When considering going to graduate school, many people wonder whether they'll get the most bang for their buck with their degree. Sure, you may become more experienced in your chosen field and gain considerable knowledge that you wouldn't have gained as an undergrad, but will that degree truly pay off after graduation? With the cost of education these days, many people are asking themselves this question. Salary opportunities often have a lot to do with whether or not people choose to go to graduate school. If this question has been weighing on your mind, consider these majors with the highest salary potential.
Earning a master's degree in engineering is shown to have the highest paid salary, with petroleum engineering coming out on top. This major, which involves learning about ways to extract natural gas and oil from deep within the Earth, leads people into careers that offer starting salaries around $96,500 according to Payscale's 2015-2016 College Salary Report. Once people reach the middle of their career in this field, they make an average of $173,000. According to Monster.com, other engineering fields, such as chemical engineering and electrical engineering aren't far behind, pulling in a mid-career salary average of $117,000 and $121,000 respectively.
"Finance degrees give graduates several options to explore."
Finance and Economics
Earning a graduate degree in finance might be a wise move if you're looking to make a lot of money down the road. This degree gives graduates several options to explore and yields an average mid-career salary of $120,000. Some of the different positions people can pursue include finance director, senior financial analyst or vice president of finance. Choosing a field in economics doesn't fall far behind, with people earning a median wage of $114,000 with the career of an economist, a financial analyst or marketing director.
Most people know that doctors make a decent amount of money after earning their degree. However, certain nursing programs and other medical paths can also earn people a high salary. For example, consider physician assistant studies. On average, people who go on to become a physician's assistant at a private practice or hospital make a starting salary of $85,800. Some nursing studies can be lucrative as well. People who choose careers in nurse anesthesiology earn mid-career wages of around $159,000. If you choose to pursue a doctorate degree, your median annual salary will be around $180,000.
If you're thinking about going to law school, it may have a high payout. Most law programs take three years to complete and require a person to pass the bar exam before being allowed to practice. However, the work might be worth it. The starting salary for people who choose careers as lawyers is around $130,000. You also have other career opportunities with a law degree. Many CEOs and politicians hold law degrees to help benefit their long-term goals.
By Monique Smith
GraduateGuide.com - helping you find colleges and universities that offer the accredited graduate programs that most interest you.