In today's society, a higher level education is closely correlated with greater earnings. Generally speaking, those individuals who attend graduate school and earn advanced degrees will be earning more money than those who do not, making advanced degrees crucial to those who want to pass the six-figure earnings mark. Attending graduate school is a big commitment, and requires a good amount of money, but the move can pay off long term - provided you pick the right degree, and enter the right profession.
Deciding which masters program that is right for you can be hard, and ideally a person coming out of a four year undergraduate program should already know what they want to pursue. There are also possibilities during that time to enter into a pre-graduate program, such as pre-law or pre-health, and direct yourself towards the master's program that you really want to enrol in. Luckily, there are many undergraduate degrees they can assist individuals when applying for graduate school. Humanities degrees, science degrees, and liberal arts programs can all be stepping stones to graduate school.
When deciding what master's program to enrol in, the potential job offers that are available after a masters degree is earned should come into play. Keep in mind, also, that while some jobs will require degrees even beyond a master's, there are other fields within which a graduate degree has less value. That said, there are some great career prospects out there for those willing to put in the time to get a graduate degree in the correct discipline. Here is a list of some of the best master's degree choices around, courtesy of Forbes' research into job security.
10 Occupational Therapy – Graduates' Median Salary: $81,000
For those with a desire to help others, occupational therapy is a solid career path to follow. Ocupational therapists help injured patients acclimate themselves back into their normal lives, assisting them with learning new skills, or helping them to regain old ones. Occupational therapists are rewarded well, with a good salary going to them for the work they do. The reward of making such a difference in the lives of patients is another perk of the job, just as valuable as any paycheck.
9 Public Health – Graduates' Median Salary: $84,000
Public-health is a great great masters program to go into, with many job opportunities available after graduation. With a public health master's degree, an individual will be able to work with government organizations to improve the overall health of a city, state, or even country. Public health officials help create free clinics, develop new insurance incentives, and come up with other programs meant to improve the health of the population. With antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria on the rise - not to mention the ageing and increasingly overweight population - public health officials will have their work cut out for them, and will be in high demand for years to come.
8 Nursing – Graduates' Median Salary: $88,000
Adding to the ranks of healthcare-related degrees on this list, those with a bachelor's in nursing might think about pursuing their education even further and obtaining a master's in the discipline. By going that extra mile, many more opportunities will open themselves up, with master's students generally more desirable than those who stopped at a bachelor's-level education. An individual with an advanced nursing degree will have the option to work in the ER, rehab centres, hospices, or on specialized teams, and demand for nurses is always high. With the job market still unstable, a valuable and in-demand career like nursing can only be a good thing to embark upon.
7 Physician's Assistant – Graduates' Median Salary: $98,000
For those who want to go to medical school, but do not particularly want to be a doctor, becoming a physician's assistant can be a great option to pursue in grad school. Being a physician's assistant is still a great responsibility, and involves working many and odd hours. A physicians assistant is able to leave their work at the office most times though, which makes the position a good one for those who want to prioritize family. In medical school, a student can learn to become a physician's assistant in two to four years.
6 Information Systems - Graduates' Median Salary: $101,000
With technology becoming more and more important to the long-term success of a company, employers are hiring dedicated information systems experts to run the ins and outs of company databases. The larger the company, the larger the database, the better the person the company needs. Information systems professionals that have attended for your advanced degree are experienced enough to know the ins and outs of all the technical financial databases, web databases, and other intricate networks within the company. It's a lot of responsibility, but it pays off. A master's degree in information systems will most likely guarantee a six-figure salary for an individual.
5 Civil engineering – Graduates' Median Salary: $102,000
Civil engineers create the cities and structures that we know and depend upon today. They are always in high demand, as new stadiums, bridges, sky scrapers, and other projects are built each year, replacing older structures and changing the landscape of our cities and countrysides. Civil engineering is a great master's program for creative individuals who want to leave a mark on the world around them. Civil engineers are a crucial part of leadership in teams that get big jobs done, and with the population growing ever-bigger, more and more projects of this nature will need to be built. Job security is virtually guaranteed.
4 Computer Science – Graduates' Median Salary: $114,000
It's hard to get through the day without using computers at least once. Because it's likely that all of a company's employees - and likely many of its customers or clients - will be relying on that company's computer or web infrastructure, there's a large demand for people who are proficient in computer sciences. By studying computer science in grad school, one is able not only to pursue a love of computers, but to virtually guarantee a long and fruitful career within all kinds of industries. Computers, after all, aren't going anywhere any time soon.
3 Physica - Graduates' Median Salary: $117,000
Our world is governed by laws of gravity, inertia, entropy, and many more. For those who are fascinated with science and the fundamental rules of physical existence, becoming a physicist might be a great pursuit. Going to graduate school to become a physicist can be very difficult, but passionate scientists will find it well-worth the work put in. Physicists can help develop new technologies, creating inventions that can save lives, push forward human development, and truly bring our species into the future. People with degrees in physics will always place of importance in society, making this a solid and stable direction for ambitious individuals to take.
2 Finance – Graduates' Median Salary: $119,000
The world of finance is fast-paced, with constantly-shifting markets forcing financiers to stay alert and informed of the latest developments in global trade. It's a great field for those looking to get an adrenaline rush out of a desk job. Lending, trading stocks, financing, and other financial skills can be learned in an MBA masters program, which has become one of the most popular areas of study for those looking to make big money with a corporation. Learning the ins and outs of the finance world while obtaining a graduate degree can give an individual many skills that will help them to get the job they want - sometimes even while still a student. For those who want to trade on Wall Street, manage others' money, be in the lending industry, or lead corporate mergers, a master's degree in Finance is a great pursuit.
1 Electrical Engineering - Graduates' Median Salary: $124,000
Another field of study that increases in importance with every leap forward that technology makes, electrical engineering provides a solid direction for students to take in our world today. With the leaps and bounds that technology makes each year, electrical engineers must be up-to-date on all the latest information and technology available. Electrical engineers play a crucial role in creating new products, discovering new inventions, and unveiling new technologies - and they are rewarded handsomely for the important role they play. Going to graduate school to study electrical engineering is a great way for an individual to get the six-figure salary they dream of.