After finishing undergrad school and obtaining a bachelor’s degree, there’s a question that preoccupies many students—do I need to pursue a master’s? Whatever the decision, it’s essential to know and keep in mind what a master’s degree offers. A graduate degree can look good on a wall and a resume, and that’s not all it provides. Such credentials can be beneficial to us in more than one way. Not only is it interlinked with higher pay, but it can also improve the chances of someone landing a certain job.

If we go 30-40 years back in time, a bachelor’s degree was enough to differentiate students from the crowd. However, in 2020, there are some jobs where you can’t get ahead without a master’s degree.

Whether it’s a professional or theoretical area, it’s helpful to know if a graduate degree is going to make a difference in the course of your career. Given that a master’s degree may not make much of a difference in salaries within certain fields, we’ll give you a list of the highest paying majors in today’s market.



Having a master’s degree in healthcare is non-optional more times than not, and they usually come up on top of lists like this. Healthcare represents the highest paying jobs on the market, but they do sometimes come with hefty requirements, such as doctorate degrees.

Despite the fact that a number of them require Ph.D. credentials, there are some fields that promise more than decent incomes. The annual pay ranges from 70,000$ to 180,000$, depending on your program of choice and experience.

Master’s programs to look for

Jobs you can seek

Nurse anesthetist

Nurse anesthetists play a vital role in the success of various medical procedures. They are in charge of collaborating with anesthesiologists, dentists, surgeons, and other professionals in order to secure the safe administration of anesthesia.

Average salary: $203,090

Physician assistant

Physician assistants are professionals who collaborate with licensed physicians and work in physician offices, clinics and hospitals. These medical providers are in charge of diagnosing and treating illness, as well as prescribing medication.

Average salary: 98,400$

Physical therapist

Physical therapists are healthcare professionals who are responsible for treating individuals with medical conditions or other health problems that limit their ability to move or perform daily tasks. Additionally, they suggest cost-effective treatment to their patients.

Average salary: $97,720

Occupational therapist

Occupational therapists are the professionals who are in charge of helping people of all ages to entirely engage in their daily lives. That includes helping them with everything like work, recreational activities, getting dressed, eating, cooking, etc.

Average salary: $93,180

Acute care nurse practitioner

An acute care nurse practitioner is responsible for treating and diagnosing acute medical conditions. They also provide advanced nursing care to patients with severe but brief illnesses, this generally happens in emergency departments or ambulatory care clinics.

Average salary: $124,680

Healthcare administrator

Healthcare administrators are professionals who direct the operation of health systems and hospitals. They do not deal directly with patients on a daily basis. However, they are in charge of making changes and shaping policies in order to improve the healthcare system.

Average salary: $87,222


It’s no secret that engineering has always been able to secure decent incomes for the people who studied it, and that continues to be the case to this day. Although old day engineering was much more limited, today, it’s a vast space where students can find many fields and subfields to pursue.

Engineering is a discipline that allows you to design, evaluate, develop, inspect, modify, test, install, and maintain an array of products and systems. It’s an attractive subject that demands high education but gives satisfactory compensation. With a master’s degree in one of the engineering fields, you can expect the annual salary to be somewhere from 90,000$ and up to 200,000$, depending on the position and specialized subject you choose. Here are some of its divided specialty areas and what you can work with them.

Master’s programs to look for

  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering

(These are only general engineering fields, you have many subfield options out there likewise.)

Jobs you can seek

Senior software engineer

Senior software engineers are in charge of developing information systems by studying operations, developing and installing software solutions. They are also responsible for a team of developers who support existing websites and build new ones.

Average salary: $144,938

Systems engineer

Some of a systems engineer’s responsibilities are to monitor and manage all installed systems and infrastructure, ensure the highest levels of the systems and infrastructure are available, and troubleshooting.

Average salary: $106,911

Vice president of engineering

A vice president of engineering is in charge of planning, implementing, and overseeing engineering procedures, strategies, and goals for their employer. In essence, they make sure that all long-term and daily engineering operations run smoothly.

Average salary: $182,749

Staff engineer

The role of a staff engineer is to design, develop, and inspect different kinds of products, structures, or equipment. However, that is a general description, because the daily duties of a staff engineer may change depending on the company where they’re employed.

Average salary: $126,147

Petroleum geologist

A petroleum geologist’s time is mostly spent at the office analyzing data and preparing reports. However, they also spend time in the field and the laboratory. Their duties generally include inspecting if a part of land or sea is viable for drilling and ensuring their workers’ safety.

Average salary: $97,472

Computer science


With technology’s progressive improvement and rapid development in this century, it’s impossible to ignore this exciting field. Additionally, jobs that require computer science degrees tend to have higher pay, even at the beginning of their careers.

The diversity in job opportunities and generally high prospects of finding a job are what make computer science the third most popular major in the world. It’s stimulating and secure, which is what drives most students to pursue it. Computer science master’s programs are very broad and numerous. Consequently, giving students the liberty to pick and choose not only what program suits them best but also what job they’d be comfortable doing in the future. Let’s dive into some of the options.

Master’s programs to look for:

  • Technical Management
  • Computer Science
  • Cybersecurity
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software Engineering
  • Information Technology
  • Digital Image/Sound
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Microprogramming
  • Mobile Development
  • Computer Programming
  • Robotics
  • Web Development
  • Data Management

Jobs you can seek:

Applications architect

An application architect is a professional in charge of the design of major aspects of an application’s architecture. In addition, they also perform code and design review, and provide technical leadership to the team.

Average salary: $139,152

Computer research scientist

Computer research scientists are responsible for finding new approaches to computing technology. They work at a more theoretical level than other computing professionals, and they improve and create computer software and hardware.

Average salary: $136,620

Mobile applications developer

Mobile applications developers work to create, maintain, and implement the code for developing mobile applications. They may also be in charge of designing prototype apps, supporting the application development team, and providing the unit structure.

Average salary: 145,000$

Vice president of product development

A VP of product development is a professional in charge of leading production teams and product development. They also guide pricing strategies and product placement; make sure that products meet brand standards; conduct analysis to identify potential products.

Average salary: $176,499

Chief information security officer

A chief information security officer is a senior-level manager in charge of directing strategies, operations, and the budget for the protection program for the company’s information. They usually oversee and direct security measures.

Average salary:  154,000$

Web developer

Web developers are professionals who are in charge of turning a web design into a website. They are able to do this through writing code and using multiple computer languages while doing so. In essence, they translate a language that humans understand into one that the computer does.

Average salary: $87,580

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Mathematics & Statistics


Many students love to hate math as a subject, or at least they used to as kids. It’s no secret that understanding mathematics can be tough on some; after all, it is considered to be the language of the universe. However, if you happen to understand math, you are likely to have luck with the numbers on your paycheck as well.

Mathematics and statistics jobs have salaries somewhere around 84,000$ and up to 129,000$ annually. This field is not simple, and it requires hard work. So, if you’re considering dealing with numbers for most of your life, there are interesting career pathways a mathematics-related master’s degree can place at your disposal.

Master’s programs to look for:

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics and Statistics

Jobs you can seek:

Data Analyst

Data analysts’ jobs consist of giving guidance to individuals, businesses, or government entities on business and financial solutions and decisions. They do this by analyzing and collecting data on performance and coming up with a statistical report.

Average salary: $75,349

Data scientist

A data scientist is a professional who is in charge of interpreting and extracting meaning from data. Their duties mostly consist of collecting the data, and afterward cleaning and validating it so they can ensure uniformity, accuracy, and completeness.

Average salary: $103,500


A mathematician’s job is to conduct research so they can develop and understand mathematics principles for businesses, the government, sciences, and engineering. They can also be found analyzing data and applying mathematical techniques to do that.

Average salary: $113,860

Mathematics professor

This job title is partly self-explanatory. However, teaching is only a part of what a mathematics professor does. A lot of their time is spent doing research, administering grants for research, participating in conferences, supervising research projects by students, etc.

Average salary: $90,110


Statisticians are in charge of gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data by using statistical methods and models. They do this for different fields so that they can improve the decision-making within a company, the government, healthcare systems, etc.

Average salary: $105,510

Finance & Economics


Even if you aren’t considering majors related to financing and economics, knowing their basics can prove beneficial in your day to day life. As long as money exists, these programs tend to be timeless. They’re just as relevant today, in 2020, as they were decades ago.

There’s a rich range of master’s degree programs to choose from, and the jobs within the field come with high salaries. The annual pay is somewhere between 70,000$ and 200,000$.

Master’s programs to look for:

Jobs you can seek:

Chief financial officer

Chief financial officers are senior executives responsible for managing and overseeing financial actions within a company. Their duties include financial planning, analyzing a company’s financial strengths and weaknesses, tracking cash flow, etc.

Average salary: $201,087

Financial analyst

A financial analyst is a professional who provides guidance to companies and individuals regarding their investment decisions. They usually work in pension funds, insurance companies, banks, and other businesses.

Average salary: $95,080

Business analyst

Business analysts are responsible for increasing the efficiency of a business operation by reviewing programs and processes. Another part of their job is keeping the management team up-to-date by analyzing and communicating data regarding business trends.

Average salary: $76,850

Market research analyst

A market research analyst is in charge of examining potential sales of a service or product by studying the market. They are professionals that help companies interpret the products that people want, what price they will buy them at, and who will buy them.

Average salary: $68,230

Economic consultant

Economic consultants offer advice to businesses in order to maximize their growth. They do this by conducting research and by analyzing the economic conditions of a certain business. These professionals often work for economic consulting agencies.

Average salary: $85,600

These are some of the highest paying jobs of 2020, if you want any extra information or don’t understand anything, don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us!

Factors to Consider Beyond Salaries

While salary is undeniably important when deciding on a career path, it’s not the only factor to weigh. Your interests, passions, and values should also significantly influence your decision-making process for both the master’s and the career it will lead you into.
That said, let’s see what else you need to consider:

Work-life countercheck

Achieving a healthy work-life balance is crucial for overall well-being and satisfaction in your career. Consider how much time and flexibility you desire outside work for personal pursuits, hobbies, family, and social activities.

Some careers may require long hours or irregular schedules, while others offer more flexibility and predictable hours. Assessing your priorities and finding a career that allows you to balance work and personal life will lead to greater happiness and fulfillment in the long run.

Passion and fulfillment

Seeking a career that aligns with your passions and interests will also lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful professional life. Reflect on the activities and subjects that excite you, and explore career paths that allow you to engage with those passions on a daily basis.
Whether it’s creativity, problem-solving, helping others, or making a difference in the world, finding a career that resonates with your values and interests leads to greater job satisfaction and motivation.

Personal growth and development

In addition to work-life balance, consider whether your chosen field offers opportunities for continuous learning, skill development, and career advancement. Look for employers or industries that invest in employee training and development programs, mentorship opportunities, and career progression pathways.

Embracing challenges, seeking new experiences, and expanding your knowledge and expertise can lead to personal and professional growth, enabling you to reach your full potential and achieve long-term career success.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How do I determine if a master’s degree will increase my earning potential?

Researching salary trends within your desired industry and comparing the earnings of individuals with bachelor’s versus master’s degrees can provide insight into the potential financial benefits of further education. Additionally, networking with professionals in your field and seeking guidance from career counselors can help clarify expectations.

Are there alternative pathways to career advancement besides obtaining a master’s degree?

Yes, there are alternative routes to advancing in your career, such as gaining relevant work experience, obtaining industry certifications, or pursuing specialized training programs.

How can I finance a master’s degree program?

Financing options for graduate studies may include scholarships, fellowships, grants, student loans, employer tuition reimbursement programs, or part-time work opportunities.
What factors should I consider when choosing a master’s program?

Factors to consider when selecting a master’s program include reputation, accreditation status, faculty expertise, curriculum relevance, research or internship opportunities, networking opportunities, location, cost, and potential career outcomes. Conducting thorough research and speaking with current students or alumni will provide valuable insights into program suitability.