Getting a bachelor’s degree is a great step forward in your education. It is also a good financial move.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), workers with a bachelor’s degree earn a median salary of $1,173 per week. Compare that to $712 per week for workers with a high school diploma.

But even higher earnings are available for workers with a master’s degree. The question for you is, does it pay to continue your education?

The same BLS study notes that workers with a master’s degree earn a median salary of $1,401 per week. Workers with a professional degree earn even more at $1,836 per week. So, yes, it could be worth it to continue your education!

Employers in many different fields will tell you that the more education you have, the more likely you are to move up the pay scale. In fact, some mid-level jobs require a master’s degree. A lot of high-level positions, like senior management, often require a master’s degree as well. In some professions, like counseling, a master’s degree is required for licensure.

If you’re ready to raise your income ceiling and continue your education, consult the list below. We’ve compiled 50 of the highest paying master’s degrees you can get.

Each degree lists the median salary. This information is obtained from the BLS and other sources, like Salary.com.

Remember, the salary you earn can vary from these numbers. This is especially true when you consider other elements of the compensation package, like health insurance and retirement benefits. Consider this list a good starting point. But do additional research as well to find the best master’s degree for you.

50. Rehabilitation Counseling

Rehabilitation Counseling

Rehabilitation counseling is closely related to social work and psychology. It is focused on helping people with disabilities. People with mental health and addiction issues can also seek help from a rehabilitation counselor.

A student who has earned a rehabilitation counseling degree is called a rehabilitation counselor. They can work in private practice, hospitals, or rehabilitation facilities. Some of them work in schools, government agencies, and insurance agencies as well.

It’s challenging work. And while the median salary for a rehab counselor may not match that of an MBA, the work is highly fulfilling. The good news is job prospects are strong through the end of the decade.

Job Outlook: 10% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $35,950

49. Social Work

Social WorkThere are many different specializations within this field. In general, the main priority for social workers is to help people cope with challenges in their lives. This might include:

  • Adopting a child
  • Dealing with unemployment
  • Being diagnosed with a terminal illness

Some social workers work with specific people as well. They might specialize in working with children or the elderly. Some social workers are employed in schools. Others work only with people struggling with substance abuse.

Clinical social workers also diagnose and treat emotional, behavioral, and mental issues. To become a clinical social worker, you must have at least a master’s degree for licensure.

This is also a fast-growing occupation. While the median salary is toward the bottom of the rankings, the availability of jobs makes it an attractive option.

Job Prospects: 13% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $50,470

48. Master of Music in Music Education

Master of Music in Music EducationA master’s degree program in music education has many focuses. First, you’ll learn how to foster musical skills in your students. Second, you’ll learn how to improve your own musical abilities. Third, you’ll explore educational tools you can use to improve your ability to teach music.

Students in these programs also take courses in:

  • Leadership
  • Curriculum development
  • Research

You’ll also study musical foundations and music technology. Grade-appropriate courses are included as well, such as elementary teaching methods.

Job Prospects: 9% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $51,670 (for music directors) to $69,530 (for post-secondary music teachers)

47. Master of Studio Arts

Master of Studio ArtsA master’s degree in studio arts is usually focused on many areas. Students can work in photography, painting, and sculpture. They can also work in drawing, print, and extended media. In some cases, you might focus more on one area than others.

This degree can lead to many different jobs. You can be an art teacher at a college. You might find a job as an art director for a creative agency. You might even work as a museum curator. In any case, having a master’s degree can open many different avenues for work.

However, the job outlook for some studio arts careers is not good. With many areas in decline, competition for jobs might be intense.

Job Outlook: -2% to -4% decline through 2029

Median Salary: $52,110 (for graphic designers) to $94,220 (for art directors)

46. Pathology

PathologyA master’s degree in pathology is a good choice if you wish to work as a pathology assistant. This career is an important one. It involves examining organisms and their cells, molecules, and tissues. It also involves studying these systems to find the causes of disease.

Pathologists tend to work in research or clinical settings. As such, it’s important to have a solid background of science. It’s often best to have an undergraduate degree in one of the following areas before beginning a master’s degree in pathology:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Life sciences
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology

By getting a master’s degree in pathology, you’ll have the skill set you need to work in research or teaching. You could also pursue careers in the biotechnology field.

Job Prospects: 7% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $53,120

45. Reading and Literacy

Reading and LiteracyReading and literacy is a specialty within a master’s of education program. Students gain skills that allow them to assist others in becoming better readers. This includes diagnosing reading problems. It also includes developing strategies for overcoming those problems.

Reading and literacy specialists often work with schools. They might develop a reading curriculum for teachers. They might also team teach in a classroom of children that have reading difficulties.

Some reading and literacy specialists work in private practice. Some become writers. Others work for media companies. A good number also work with adults to help them improve their literacy.

Job Outlook: -10% decline through 2029

Median Salary: $54,350

44. Divinity

DivinityA master’s degree in divinity prepares you for a professional ministry role. These programs focus not only on religious teachings but on leadership as well.

For example, you might take courses in Biblical content. But you will likely also take courses in communications, research, and organizational leadership.

Graduates of these programs often become ordained. They typically work as a minister in a church setting. This is not always the case. With additional education, you might be a counselor or social worker. Some people with a master’s in this field become teachers as well.

Job Prospects: 4% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $55,190

43. Interior Design

Interior DesignGraduate programs in interior design focus much on design principles. However, they also revolve around ways to use design principles to improve the way people live.

Much of an interior design graduate program involves the study of art, space, and ergonomics. Studies of color theory, psychology, and computer-aided design are often part of a master’s program as well.

Today, interior design programs also reach into the areas of globalism, social responsibility, and sustainability too.

Job Prospects: -5% decline through 2029

Median Salary: $56,040

42. Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood EducationThough you can be a teacher with a bachelor’s degree, teachers with master’s degrees earn more money.

A master’s degree in early childhood education allows you to work with kids age 1-8. The number of children enrolled in early childhood education programs is expected to continue to rise. This includes kids in preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary grades.

Additionally, it is expected that many Baby Boomer teachers will retire in the coming years. With more kids in schools and more job openings, that makes this career a solid choice.

Job outlook: 4% growth through 2029

Median salary: $59,420

41. Master of Fine Arts

Master of Fine ArtsA master of fine arts, or MFA, allows students to advance their artistic abilities and knowledge. This is different from a master of studio art. An MFA is more focused on a specific creative field.

Students in this program learn highly technical skills. The skills learned depend on the specific area of study. For example, an MFA student in photography will learn a much different skill set than an MFA student in music performance.

Other careers for graduates with an MFA include:

  • Screenwriter
  • Actor
  • Film director
  • Author

Job Prospects: -5% decline through 2029

Median Salary: $63,200

40. Anthropology/Archaeology

Anthropology/ArchaeologyA master’s degree in this field opens doors to many occupations. Anthropologists and archaeologists might work for government agencies or museums. Some work in construction and transportation trades. There are also jobs to be had in cultural resource management.

Field experiences are part of the master’s training for this field. This might take the form of an internship at a museum. It could also be a field experience on an archaeological dig.

In some cases, graduates might work in the private sector. This might involve doing contract work for government or public agencies. Some anthropologists and archaeologists go on to have a career in education as well.

Job Prospects: 5% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $63,670

39. History

HistoryStudents receiving a master’s degree in history will be trained in research methods. These programs also focus on writing skills and content in selected areas of history.

The job possibilities with this degree are wide-ranging. You might work as a historian. You could teach as well. A graduate degree in history is also good preparation for law school.

Many people that work in museums and archives have advanced degrees in history. Some historians become lecturers and authors too.

Job Prospects: 3% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $63,680

38. Criminal Justice

Criminal JusticeThe criminal justice field is growing. This is true for the number of jobs and the variety of positions. The possible salary levels are getting more diverse as well.

In the years since the 2001 terrorist attacks, homeland security has been a top priority. Competition for jobs in this sector is extremely high. Having an advanced degree like a master’s in criminal justice could help you land the job you want.

Career choices in this field include:

  • Emergency management
  • Policy and planning
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Agency administration

Depending on the fieldwork you wish to do, you might need to specialize. For example, a position as a field agent for a law enforcement agency would require training from that agency.

Job Prospects: 5% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $65,170

37. Curriculum & Instruction

Curriculum & InstructionA degree in curriculum and instruction is often a master’s of education. This degree is specifically for educators who want to extend their studies into theories of education. Curriculum design is a large part of these programs as well.

Most students in these programs already have classroom teaching experience. Getting this degree could allow them to move into other education-related careers, like:

  • Instructional coordinator
  • Academic coach
  • Assistant Principal

No matter the future career, students in these programs will have a lot of work ahead of them. A master’s in curriculum and instruction requires studies in curriculum theory and educational research. There are courses in diversity and classroom management as well. Educational testing and measurement is a core topic too.

Job Prospects: 6% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $66,290

36. Orthotics and Prosthesis

Orthotics and ProsthesisYou might have never heard of an orthotist or prosthetist. However, they are important and rapidly growing careers.

Orthotists specialize in creating things like supports and braces that help people with medical conditions function better. For example, they might design a walking cane for a patient.

A prosthetist designs and builds artificial limbs. For example, they might design an artificial hand for a patient that lost their hand in an accident.

In both cases, these positions require you to work closely with physicians to create supports that enhance the patient’s quality of life.

Job Prospects: 17% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $68,410

35. Public Health, Epidemiology

Public Health, EpidemiologyAdvanced positions in the health industry often require a master’s degree. With a master of public health degree, you will get widely recognized credentials for managerial positions.

These positions can be in a variety of settings. Many public health officials work for government agencies, like the Center for Disease Control. Others work for non-profit organizations. Still others work for private organizations to conduct research or lobbying efforts.

Many master of public health programs have different options for specialties. You might specialize in epidemiology or health care policy. Health care administration or communicable diseases are additional options.

Job Prospects: 5% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $70,990

34. Architecture

ArchitectureMaster’s programs in architecture provide students with advanced studies in building design. This includes designing structures for urban, suburban, and rural areas.

Much of an architecture program is focused on functional designs. These designs might be for single-family homes. They might be for apartment buildings. They might also be for skyscrapers or transportation hubs.

But there is also a good deal of conceptual studies. This includes designing buildings for the future. Buildings that might be more sustainable or functional might fall into this category.

Expect to study things like architectural history, environmental control systems, and tectonics as well.

Job Prospects: 1% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $80,750

33. Finance

FinanceFinance is another broad career area that offers many different paths for graduates to find success.

In school, students learn about many different financial services. This includes:

  • Securities
  • Corporate finance
  • Investments

Finance graduate students also learn about the processes of mergers and acquisitions. Financial management principles, concepts, and techniques are further topics of study.

With a graduate degree in finance, you might find employment with a commercial bank. You could also work at an investment bank or an accounting firm. Some finance graduates work in corporate finance. Others are employed in private wealth management or entrepreneurial finance.

Job Outlook: 5% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $81,590

32. Biology

BiologyMaster’s in biology programs provide a broad education in the principles of modern biology. The study of biology usually includes advanced courses in:

  • Cell biology
  • Molecular biology
  • Physiology
  • Neurobiology

Likewise, biology master’s programs include studies in developmental biology, pharmacology, and environmental studies.

Since these programs are so diverse, there are many career paths you might take. With additional training, certification, or licensure, you could become a:

  • Teacher
  • Physician’s assistant
  • Biochemist
  • Biological technician

Job Prospects: 3% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $82,220

31. Occupational Therapy

Occupational TherapyOccupational therapy is a rapidly growing field of work. But before you can begin your career, you need an advanced degree.

A master’s of occupational therapy program combines in-class learning with practical experiences in the field. You’ll learn how to work with patients of all ages. You’ll also explore methods that can be used with patients that have varying physical ailments.

For example, you might specialize in working with aging adults. This might mean you focus on muscle strength and flexibility. Alternatively, you might specialize in working with injured athletes. In this case, you would focus on rehabilitating the injury so the patient can return to full strength.

Job Prospects: 16% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $84,950

30. Civil Engineering

Civil EngineeringThough a bachelor’s degree in engineering can qualify you for many jobs, a master’s degree is even better.

Master’s programs in civil engineering explore advanced topics. These topics relate to how designs impact the environment, properties, and people as well:

  • Fluid mechanics
  • Acoustics
  • Hydrogeology
  • Computational mechanics

There are many opportunities for specialization too. For example, you might specialize in earthquake engineering. Another option would be to specialize in continuum mechanics.

Though this can be a lucrative career, it is not expected to grow much in the coming years. This will likely mean increased competition among recent graduates for fewer positions.

Job Prospects: 2% increase in jobs through 2029

Median Salary: $87,060

29. Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical EngineeringEngineering is a popular graduate program. Within engineering, mechanical engineering is one of the broadest disciplines.

This is good for you because the training you can get in a graduate program in mechanical engineering can lead to a variety of engineering careers. This includes:

  • Aerospace
  • Medical
  • Agricultural
  • Manufacturing

Usually, mechanical engineering programs come with a specialty. For example, you might have a set of courses that focus on material science. Alternatively, the area of emphasis might be fluid science or biomechanics.

Truly, the possibilities are virtually endless with a graduate degree in this field.

Job Prospects: 4% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $88,430

28. Physical Therapy

Physical TherapyMaybe you’ve had a need for a physical therapist in your life. If so, you know that a physical therapist evaluates and treats patients with movement dysfunctions.

You can be a physical therapy assistant with as little as an associate’s degree. But a master’s degree is required to be a physical therapist.

Most physical therapy programs include coursework in the following:

  • Physiology
  • Biology
  • Anatomy
  • Kinesiology
  • Biomechanics

These programs include studies in exercise, neuroscience, and pathology as well. Students also learn how to conduct themselves in an ethical manner. There is instruction on evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning too.

Not only is this a highly rewarding career, but it is also growing rapidly. High demand means there should be plenty of jobs to be had in the coming decade.

Job Prospects: 18% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $89,440

27. Statistics

StatisticsLike information science, statistics is a rapidly growing field. This is due in large part to the explosion of data that is produced in today’s world.

Statistics is not just the study of numbers for mathematical purposes. Instead, the theory, methodology, and practice of analyzing data is a fundamental tool in a wide variety of career areas. This includes:

  • Education
  • Sports
  • Politics
  • Mobile computing

Statistics is also a central component of finance, marketing, and even the internet.

In a master’s program in statistics, you can expect to learn about probability and theoretical statistics. Applied statistics and research topics should also be expected.

Job Prospects: 33% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $92,030

26. Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Industrial-Organizational PsychologyThis is one of the most highly specialized areas of psychology. It deals with the scientific study of human behavior in organizations. Typically, these psychologists strive to resolve workplace-related issues.

For example, an industrial-organizational psychologist might be asked to identify ways to improve employee productivity. As another example, they might seek to find a solution to mistrust between employees and managers.

This kind of work requires a strong understanding of organizational dynamics. It also requires a good knowledge of individual and group behavior.

Job Prospects: 3% job growth through 2029

Median Salary: $92,880

25. Construction Management

Construction ManagementA master’s degree in construction management opens up all kinds of jobs for graduates. Projects for residential, industrial, and commercial clients all need skilled site managers.

Likewise, heavy construction, mining, and highway projects need construction managers to ensure projects stay on schedule and on budget.

In a construction management master’s program, students explore a range of topics. This includes:

  • Project management
  • Cost control
  • Construction programming
  • Finance

Additionally, students study technical topics related to construction as well as finance. Most programs have coursework in entrepreneurship and business as well.

Job Prospects: 8% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $95,260

24. Educational Leadership

Educational LeadershipEducational leadership master’s programs are similar to those for organizational leadership. You still study things like project management, team building, and effective communication.

However, these programs are specifically focused on leadership in educational settings. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Preschools
  • Elementary schools
  • Middle schools and junior high schools
  • High schools
  • Junior colleges
  • Public and private universities

These programs emphasize the importance of leadership, technology, and curriculum development in providing sound educational services for students.

Typical courses include educational leadership, school finance, and school law.

Job Prospects: 4% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $95,410

23. Educational Administration

Educational AdministrationIf you have your heart set on a career as a principal or administrator, this is the master’s degree for you.

Educational administration degrees come in the form of a master of arts. This degree provides a foundation of skills for a variety of careers. These include:

  • Personnel supervision
  • Principal or assistant principal
  • Superintendent or assistant superintendent
  • Education finance
  • School law

Educational administration programs also focus on topics like curriculum and instruction. Courses in learning theory and ethics are also to be expected.

Job Prospects: 4% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $96,400

22. Health Administration

Health AdministrationMany healthcare executives have at least a master’s degree in health administration.

These programs prepare leaders that can effectively run a healthcare organization. These organizations are often quite large. They have significant budgets. There are many employees as well. This puts a lot of pressure on administrators to ensure everything is running smoothly.

Additionally, programs in health administration focus on the rapid changes that occur in the industry. For example, students might learn about emerging technologies that make telehealthcare a viable option for many patients.

Studying healthcare administration involves courses in finance, economics, and strategic planning. Students also develop strong leadership and research skills.

This is by far one of the most in-demand jobs. It is expected to stay in demand for the rest of the decade.

Job Prospects: 32% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $100,980

21. Electrical Engineering

Electrical EngineeringLike other engineering fields, electrical engineering is a fast-growing career. Earning a master’s degree in electrical engineering will qualify you for a wide range of job options. This includes:

  • Scientific research
  • Power generation
  • Architecture
  • Manufacturing

Regardless of the area they work in, electrical engineers must have solid skills. This includes a deep understanding of topics like math, circuitry, communication systems, and electrical design.

Generally speaking, a master’s program in electrical engineering will take two years to complete. Some schools offer accelerated options that cut that time in half.

Just be sure you choose a school that is accredited. Accreditation comes from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Many jobs in this field require applicants to have a master’s degree from an ABET-accredited program.

Job Prospects: 3% increase through 2029

Median Salary: $101,250

20. Telecom Engineering

Telecom EngineeringTelecommunications is a rapidly growing industry. This means that job prospects should be good for the next few years. But it also means that more people are entering this field. Competition for jobs can be fierce.

To position yourself for a telecom engineering job, you need at least a master’s degree. These programs explore topics such as:

  • Computer network theory
  • Operating systems
  • Network engineering

Obviously, a large part of a telecom engineering master’s degree is also on telecommunications networks. This includes how to design, build, and deploy networks.

Many positions in this field require you to have a deep understanding of leadership. Additionally, you’ll need to be versed in telecommunications policies and regulations.

Job Prospects: 3% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $101,250

19. Economics

EconomicsWith a master of science in economics, you can pursue any number of careers. It is a broad field of study that emphasizes the development of technical, analytical, and qualitative skills. These skills are developed in courses like:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Econometrics
  • Economic theory

These programs have a heavy emphasis on research as well. The research component helps students gain analytical and problem-solving skills.

With a master’s degree in economics, you can pursue careers in the public or private sector. You might become a professor or a policy analyst. You could also go into data science or budget analysis as well.

Job Prospects: 14% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $105,020

18. Software Engineer

Software EngineerSoftware engineering is a highly lucrative field. With a master’s degree, you can find many different advanced careers that pay very well.

Software engineers aren’t just employed by software companies. Instead, they are employed in a variety of sectors. This includes, business, industry, and government.

In most cases, software engineers design and construct computer systems. They also test software. Another important job duty is to maintain computer applications and systems.

This can be tedious work. Software is coded line by line. However, software engineers enjoy high pay, good benefits, and generally positive work experiences. There is often good job security as well. Companies are willing to pay a premium for well-qualified workers.

Job Prospects: 22% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $107,510

17. Applied Mathematics

Applied MathematicsApplied mathematics might seem like a very narrow field. However, a master’s degree can open up many different job opportunities.

For example, a master’s in applied mathematics might lead to a career in the engineering field. Likewise, you can pursue jobs in actuarial science. There are other possibilities as well, including:

  • Scientific computing
  • Numerical analysis
  • Mathematical biology

Some of these fields are in higher demand than others. Actuarial science, for example, has more available jobs than mathematical biology.

Nevertheless, by gaining experience in math, economics, business, and other related disciplines in this master’s program, you’ll be prepared to take on all kinds of jobs.

Job Prospects: 18% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $108,350 (for actuaries)

16. Physician Assistant

Physician AssistantIf you’ve been to a doctor’s office recently, you may have seen a physician assistant, or PA.

These health care professionals are not medical doctors. However, they are licensed to practice medicine under the supervision of an M.D.

During a master of science in medicine program, students learn how to handle common tasks, like:

  • Conducting physical exams
  • Diagnosing illnesses
  • Treating illnesses
  • Ordering and interpreting tests

Likewise, PAs might write prescriptions for drug therapies. They will occasionally assist in surgery as well. A large part of this job is also providing advice on preventative health care to their patients.

It should be noted that you must graduate from an accredited master’s program. You must also take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). It is a good idea to continue your education as well. PAs that have specialties or board certification usually make more money.

Job Prospects: 31% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $112,260

15. Nurse Anesthetist

Nurse AnesthetistNurse anesthetists provide anesthesia to patients before surgery. They usually work in a team with medical doctors, including an anesthesiologist.

However, they don’t always work in hospitals. Some nurse anesthetists work in dental offices and outpatient surgical centers as well.

Part of the duties of nurse anesthetists is to evaluate patients. These evaluations inform the type of anesthesia to be used. They also help determine the type of anesthesia to be used. Evaluations usually involve conversations about the patient’s:

  • Known allergies
  • Health conditions
  • Medications

Among advanced practice registered nurses, nurse anesthetists are among the highest-paid. This is also a rapidly growing field. This means that in addition to high pay, there should be plenty of jobs available in the coming years.

Job Prospects: 45% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $115,800

14. Nurse Midwife

Nurse MidwifeLike other health care careers, nurse midwifery is a rapidly growing field. Nurse midwives are licensed professionals that specialize in childbirth. They also specialize in reproductive health.

Typically, midwives help facilitate births. They also provide prescriptions, offer counseling to new parents, and perform annual exams.

Becoming a nurse midwife requires a lengthy education. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, they must also be a registered nurse. To become a certified nurse midwife, they must also have a master’s degree.

Common courses in graduate programs for nurse midwives include:

  • Postpartum care
  • Advanced physiology
  • Research methods
  • Pharmacology

Job Prospects: 45% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $115,800

13. Nurse Practitioner

Nurse PractitionerOne of the fastest-growing careers by far is nurse practitioner. That makes getting a master of science in nursing a smart choice.

Nurse practitioners coordinate patient care. They often provide direct care to patients as well. In some situations, a nurse practitioner might be specialized. An example of this would be a family nurse practitioner. Another example would be a cardiac nurse practitioner.

In graduate school, students focus on health care courses. This includes:

  • Pharmacology
  • Community health
  • Statistics

Master’s programs also focus on specialty areas as well as clinicals. You can expect to be more independent in your studies and clinicals at this stage than in undergraduate studies.

Job Prospects: 45% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $115,800

12. Human Resources Management

Human Resources ManagementA business is only as good as its people. This is true despite massive changes in how businesses operate. It’s also true in spite of the incredible technological advances that have changed the business landscape.

A master’s degree in human resources management will prepare you to lead a business’ employees. Your education will include a variety of topics, including:

  • Employee training
  • Hiring and firing procedures
  • Overseeing organizational change
  • Recruiting new employees

Additionally, human resources managers tackle issues related to employee and labor relations, sensitivity training, and employee compensation.

Job Prospects: 6% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $116,720

11. Organizational Leadership

Organizational LeadershipA master of arts in organizational leadership is a great choice. These programs offer a wide range of studies. While the focus is on developing leadership skills, students also learn about:

  • Project management
  • Team building
  • Effective communication

Organizational leadership also involves a heavy dose of conflict resolution. To be an effective leader, one must understand how to bring opposing sides together to manage disagreements. This is true whether you work for a small, medium, or large organization.

By the time students graduate, they will have the skills to be successful leaders in the public and private sectors.

Job Prospects: 6% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $116,968

10. Human-Computer Interaction

Human-Computer InteractionNot all that long ago, a master’s program in human-computer interaction would have been thought of as material in a sci-fi movie. Today, though, master’s programs in this area are becoming much more common.

These programs usually integrate multiple areas of study. This includes:

  • Usability
  • Interface design
  • Research methods
  • Interactive computing

Students in these programs also focus on user experience. This involves designing computer interfaces that are easy to use and intuitive.

With a master’s degree, you could go to work in the private sector. Some government agencies might also have positions available. In many cases, graduates go on to get a Ph.D. Doing so will open up even more career paths. It will also improve the possible salary.

Job Prospects: 2% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $117,220

9. International Relations

International RelationsMany people that get a master’s degree in international relations work for the government. And while there are many government agencies that might hire a graduate with this degree, there are many other career options. This includes:

  • Human rights activist
  • Lobbyist
  • Media analyst

In some cases, graduate programs in this field require you to have certain prerequisites. For example, proficiency in more than one language is often highly sought-after. This is because of the nature of this work. Often, the work revolves around the relationships between different nations.

As you might have guessed, the complexities of these relationships are far and wide. They can influence law and politics. There are also significant economic impacts that can result from how nations interact with one another.

Job Prospects: 6% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $122,220

8. Physics

PhysicsStudying physics at the graduate level often means choosing from one of a number of specialties. These include:

  • Quantum physics
  • Biophysics
  • Biophotonics
  • Computational physics

With a graduate degree in this field, the world is your oyster. Physicists are employed in a wide range of disciplines.

For example, a physics degree could lead to a career as a computer programmer. Likewise, you might become a medical physicist. Other options include teaching, research, and product development.

There are many job opportunities in the aerospace industry, energy, technology, and engineering as well.

Job Outlook: 7% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $122,220

7. Computer Science

Computer ScienceComputer science has long been a popular choice for master’s students. That’s because technology is rapidly changing. It’s also becoming an increasingly important part of our daily lives. Because good computer scientists are in such high demand, workers tend to be very well paid. If you get a master’s degree in computer science, that only improves the likelihood that you have the necessary skills to be a desirable job candidate.

Computer science graduate programs focus on computer language theory and software design. There are also classes on operating systems, networks, and databases. Information security and data management are common courses as well.

A computer science master’s degree usually takes two years to complete. The return on that investment can be quite good.

Job Prospects: 15% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $122,840

6. Information Science

Information ScienceInformation science is a field that examines the properties and behavior of information. It is concerned with the flow of information, how information is processed, and how information is used as well.

In graduate studies in information science, students learn how to collect, organize, and store information. Coursework also focuses on retrieving information, interpreting it, and passing it on to other people.

Information scientists are in demand in all sectors of the economy. You’ll find information scientists employed by Fortune 500 companies. They also work for government agencies. A good number work in the non-profit sector as well.

As organizations produce more and more data, information scientists will be in higher demand. In fact, this career area is expected to have strong growth throughout the 2020s.

Job Prospects: 15% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $122,840

5. Biostatistics

BiostatisticsMost people with a master’s degree in biostatistics work in public health. Typically, they design studies that seek to expand medical knowledge. Additionally, they analyze data and seek out ways to improve the quality of research in public health.

Government agencies employ a large number of biostatisticians. This is because policymakers need hard data on which to make their decisions. Likewise, governments are seeking to reduce the cost of health care. To do so, they need biostatisticians to analyze health care data to identify areas where costs might be reduced.

Common courses in biostatistics master’s programs include:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Epidemiology
  • Public health

Job growth for statisticians as a whole is expected to be robust for the next decade. But biostatistician jobs could see even more growth over the same period.

Job Prospects: 33% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $123,853

4. Business Administration

Business AdministrationA master’s of business administration (MBA) has long been a top choice for graduate school students. As the economy continues to globalize, having an advanced level of business knowledge will only become more important.

In fact, many argue that business leaders must have at least an MBA. This level of education is necessary to handle the rapidly changing economy.

The core curriculum in an MBA program covers best practices like:

  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Organizational behavior
  • Finance

These programs also help students develop the soft skills they need to be successful. This includes communication skills, conflict resolution, and leadership skills, among others.

Though there are many avenues you can take with an MBA, some career areas are hotter than others. Finance managers are in high demand right now. Database administrators and business operations managers are also highly sought after.

Job Prospects: 6% to 15% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $129,890 (for financial managers)

3. Marketing

MarketingMarketing is critical for companies to maximize their return on investment. This being the case, skilled marketers can command very high salaries.

In a graduate program in marketing, you’ll study the thoughts, behaviors, and actions of buyers. You’ll learn the importance of differentiation. You’ll also learn how to establish unique brands.

Additionally, marketing programs help you:

  • Develop solid communication skills
  • Design engaging digital marketing campaigns
  • Understand the qualities of effective promotion

Though some people with a master’s degree in this field work as marketing managers, others choose to work independently. In either case, the salary earned can be among the highest for master’s-level workers.

Job Prospects: 6% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $135,900

2. Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum EngineeringHistorically, petroleum engineering has been one of the most lucrative engineering fields. Though there has been a shift toward renewable energy, petroleum engineers can still command excellent salaries.

To be a petroleum engineer you must have a strong education in STEM subjects. This includes:

  • Engineering
  • Math
  • Natural sciences
  • Earth science

In today’s world, technology plays a huge role in petroleum engineering. As such, graduate programs for petroleum engineering have a significant focus on technology. After all, technology is used to find reserves of oil and gas.

Being able to find these reserves and extract the oil and gas safely and economically is a central duty of petroleum engineers. To ensure students can achieve these goals, petroleum engineering programs have a heavy dose of coursework on safety.

Job Prospects: 3% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $137,720

1. Engineering Management

Engineering ManagementEngineering managers coordinate the activities of engineering companies. This involves much more than overseeing projects. Instead, engineering managers are responsible for:

  • Developing plans for new designs
  • Determining staffing and training needs
  • Hiring and supervising staff
  • Leading research and development projects

As a management position, there is a lot of oversight of workers. There is also a lot of coordination between different stakeholders on various projects.

An engineering management master’s program will help you develop the skills needed to carry out these tasks. Additionally, you can expect to take courses in:

  • Engineering functions
  • Information systems
  • Economic decision-making

In most cases, students need two to three years to complete an engineering management program. But some students might be able to finish in just one year.

Job Prospects: 3% growth through 2029

Median Salary: $144,830

DQ Staff

Updated November 2020

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