7 Most Useful Master’s Degrees
Many students go on to achieve a Master's degree because they love learning and want to do it at an even more in-depth level. Graduate degrees, especially the Master's, offers that by training you to becoming a near-expert in a specific field by doing your own unique research. As a bonus, employers tend to look upon Master's graduates as being more knowledgeable than other job applicants, and in need of a higher rate of pay. However, a Master's degree doesn't always translate to a bigger paycheck…unless you're studying one of the seven listed below.
Going into medicine, even as a primary care physician, is a recipe for a lifelong career of exciting work and steadily increasing paychecks, which are already quite sizeable once you complete your residency. Going the extra step and getting a Master's in medicine helps boost the overall picture, as you'll be looking at a median salary of $180,000 in public practice, with that number going up even more in private practice. However, if the thought of so many years of school, studying and tuition isn't attractive to you but you still want to work in the medical figure, becoming a physician's assistant can still net you a six-figure income.
What you see on The Big Bang Theory isn't too far off the mark in terms of what you'll be doing with a Master's in physics. Depending on whether you study theoretical or applied physics, you'll either be researching and teaching (theoretical physics) or working somewhere to create projects based on what theoretical physicists have thought up. It's a job field continuing to show strong, steady growth, and you're looking at a median salary of $117,000.
Jobs in the computer industry are showing no signs of slowing down. Depending on what you read or who you talk to, computer science will grow anywhere from 7 to 27% in the next 10 to 20 years; it almost doesn't matter what the exact number is, as long as there's unanimous agreement that it will be growing each year for the foreseeable future. When you first start out with a fresh Master's degree, working as a software architect, IT consultant, or other relatable jobs, you'll be duking it out with seasoned veterans who know way more than you. Hang in there, though, and you can face a mid-career salary of $114,000.
This is one of those fields where just having an undergraduate degree is a near-guarantee of a healthy paycheck and security in terms of career options. Engineering is a solid field that can take you all over the world, and you won't have to spend more than four years of academic training in doing so. If you decide to take the extra leap and get a Master's, you can immediately increase your pay by 33% to a median salary of $98,000 as compared to an undergraduate's of $77,000. Stick with it even longer, and you're looking at a mid-career salary of $124,000.
Technology is one of the fastest-changing fields, and it needs a solid pyramid of employees to handle everything that life throws at it. You can always enter in at the bottom and be assured of a pretty good paycheck and ample room for advancement with just a bachelor's degree, but why not cut the queue a bit and start planning for your future more efficiently now? With a Master's in information systems, you're looking at a median salary of $101,000, with plenty of places to take your advanced skills.
As the baby boomer population is just a couple steps away from one of the biggest mass retirements in history, they'll need someone to handle their taxes and pensions: you. The field has a double-digits job growth for applicants with a Master's degree, opening up the door for you to work as a financial manager or analyst, vice president, or chief financial officer. Landing these types of positions means years of hard work and sacrifice, but if you stick with it, you can be in line for a median salary of $102,000, plus yearly bonuses and huge pay increases as you move up the corporate ladder.
Just as the name suggests, you'll be responsible for crafting and ensuring the safety of things people use every day, like roads, bridges, canals, dams, buildings, and other infrastructure-like designs. Not only that, but you'll also have to maintain existing infrastructures in cities and towns to ensure their usability and viability, as a Master's degree means you have more knowledge than engineers just starting out. It's a demanding field with a lot to learn, but your reward is a median salary of $102,000.