If you’re choosing a graduate school program, it’s helpful to see which master’s degrees lead to the highest salaries.

Nowadays, many people are going for a master’s degree to become experts in a specific area and maybe earn more money. Picking the best master’s degree for you can impact your career goals. To help you out, we made a big list of master’s degrees that can lead to high-paying jobs, along with simple explanations of what those jobs involve.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Chief Executives

Median Yearly Salary: $179,520
Job Growth: -6%

Sales Managers

Median Yearly Salary: $127,490
Job Growth: 7%

General and Operations Managers
Median Yearly Salary: $97,970
Job Growth: 9%

An MBA (Master of Business Administration) stands out as one of the most sought-after graduate degrees, opening doors to some of the best-paying careers. Through an MBA program, you can refine your leadership and management abilities to thrive in the fast-paced, competitive business environment.

The MBA curriculum provides comprehensive training in the fundamental systems and processes that drive a company, covering areas such as production, logistics, marketing, and decision-making. Holding an MBA can enhance your eligibility for top-tier management positions across diverse industries. Alternatively, some MBA graduates opt to launch their own businesses.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Nurse Anesthetists
Median Yearly Salary: $195,610
Job Growth: 13%

Nurse Practitioners
Median Yearly Salary: $120,680
Job Growth: 52%

Nurse Midwives
Median Yearly Salary: $112,830
Job Growth: 11%

Both registered nurses (RNs) and those with nursing degrees can pursue a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to advance their careers.

An MSN helps nurses specialize in a specific area, like mental health, nursing education, or nursing practitioner. The coursework typically includes science-focused classes such as microbiology and statistics, along with hands-on clinical experience.

With this extra training, MSN graduates are better equipped for roles like nurse managers and directors, nurse educators, and advanced practice registered nurses.

Masters in Information Technology

Computer and Information Systems Managers
Median Yearly Salary: $159,010
Job Growth: 11%

Computer Network Architects
Median Yearly Salary: $120,520
Job Growth: 5%

A master’s in information technology focuses on studying computer systems and data in a business setting.

You’ll have in-depth classes covering technical subjects like software engineering, data science, and information technology (IT) security and policies. Simultaneously, you’ll learn how to connect these topics to a broader business strategy. To support this, the program includes modules on project management, strategic thinking, and organizational behavior.

Thanks to this well-rounded training, graduates with a master’s in information technology are often well-prepared to lead software projects in organizations. Common roles in the field include software engineers, business intelligence analysts, and project managers.

Masters in Engineering Management

Architectural and Engineering Managers
Median Yearly Salary: $152,350
Job Growth: 4%

Engineering managers oversee processes, activities, and personnel in engineering fields like construction, product development, and electrical engineering.

To step into this role, one pathway is to earn a master’s in engineering management. This program helps those with a technical background develop leadership and business skills. In addition to fostering innovative problem-solving, the program also improves decision-making and communication abilities. Ultimately, you’ll learn how to plan and execute large-scale engineering projects.

The coursework typically includes core classes in strategic management, analytics, finance, marketing, and quality control—all tailored for engineers.

Masters in Marketing

Marketing Managers
Median Yearly Salary: $135,030
Job Growth: 10%

Advertising and Promotions Managers
Median Yearly Salary: $127,150
Job Growth: 10%

A master’s in marketing covers all the major areas of marketing while including business strategy and the latest technologies. You’ll typically learn about product innovation, branding, sales, and business planning. Ultimately, you can practice creating company-wide marketing plans that use various platforms and techniques.

As the field is increasingly moving towards digital marketing, you may work extensively with technology, from analyzing social media data to summarizing market research. The main focus is on being able to lead marketing functions in organizations. There are also elective courses for those who want to specialize in sectors like luxury goods, multicultural marketing, and e-commerce.

Masters in Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum Engineers
Median Yearly Salary: $130,850
Job Growth: 8%

Petroleum engineering focuses on efficiently extracting hydrocarbons, like natural gas and oil. It’s one of the highest-paying fields because hydrocarbons power most of the world’s energy needs, from electricity to making consumer goods.

A graduate degree in petroleum engineering can be a very useful qualification. It covers the basics of the industry, including field appraisal, proposal writing and presentation, and recovery using safe, high-grade technologies. Even with an online setup, you might need to visit major organizations and development sites. Graduates often secure roles as engineers in the oil, gas, mining, and transportation industries.

Masters in Finance

Financial Managers
Median Yearly Salary: $131,710
Job Growth: 17%

Personal Financial Advisors
Median Yearly Salary: $94,170
Job Growth: 5%

For financial professionals, the go-to choice for a graduate degree is usually a master’s in finance. This program delves into the workings of modern financial markets, covering topics like corporate finance, alternative investments, finance analytics, and investment banking.

You can also take classes in mathematics and economics to pair an understanding of global trends with quantitative models for sharper analysis. Some finance master’s programs even offer preparation courses for students aiming to become chartered financial analysts (CFAs), which is the most prestigious designation in finance.

Masters in Physics

Median Yearly Salary: $152,430
Job Growth: 9%

Median Yearly Salary: $128,160
Job Growth: 5%

A master’s in physics is a research-focused graduate degree covering advanced topics in both theoretical and applied physics.

With a master’s in physics, you’ll delve into major theories and issues in areas like astrophysics, electrodynamics, and nuclear physics. You’ll also conduct experiments, critically evaluate research, and perform simulations to test your own ideas.

This graduate degree is usually very flexible, allowing students to customize many of their classes based on their research interests. While many graduates pursue further education with a Ph.D., non-research careers are also possible in technology, data science, finance, and other technical industries.

Masters in Computer Science

Computer and Information Research Scientists
Median Yearly Salary: $131,490
Job Growth: 22%

Computer Hardware Engineers
Median Yearly Salary: $128,170
Job Growth: 2%

Computer science is one of the fastest-growing and most profitable industries. Because having specialized knowledge is crucial, a master’s in computer science usually attracts those aiming for more senior roles in the industry. If you’re interested in research, then this degree may also be a good fit.

A computer science master’s degree exposes you to cutting-edge fields in technology. Common tracks include machine learning, cybersecurity, software engineering, data science, and computer vision. The curriculum often highlights research, and students typically have to write a major research paper that can be formally published.

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Political Scientists
Median Yearly Salary: $122,510 Job Growth: 9%

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers Median Yearly Salary: $119,860 Job Growth: 13%

Becoming a leader in a government organization or nonprofit requires a special skill set. That’s where a Master of Public Administration (MPA) comes in.

Considered the MBA of the public sector, an MPA focuses on organizational management, public policy implementation, and community-building. The faculty often includes instructors with practical experience in public service.

In an MPA program, you can learn about the processes and systems behind public organizations, from program evaluation to administrative laws. Additionally, you’ll typically draw from economics, sociology, and politics to understand issues such as human rights and social equity.

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