These Four Master’s Degrees Boost Average Salary By Over 50%

The cost and benefit of a master’s degree can range significantly.

But according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, earning a master’s degree in one of four fields can earn you at least 50 percent more income than what you can expect to make with just a bachelor’s degree in one of the same fields.

“If someone is earning a master’s degree solely for earning potential purposes, I would take a look at that particular career trajectory to understand if the payoff is there,” says Shawn VanDerziel, executive director at NACE. “And to understand if the differential and starting salary is worth it.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers with master’s degrees earn double what workers with just a high school diploma earn, while workers with a bachelor’s degree fall squarely between the two.

Approximate average weekly salary:
High school diploma $746
Bachelor’s degree $1,248
Master’s degree $1,500

Furthermore, workers with advanced degrees have been significantly less impacted by the economic fallout caused by the pandemic. Pew Research Center found that since the pandemic began, highly educated workers are significantly less likely to have lost health insurance or to have struggled to pay bills. And federal reserve data indicates the unemployment rate is two times higher for high school graduates than it is for those with a master’s degree.

But still, there is a range in how big the benefit is, depending on the type of master’s program.

As part of their annual Salary Survey, researchers with the organization recently found that in 2021, a master’s in biology creates the biggest income-earning differential, with graduates making approximately 86.5% more after their advanced degree.

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