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The Relationship Between Master’s Degrees and Career Opportunities

Higher Education Articles December 2, 2015

Career advancement or certain jobs in some fields require a master’s degree. Academia and research usually require master’s degrees. Increased job responsibilities and higher pay are available to professionals with master’s degrees.

Master’s Degrees and Career Opportunities

Many career doors can be opened by a master’s degree, including advancement opportunities, certain career fields, and bigger pay packets. A master’s degree can lead to numerous careers such as college professor, special education counselor or teacher, school administrator, advanced practice nurse, speech-language pathologist and occupational therapist.

Opportunities for Career Advancement

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, the highest job growth rate has been predicted for careers that require a master’s degree for entry-level jobs (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Candidates may seek numerous advancement opportunities including certification and licensure as well as administrative or managerial positions. For instance, school principals employed in a public environment can seek licensure as school administrators (BLS). This designation requires a master’s degree in most states.

Wage Outlook

Higher salaries are paid to employees with master’s degrees than to those with less education (U.S. News & World Report). The following displays median wages for careers requiring a master’s degree (BLS report of 2013):

•$70,810 – Speech-Language Pathologist
•$76,940 – Occupational Therapist
•$88,380 – Education Administrator
•$92,270 – Nurse Practitioner
•$92,970 – Physician Assistant

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