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The Most Practical Master’s Degrees that Lead to Jobs

Higher Education Articles December 3, 2015

This article talks about the top three master’s degrees for jobs in 2013 and the reason why these degrees are on the list, what the degrees allow students to do, and what the degree programs include in their coursework.

Overview of Master’s Degrees

In 2013, Forbes Magazine, PayScale.com and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics collaborated to determine the most practical master’s degrees leading to jobs with the best-paying wages. Various degree fields were analyzed using a series of factors, including current trends in government, news, salary, prerequisites for the master’s degree and mid-career median pay, among others. The research findings revealed that physician assistant studies, physics, and information systems were among the three most practical master’s degree programs.

Physician Assistant Studies

Physician assistants receive training that ensures expertise in providing health care services like therapy, diagnosing, and preventative care under a physician’s direction. Program coursework covers topic areas such as bioethics, human anatomy, bioinformatics, physiology, clinical problem-solving, pediatrics, pharmacology, and geriatrics. Enrollees in the master’s degree program are often required to complete an original research project before they can graduate.

Physician assistants were expected to see a 38% job growth over the 2012 – 2022 decade (BLS). In 2013, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $98,800, according to PayScale.com and Forbes.com’s findings.

Physics

Enrollees in a physics master’s degree programs can seek careers in applied research and development. Coursework is completed by students; a thesis may not be compulsory. Program coursework may cover topic areas such as electrodynamics, statistical physics, mathematical physics, advanced mechanics, and quantum mechanics.

Physicists (along with astronomers) were expected to see a 10% job growth over the 2012 – 2022 decade (BLS). In 2013, physics graduates brought in an average annual wage of $117,000, according to PayScale.com and Forbes.com’s findings.

Information Systems

Enrollees in a master’s degree program in information systems can seek employment as system architects, information technology managers, and consultants. Technology and business courses are both in the program coursework that may offer specializations, such as information security, project management, or business intelligence. Program coursework may typically cover subject areas such as networking, programming, leadership, databases, and operating systems, in addition to chosen electives; they may also complete a final project.

Computer and information systems managers were expected to see a 15% job growth over the 2012 – 2022 decade (BLS). In 2013, physics graduates brought in an average annual wage of $101,000, according to PayScale.com and Forbes.com’s findings.

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