Master Degree Salary Increase – Unlike bachelor’s degrees, all reported categories for master’s-level majors show projected increases for the class of 2023, according to results of NACE’s Winter 2023 Salary Survey Report.
Engineering graduates at this level are expected to be the highest-paid majors, with an expected average total salary of $86,826, up 2% from last year.
Master Degree Salary Increase
Likewise, the average salary outlook for computer science majors also rose this year with an increase of just 1.6%, raising their average from $82,384 to $83,681.
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Postgraduate level mathematics and science graduates are expected to earn an average starting salary 5% higher than last year. This is the second year they have reported a healthy increase. Last year, their average expected salary increased by 6.7%.
Last year, MBA students in the Class of 2022 saw their average salaries drop by 5.9%, but it’s a very different story for Class of 2023 graduates: their average salary expectations are 13.1% higher, surpassing last year’s average. $71,021 to $80,305.
Meanwhile, demand for computer science majors is highest among the master’s degree majors listed, with nearly a quarter of respondents indicating plans to hire them.
The report contains annual salary expectations for the 2023 batch of university graduates. The numbers mentioned relate to the basic salary only and do not include bonuses, commissions, additional benefits or overtime. The report provides detailed salary projections by academic major and degree level, along with industry and geographic region details. Data in the report were obtained through a NACE employer survey from October 5, 2022 to December 5, 2022. A total of 170 surveys were returned – a response rate of 19.5%. NACE members can access the full report. Publicly available summary. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant changes to the labor market and economy over the past year. Millions of people are unemployed, looking for new professional roles, and considering going back to school to obtain higher qualifications.
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A June survey by the Strada Education Network found that about 35% of American adults plan to start a college degree program in the next year, and those who have already earned a degree are more likely to enroll.
Considering that tuition and fees for graduate programs cost between $12,000 to $28,000 per year, it is important for prospective students to know whether earning a master’s degree is worthwhile. In order to evaluate which master’s programs have the greatest impact on salary in the year following graduation, we compared average salaries for bachelor’s and master’s programs in 193 fields of study.
We used data from the United States. The Department of Education’s source, the College Scorecard, compares average salaries for bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the same field of study. College Scorecard collects salary data for more than 5 million college graduates who received federal financial aid, including student loans. These data points are collected one year after individuals complete their education and come from tax records and wages reported to the IRS.
To ensure that we had a representative sample, we only included degrees that contained salary information from 10 or more colleges for both undergraduate and graduate programs.
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In general, graduate degrees in specialized healthcare, science, engineering, and business had the highest returns. These degrees can be more well-paying at the graduate level, in part because of their association with high-demand jobs that require technical knowledge and skills that are difficult to learn and verify without a college degree.
Graduates who studied real estate saw the highest salary increase during their first year in the workforce. The average salary jumped from $50,302 at the undergraduate level to $91,744 at the graduate level, an increase of $41,422 annually that puts graduates less than $9,000 away from a six-figure salary in their first year after graduation. . This finding is especially surprising because a degree is not required to work in real estate.
Average salaries for systems engineering majors had the second highest increase, increasing by $36,358 from $66,077 at the undergraduate level to $102,435 at the graduate level. The average salary for holders of a master’s degree in communication disorders sciences and services was more than double the average salary for a bachelor’s degree in the field, an increase of $29,854. This category includes programs in speech-language pathology and other communication disorders. The significant salary increase is likely related to industry certification standards set by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), which requires a master’s degree for speech-language pathology certification.
The average salary for a master’s degree in genetics was also double the average salary earned by bachelor’s degree holders in the field, earning an additional $35,829 in the first year after graduation. This category includes programs in human and medical genetics, plant genetics, animal genetics, microbial genetics, and genomics.
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The average salaries for graduates who earned master’s degrees in business, engineering, statistics, nursing, computer software, and computer science were well above the average salaries at the bachelor’s level, guaranteeing each degree a place in the top 10 in salary jumps for master’s degrees.
Degrees in arts, communications, and other fields that often lead to self-employment or freelancing provide the least financial incentive to attend graduate school.
Advanced music degrees had the lowest salary growth, with a $2,946 increase in average salaries from bachelor’s to master’s level. Art and studio arts students saw the second smallest salary increase, with an average salary increase of $3,718 from bachelor’s to master’s level. Both fields offer limited opportunities for high-paying jobs.
A master’s degree in landscape architecture also offered few gains for graduates, with an 8% salary increase equating to just $3,779 per year more than average bachelor’s level salaries. Landscape architecture is often an independent profession and relies on skills rather than accreditation, which likely explains the low salary increase.
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Graduates in these fields are unlikely to benefit financially from advanced degrees because their careers often depend on projects, skills and experiences that can be developed and verified without formal education. Self-employment and self-employment are also more common in these fields, and wages can vary based on personal rates, quality of work, and demand for the product.
Master’s degrees in clinical laboratory science, research, and related professions also led to minimal wage growth, with a 12% increase from bachelor’s to master’s level. This category of certification includes programs for phlebotomists, hematology technicians, blood bank technology specialists, dialysis technologists, and medical laboratory technicians. Most entry-level positions in these fields only require completion of a certificate or associate’s degree program.
Median graduate salaries in food science, architecture, sociology, film, writing studies, and theater also saw slight increases in salaries from undergraduate to graduate level.
While the cost and financial benefits of graduate school are important factors for many people, there are other reasons to pursue a master’s degree, even if it doesn’t raise your salary much. Here are some other factors to consider when considering graduate school:
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Regardless of whether your career goals require a master’s degree. For some jobs, such as social workers or guidance counselors, a master’s degree is necessary for licensure or certification. Other roles require a master’s degree but do not involve licensure. While the financial benefit may be limited in these positions, students must still pursue a graduate degree to work in this field.
Some people also earn a master’s degree in a field other than a bachelor’s degree for their personal interests, to make a career change, or to create a specialized skill set. For example, pairing a degree in sociology with a graduate degree in public administration can better prepare someone for a career in the public sector. Although a salary increase likely won’t be a driving factor, the job security and benefits of working for the government can attract potential students.
Some candidates may not receive a much higher salary immediately, but may receive a financial bonus later in their career. The College Scorecard only collects salary data for graduates one year after completing their program, which does not take into account the potential salary increase an advanced degree can lead to for further advancement in the future.
Understanding the impact of an advanced degree on your salary in the short term when considering a graduate degree is a critical element in making decisions about the future.
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Some master’s degrees can significantly increase earning potential, while others are not likely to pay off in the graduates’ near future. This is especially important for those who will be juggling student loan payments as well as other expenses soon after completing their program.
However, students can still achieve financial success while pursuing their interests. Our rankings are a useful tool to compare tuition rates, average student debt, and average graduate salary for specific schools and programs to maximize earning potential and minimize future debt. What are the benefits of obtaining a master’s degree? Regarding the average starting salary, this advantage has been decreasing in recent years.
Although there is still a salary advantage for college students who get an A
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