What is the value of a graduate degree?

What is the value of a graduate degree is a question which should be asked before starting any program. When considering the value of graduate degrees in the US, it is obvious that any opinion is subjective and largely dependent on why you chose the degree in the first place. However this article is still worth a read even if it is merely for the attainment of a little satisfaction for those who chose wisely. Enjoy!

In general, Master’s degrees in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields tend to offer some of the highest paying job opportunities after graduation. Some of the highest paying Master’s degrees in the US include:

Business Administration (MBA)
Computer Science
Health Administration
Petroleum Engineering
Physician Assistant Studies
Software Engineering

On the other hand, Master’s degrees in fields such as education, social work, and the arts tend to have lower earning potential. Some of the lowest paying Master’s degrees in the US include:

Early Childhood Education
Library Science
Social Work
Fine Arts

In additon, it might be worth noting that according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the top 10 STEM jobs in the US in terms of median annual wage are:

Physicians and Surgeons: $208,000
Dentists: $159,200
Pharmacists: $126,120
Nurse Anesthetists: $174,790
Computer and Information Systems Managers: $146,360
Petroleum Engineers: $137,720
Architects, Except Landscape and Naval: $80,750
Marketing Managers: $135,030
Natural Sciences Managers: $129,100
Computer Network Architects: $112,690

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the top 10 non-STEM jobs in the US in terms of median annual wage are:

Anesthesiologists: $208,000
Surgeons: $409,665
Psychiatrists: $220,380
General Practitioners: $187,200
Chief Executives: $184,460
Pediatricians: $170,560
Nurse Practitioners: $109,820
Marketing Managers: $135,030
Financial Managers: $127,990
Natural Sciences Managers: $129,100

Surgeons and dentists are not typically considered to be STEM careers. Although they may use some elements of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in their work, they are primarily classified as healthcare professionals and are part of the medical and dental fields, rather than STEM fields.

That being said, there has been an increased emphasis on the integration of technology and data analysis in healthcare in recent years, so it’s possible that the definition of STEM careers may evolve to include certain healthcare professions in the future.

These are median annual wages, so the actual earning potential can vary greatly based on factors such as location, years of experience, and specific employer. Additionally, this list is subject to change over time as the job market and salaries evolve.

It is also important to note that these are general trends and individual earning potential can vary greatly depending on factors such as the specific job, industry, location, and years of experience.

By I. Aikhoje for Skills Direction