If you are looking ahead to your future career, you may find that a number of careers require advanced training. In many cases, that may require earning a master’s degree if you wish to advance or even enter particular fields.
The Value of a Master’s Degree
For the college student, a bachelor’s degree sets the foundation with the basic knowledge in a field. A master’s degree imparts specialized knowledge that can help the student advance within a field. This is becoming increasingly important in an evolving job market not only for career advancement but also for entry-level positions.
Holding a master’s degree not only opens the door to more employment options but also increased earning potential. Employees with just a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $65,400 a year, while those with a master’s degree earn an average of $80,200 a year, which is a substantial difference, according to data from 2019.
Plus, earning a master’s degree helps you grow your professional network. Your fellow students and your professors can open the door to additional employment options.
Why Employers Look for Master’s Degrees
The majority of employers, 74% according to recent polls, have raised educational standards for entry-level positions. Companies want employees with advanced degrees because they know graduate training helps people become more proficient in their fields. They also find that those with master’s degrees are committed to being lifelong learners, which is a benefit for their organizations or businesses.
Considering Your Employment Goals and a Master’s Degree
Before deciding whether to pursue a master’s degree, take the time to consider your employment goals. Does the job you want require master’s level training? Post University’s online graduate degree programs make attaining a master’s degree more feasible, but you should evaluate your career path to determine if it is needed. For many fields, a master’s degree is necessary for entry or advancement, making it a wise choice.
What Jobs Can You Get with a Master’s Degree?
Certain career paths require a master’s degree as a starting point. Some require additional licensures or certifications, but earning a master’s degree is often a critical transitional step toward pursuing them. If you are considering following one of these paths, then a master’s degree is a must.
Note: Salaries provided in this review of master’s degree job options are typically median wages, often reflecting years of relevant experience, certifications, licensures, and so forth. Entry-level positions, while often lucrative, will likely not reach these median salary ranges for new master’s degree candidates.
Educational Administrators must have not only educational knowledge but also leadership skill, to do their jobs. A master’s in Education, while not a teaching certificate, is a foundational degree for this field. It offers educational theory as well as leadership to give education professionals who already have teaching certifications the ability to lead other educators and students effectively. According to the BLS, the median wage for this field is $98,490.
Public Health Consultant
The public health world is growing at a fast pace. From consulting with community members about health concerns to consulting with medical providers about proper safety protocols, public health consultants are in high demand. Organizations hire these professionals to help them assess health-related issues or challenges they face. A master’s of Public Health is considered the starting point for this career path. These professionals make an average wage of $81,942.
Clinical psychologists study the emotional, cognitive, and social processes people use to interact with other people and the world around them. They work with patients and consult with companies to help protect mental health and the well-being of individuals. A master’s or doctoral degree is necessary to start work in this field, and the BLS indicates an average salary of $82,180 a year.
Family and marriage therapists help individuals work through the social problems that make family life challenging. They may work in clinics, private practice, community organizations, or medical practices. A Master of Science in Counseling and Human Services can provide the right foundation for this career path, and therapists must have a license as well. The BLS estimates an average salary of $51,340, and the demand for therapists is expected to grow by 22% from 2019 to 2029.
A nurse practitioner is a nurse who has additional graduate-level training that gives them the ability to see patients, diagnose mild illnesses, and prescribe medications. This requires a graduate degree in nursing as well as work experience as a registered nurse. Nurse practitioners practice under the oversight of a physician, but for most non-complicated cases they can see and treat patients without the direct intervention of the doctor. Salaries for nurse practitioners vary, but the BLS estimates an average of $117,670, with an astounding growth potential of 45%. The online Master of Science in Nursing with the Family Nurse Practitioner Specialization is a good starting point for this career move.
Political scientists study the development and operation of political systems. They watch current events, help steer policy decisions, forecast trends and submit research. They work within organizations that have a high stake in politics, such as labor unions or politician’s offices, to help these professionals understand the needs and desires of the masses. Because of their specialized knowledge, these professionals earn an average of $125,350. Though there are only about 7,000 of them, the demand is expected to grow by 6% from 2019 to 2029.
Human Resources Senior Officer
Working in human resources does not require a master’s degree, but to become a senior officer and lead a human resources department for an organization, you will need a graduate degree. The BLS estimates the salary for human resources managers to be $121,220 a year, and those in the top 10%, which is common for senior officers, earn over $208,000 a year.
Financial managers manage investments, handle financial reports, and help organizations reach their long-term financial goals. They need a bachelor’s degree and work experience, but a master’s degree can help them land higher-paid positions. A master’s in Accounting is a helpful degree for this career path. An MBA with an emphasis on accounting can also be a starting point. The BLS estimates average pay to be $134,180 a year.
A criminologist studies and analyzes crime and criminal behavior. These professionals must understand how people think and also have the ability to analyze evidence and crime scenes. A master’s degree in forensics, criminal justice, or psychology can open the door to this career field. These professionals earn around $100,000 a year based on data from Glassdoor.
School counselors work with students to improve social skills, work through academic challenges, and make an educational plan that will help them attain their college or career goals. They work in public and private school settings on both the high school and college level, depending on their specializations. A master’s in Counseling works well as a degree for this career, and the average pay is estimated at $58,120 a year.
Many managerial careers require a master’s degree, and an IT manager falls in that category. At $151,150 a year, it’s a high-paying field where professionals help plan, coordinate, and oversee tech activities within companies. As tech continues to grow, so will the demand for this career.
Occupational therapists help patients recovering from illnesses or injuries regain the skills they lost. They also assist people living with disabilities learn how to navigate the normal activities of life in spite of their challenges. Occupational therapy requires a master’s degree program in the field, and the BLS estimates an average salary of $86,280 a year.
Most economists have at least a master’s degree. These professionals, who earn an average of $108,350 a year, study economic issues and trends to help companies and governments make informed decisions. This career is supposed to grow at a rate of 14%.
To teach on the postsecondary level, you must have advanced training. Without a doubt, this is a stellar example of a job that requires a master’s degree, because you must have more understanding and knowledge than your students. Most college professors will attain a master’s and work experience in their field of instruction, and many will continue on to attain a doctoral degree. The average salary for post-secondary teachers is $80,790 a year.
Forensic psychology combines the field of forensics with the field of psychology to analyze why people commit crimes or to research criminal patterns. Often a master’s in psychology with an emphasis on forensics is the way to get started in this career. The BLS does not have estimates for this particular specialty, but it does estimate the average annual wage for all types of psychologists to be $82,180.
Speech-language pathologists are specialists who offer therapy to people, usually children, who are struggling with speech disorders. They teach them how to properly form words and sounds, communicate effectively, and improve their overall language skills. They can also help people struggling with feeding problems. These professionals are in high demand with expected career growth of 25%, and they earn an average of $80,480 a year.
Get Started on Your Master’s Degree Program Today
If you have your eye on a career that requires a master’s degree, Post University may be able to help you. While we do not offer master-level coursework for every field master’s degree job defined above, we do offer large list of online master’s degree programs and graduate certificates that can help you open the door to an exciting career in many different fields.
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Please note jobs, career outcomes, and/or salaries highlighted in this blog do not reflect jobs, career outcomes, and/or salaries expected from any Post program. To learn more about Post’s program and their outcomes, please fill out a form to speak with an admissions representative.