A master’s degree empowers you to advance in your field, dive deeper into a niche of your industry, or even change careers altogether. Perhaps even more importantly for ambitious professionals, a master’s degree can also unlock substantial increases in your earning potential. For instance, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reported that professionals with a master’s degree tend to earn between $12,000 and $21,000 more annually than their counterparts with a bachelor’s degree. However, where you fall in that range depends on your field and area of study.
Since some degrees are more valuable to employers than others, it’s critical to choose a master’s program wisely. It’s important to carefully weigh a variety of factors, like tuition and location, as well as industry growth, job demand, and your marketability as a prospective hire. For instance, some students might want to pursue a degree that will enable them to specialize in a niche of their industry, such as engineering management, while others might want a degree that has numerous, versatile applications, such as computer science.
While it’s a complex decision to make, you don’t have to figure it out alone. We’ll take a look at three of the most valuable master’s degrees for 2020 to help you compare useful master’s degrees that have the best job prospects.
The Top 3 Best Master’s Degrees for 2021
Looking for graduate programs with high job placement in 2020 and beyond? Then consider pursuing one of these three highly marketable graduate degrees.
Degree Program #1: Master of Business Administration (MBA)
A Master of Business Administration, or MBA, consistently ranks as one of the highest paying, most valuable graduate degrees a student can earn. According to research conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), as of 2019, the median starting salary for new hires who possess an MBA “is the highest on record” at an impressive $115,000.
This figure relates to starting salaries, meaning there’s even more room for advancement. In fact, GMAC also reported that more than half of the 1,202 employers surveyed — approximately 56 percent, or around 673 organizations — had plans to increase that amount in 2019. These robust figures suggest that MBA students have exceptional career and financial prospects, making the degree attractive to both graduates and employers alike.
Another benefit of the MBA is its versatility. A master’s degree in business administration can open channels into careers such as sales management, marketing management, IT management, HR management, supply chain management, and business operations management. To learn more about the MBA at National University, which is available 100% online and can be completed in as little as 12 months, explore NU’s MBA program information or contact an enrollment advisor today.
Degree Program #2: Master of Science in Engineering Management (MSEM)
Did you earn your bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field? If so, you may be a good candidate for a Master of Science in Engineering Management, or MSEM.
By merging knowledge of engineering principles with management and leadership skills, an MSEM degree enables students to pursue a diverse range of career paths, often in upper-management and leadership roles. To name just a few examples, an MSEM degree can lead to careers in project, systems, or technology management. It can help you become a plant manager, design engineer, firmware engineer, technical consultant, or client services analyst.
Think an MSEM is the right graduate degree for you? Explore the MSEM program at National University for more detail about the courses you’ll take, the skills you’ll learn, and the requirements for graduating.
Degree Program #3: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
In a world radically altered by COVID-19, the repercussions of this pandemic are likely to leave lasting impacts on our overburdened healthcare system. With that in mind, nurses are in high demand — and short supply. Even prior to the coronavirus outbreaks of 2020, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reported “a shortage of Registered Nurses (RNs) that is expected to intensify as Baby Boomers age and the need for health care grows.”
While a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is not required to enter the field, it is essential for any RN who wants to transition into higher paying, more specialized roles. For example, as Nurse.org explains, an MSN is mandatory if you wish to become a nurse anesthetist, clinical nurse specialist, nurse educator, nurse practitioner, or psychiatric nurse practitioner. Many of these occupations can be highly lucrative. For instance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that nurse anesthetists earn a mean annual wage exceeding $181,000, while nurse practitioners enjoy not only a median salary of around $115,000, but also exceptionally rapid job growth at a booming 26 percent.
If you’re interested in taking your nursing career — and your earning potential — a step further, consider exploring the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) at National University. You can also see specific course listings, or download additional program information.
Get a Grad School Degree that Pays Off
Military-friendly. Transfer-friendly. Regionally accredited. Nationally renowned. Join the 230,000 alumni who have already changed their lives with a graduate degree from National University.
We offer more than 50 master’s and graduate programs, many of which can be completed 100% online. From business and STEM to healthcare and education, our unique four-week courses can help you advance in your field, specialize your skills, or switch careers altogether. If you’re ready to make a change, we’re ready to challenge you. And if you still have questions — or if you think you’re ready to apply — our friendly graduate admissions counselors are always standing by to help.
What can you do in 30 days? Contact National University today to find out.