judiciary positions remained mostly from a private education, at 74% down from 76% in 1987, and barristers also still mostly come from private schools at 71% down from 73%.

However, one group which dramatically shifted in the other direction was CEOs. In 1987, 70% went to private school, but in 2016 this number dramatically dropped to 34%. The number of British MPs who went to private schools has also dropped, from 49% to 31% during the 2017 election, according to Sutton Trust data.

Nowadays, it’s common to have to do internships – often without being paid – before you are offered a full-time position somewhere. This is particularly common in sectors like journalism.

The report states that work placements and internships have increased by 49% since 2010, and at least 31% of them are unpaid positions.

People with parents who have the ability to fund their careers when they first start out are much more likely to go for these roles, because they know they will be able to afford their living costs. Some people simply don’t have the luxury of taking an unpaid job.