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50 Highest Paying Graduate Degrees

A rewarding career often involves more than just an undergraduate degree and experience. Sometimes, considering earning a master’s degree or even a doctoral degree can do a lot to improve your career prospects and usher in great rewards. Graduate degrees pertain to master’s degrees, doctorates, and Ph.D. that often provide an advanced understanding of a particular topic or field. More often than not, this path demonstrates a commitment to lifelong learning.

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Earning a master’s and doctorate does not come easy. Advanced degrees take numerous years of hard work. However, the rewards far outweigh the difficulties since choosing to further your education can promote your career growth and earning potential. We’ve listed below some of the most lucrative master’s and doctoral degrees that pose high-paying jobs, with some reaching six figures.

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Discover the online graduate schools that await you! Use these page jumps to check out each of the 50 Highest Paying Graduate Degrees on our list:

graduate concept

Petroleum Engineering
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
Entrepreneurship
Marketing Management
Economics
Computer Science
Finance
Electrical Engineering
Operations Research
Nuclear Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Computer Engineering
Applied Mathematics
Information Technology
Management Information Systems
Biomedical Engineering
Physics
Aerospace Engineering
Taxation
Acute Nurse Practitioner
Software Engineering
Materials Science and Engineering
Telecommunications
Industrial Engineering
Geology
Statistics
Pharmacology
Organic Chemistry
Physical Chemistry
Immunology
Clinical Psychology
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Actuary
Veterinary Medicine
Epidemiology
Microbiology
Neuroscience
Political Science
Analytical Chemistry
Cybersecurity
Criminal Justice
Occupational Therapy
Astronomy
Oral Biology
Environmental Engineering
Optometry
Human Resource Management
Data Science
Speech-Language Pathology
Education

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Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum Engineer

Median Salary: $137,720 per year

Petroleum engineers are some of the highest paid professionals. They are responsible for evaluating, developing, and extracting oil and gas. Generally, their work involves frequent visits to the drilling well sites and meeting other engineers, oilfield workers, and customers. It is their job to oversee the drilling operations and resolve any operating problem. Sometimes, they are also expected to develop new drilling tools and methods for extracting oil and gas from older wells at a minimum cost and with the least environmental impact.

To become a petroleum engineer, you must earn a degree in Petroleum Engineering. While a bachelor’s degree is often enough to get into an entry-level position, earning a master’s degree in petroleum engineering can provide an edge in the job market. Those with a graduate degree can take on higher positions with a more handsome salary and compensation. The job outlook for this profession might be slower than average, with the employment of petroleum engineers projected to grow by 3% from 2018 to 2018, but a lot can change depending on oil prices. The petroleum industry employs 33,500 people as of 2018, according to BLS. 

Schools offering this program:

Texas Tech University
Texas A&M University
Missouri University of Science and Technology
University of Wyoming
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

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Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Nurse Anesthetist

Median Salary: $181,040

A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist administers anesthesia in surgical, diagnostic, or obstetric procedures as a way to assist surgeons, other physicians, and dentists. They are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses who communicate with patients before procedures to discuss their allergies and medications to ensure safety and administer anesthesia appropriately.

At the very least, a CRNA must hold a master’s degree and national certification for their field. Before they can enroll in an MSN program, however, they need to satisfy prior requirements, including earning a bachelor’s degree, obtaining an RN license, and completing at least a one-year full-time experience. For the employment outlook, the future is bright for CRNAs. There are currently 43,570 employed CRNAs in the country. This number is expected to grow up, with BLS projecting employment growth for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners at 26% between 2018 to 2028.

Nurse anesthetists work in numerous healthcare settings, including offices of physicians, general medical and surgical hospitals, outpatient care centers, and even colleges and universities. 

Schools offering this program:

Columbia University
Duke University
University of Iowa
University of Minnesota
University of Pennsylvania

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Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneur

Median Salary: $104,690

People who start a new business with all its risks and rewards are called entrepreneurs. Many consider entrepreneurship as the ultimate career, with wide-open possibilities and remunerations. Their main responsibilities include formulating business ideas and taking the risk of implementing them. They are the leader of their company or organization, assuming the role of the execution, success, or failure of the business.

If you want to take on this career, you will greatly benefit from a Master’s in Business Administration. Most MBAs have entrepreneurship specializations that could be a huge help for those who want to build a professional network, seek venture capital, and build a successful start-up. Earning this graduate degree can ramp up your credentials and usher in handsome rewards. They can get a median salary of as much as $115,000.

Often self-employed entrepreneurs can also find work as commercial bankers, franchise operators, research and development executives, and business consultants. If you dream of becoming the boss, IT and engineering sectors are the best fields for start-ups.

Schools offering this program:

University of Pennsylvania
University of California Berkeley
Georgetown University
Michigan State University
Texas A&M University – College Station

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Marketing Management

Marketing Manager

Median Salary: $147,240

An essential part of any business, marketing managers are responsible for choosing target markets and acquiring customers through creating, delivering, and communicating customer value. They require the utilization of accurate market knowledge through research and surveys, all done in a systematic approach. Marketing managers also set goals and objectives for the company, divide the market into segments that cater to a select target audience, coordinate with other departments, and develop and maintain relationships with third parties, including suppliers, government agencies, and other consultants.

A master’s degree in marketing management can boost your potential to a more enriching and successful career path. The median salary for marketing managers is $147,240. They can also expect a brighter job outlook. Presently, the number of marketing managers in the country is around 240,440. This is expected to grow by 8% in the next eight years, faster than the average growth for other occupations. Marketing managers are needed in a wide range of industries, including advertising, public relations, companies, and enterprises.

Schools offering this program:

Harvard University
Northwestern University
University of Virginia
Columbia University
Duke University

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Economics

Economist

Median Salary: $105,020

A Master’s in Economics leads to a wide range of opportunities in dozens of fields. It is a good way to stand out from the crowd, keeping an edge over the competition and acquiring a better salary and compensation in the process. Economists are known to work as consultants, public analysts, financial managers, health insurance analysts, and many more. Getting a master’s degree can get your foot in the door and enable you to climb the ranks.

The number of economists in the country is around 21,000, not as large as other employments. But the job outlook for this profession is quite encouraging, with projections putting it at 8% growth between 2018 to 2028.

Schools offering this program:

Johns Hopkins University
Stanford University
Purdue University
University of Maryland
Boston University

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Computer Science

Computer Scientist

Median Salary: $122,840

The field of Computer Science presents numerous opportunities for degree holders. As technology advances, the need for skilled employees with knowledge of computer science has been growing steadily too. It encompasses a wide range of occupations, job titles, and responsibilities, giving computer science graduates a lot of career paths and entry point options. The employment growth for computer scientists is projected to rise by 16% between 2018 to 2028.

Want to boost your portfolio in the field? Earn a master’s degree! Most professionals with a graduate degree go on to work as computer network architects, computer and information research scientists,s systems managers, and software development engineers. They are often expected to develop computing solutions to complex problems in business, science, medicine, and other applications. Computer science master’s degree holders are among the top earners, with a median salary of $122,840 annually.

Schools offering this program:

Cornell University
Carnegie Mellon University
New York University
University of Illinois
Georgia Institute of Technology

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Finance

Finance Manager

Median Salary: $85,660

A master’s degree in Finance presents the path to careers with excellent rewards and compensation. Financial analysts, corporate investment bankers, and financial managers, financial advisors are just some of the job positions available for a master’s in finance degree holder. Their main responsibilities include developing and providing financial solutions, achieving financial goals, and giving out strategic advice. They also secure financial deals for their clients through short-term and long-term plans.

As of 2018, there are around 329,500 employed financial analysts in the country. They are expected to grow by 6% in the next few years. They can apply their trade in any industry, but the most common are in private companies and banks.

Schools offering this program:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Princeton University
The University of Texas Austin
Boston College

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Electrical Engineering

Electrical Engineer

Median Salary: $101,250

Electrical engineers often work with electricity, technology, and systems design. They are responsible for designing, creating, and testing new technologies, working with circuits, motors, renewable energy sources, or communication systems. The median salary for electrical engineers is $101,250, and this figure may even increase for holders of a master’s degree in electrical engineering. This degree can help them gain more knowledge and skills in science, math, technology, electrical circuit theory, systems design, design and drafting, and physics.

Through this additional learning and training, they can take on specialized and supervisory positions in a variety of work environments, ranging from technologies and design industries to electrical components and telecommunications. To date, there are 330,300 employed electrical engineers in the country, with average employment growth of just 2%. Nevertheless, the profession is still more relevant than ever.

Schools offering this program:

California Institute of Technology
Purdue University
University of Southern California
Arizona State University
Kansas State University

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Operations Research

Operations Research

Median Salary: $84,810

Operations researchers are known to use advanced mathematical and analytical methods that enable them to solve complex issues. Their high-level problem-solving skills make them a valuable part of businesses and organizations. They use advanced techniques like optimization, data mining, statistical analysis, and mathematical modeling to develop solutions integral for efficient and cost-effective operations. Often, employers prefer applicants with a master’s degree in operations research. Graduate degree holders can find better opportunities in consultancy firms and related industries. They enjoy a better advantage over undergraduates, so getting a master’s degree in this field can be a worthy investment.

As of 2018, the total number of research analysts is 109,700. This is expected to grow by an astonishing 26% between 2018 to 2028.

Schools offering this program:

Columbia University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cornell University
Florida Institute of Technology
Southern Methodist University

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Nuclear Engineering

Nuclear Engineer

Median Salary: $113,460

In the field of Nuclear Engineering, the main concentration tackles the splitting or combination of atomic nuclei. As the largest producer of nuclear power, the United States accounts for 30% of electricity generated through nuclear power globally. There is a high demand for nuclear engineers in the field of diagnostic imaging, nuclear medicine, and cancer treatment. While it is true that available jobs at entry-level can admit bachelor’s degree holders, many of these positions are requiring a master’s degree. They often work in scientific research, engineering services, development services, and electric power generation industries. They are among the highest-paid engineers, with a median salary of $113,460. Currently, the country employs 17,700 nuclear engineers.

Schools offering this program:

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Missouri University of Science and Technology
North Carolina State University
University of Wisconsin – Madison

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Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineer

Median Salary: $108,770

Working with ground-breaking technologies, chemical engineers work in areas like environmental protection, management of resources, and health and safety control. Their roles include manufacturing new products like plastics, paper, dyes, polymers, and petrochemicals; researching and designing machines for industrial plants; ensuring safety compliance when working with dangerous chemicals, and finding ways to increase energy efficiency. A master’s degree in chemical engineering can improve your career prospects, providing them with greater experience within a laboratory setting and giving them ample opportunities to head research teams. This also means higher salaries and better compensations.

There are 33,900 chemical engineers in the country. The growth of this profession is projected at 6% within the next eight years. Most chemical engineers work in various settings, including industrial plants, refineries, and other locations where they monitor or direct operations and solve onsite problems.

Schools offering this program:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of California–Santa Barbara
University of Delaware
Brown University
Clarkson University

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Computer Engineering

Computer Engineer

Median Salary: $117,200

The White House had released a fact sheet that predicted a 50% increase in occupations in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)—all of which relate to Computer Science. This means a bright career outlook for those with a master’s degree in computer engineering, who can earn as much as $115,000 annually. Those who hold this graduate degree acquire ample knowledge on probability, wireless communication, and electromagnetism, along with practical skill development related to circuitry, optics, and digital signals. A master’s degree in this field means a greater chance to stand out for management positions and high-paying jobs at larger firms. Specialized positions in the field of computer engineering also require graduate degrees.

This profession will see a 6% increase in job employment in the period between 2008 and 2018, adding to the current number of computer hardware engineers, which is around 64,400.

Schools offering this program:

University of Washington
Boston University
Drexel University
Florida Atlantic University
George Mason University

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Applied Mathematics

Mathematician

Median Salary: $92,030

Mathematicians play a huge role in industrial organizations, helping companies perform better in today’s data-driven marketplace. While it involves numbers, a career in applied mathematics help solve real-life problems with great impact in the world. Organizations that hire applied mathematicians include academic and research institutions, aerospace and transportation equipment manufacturers, electronics and computer manufacturers, engineering research organizations, insurance companies, and many more. A master’s in applied mathematics can enhance your portfolio and qualifications, allowing them to win managerial and high-paying jobs in the industry, Finance, and government agencies.

Mathematicians number around 47,300 in the country. This figure can go up by 30% in the period between 2018 and 2028. This gives a bright job outlook for Master’s in Applied Mathematics degree holders.

Schools offering this program:

University of Washington
University of Houston
Columbia University
Johns Hopkins University
Wright State University

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Information Technology

IT

Median Salary: $122,840

The field of information technology has expanded beyond IT managers and other roles to accommodate positions such as video game designer, cloud architect, management consultant, and computer systems analysts. While there are entry-level jobs for bachelor degree holders, people with a master’s degree in information technology has the edge over the competition when it comes to lucrative careers with high-paying roles. It can be a pivotal step to career advancement and better salary and compensation.

Positions like information security managers require ample knowledge and skills in creating, executing, and maintaining security policies and procedures. This job involves advanced credentials and superb critical thinking and problem-solving skills, all of which can be delivered by a graduate degree holder. The employment for computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow by 12% from 2018 to 2028.

Schools offering this program:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Maryland-College Park
University of Wisconsin-Stout
University of Massachusetts
University of Virginia

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Management Information Systems

Management Info Systems

Median Salary: $146,360

Technology has dominated today’s world, completely transforming the way businesses and other organizations operate. Since they become more digitally driven, there is a growing demand for professionals who have skills and knowledge of computer science and information systems. BLS projected an 11% growth for this occupation from 2018 to 2028. They are mostly responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing computer-related activities in an organization. They create, execute, and maintain security policies and procedures. They also audit systems to find risks and operation needs.

For computer and information systems managers, career opportunities abound, even more so for those with master’s degrees. A degree in a management information system can give them greater opportunities in obtaining leadership positions that pose higher salaries and compensations.

Schools offering this program:

National University
University of Arizona
University of Immaculate Conception
University of Nevada
Lamar University

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Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical Engineer

Median Salary: $91,410

A Biomedical Engineering graduate degree leads to some of the highest-paying jobs. The field encompasses two areas – healthcare and engineering. It offers the best job prospects for graduates, especially for those who have earned a master’s degree in biomedical engineering.

A graduate degree means more chances in winning specialized positions in the field, including bioinstrumentation, biomaterials, biomechanics, cellular, tissue, and genetic engineering, as well as medical imaging and so many more. Some go on to become manufacturing engineers, responsible for developing and designing medical products like imaging devices and prosthetics. Others can find positions in research, obtaining knowledge to find solutions to medical problems.

There are currently 19,800 biomedical engineers, a number that can grow by 4% from 2018 to 2028. The median pay for this occupation is $91,410, which can go up for those with a master’s degree in specialized areas. While physicists graduate degree holders often take on research roles, others also find opportunities in other industries like education, automotive, aerospace, defense, public sector, healthcare, energy, technology, and computing.

Schools offering this program:

Boston University
Columbia University
Drexel University
University of Southern California
George Washington University

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Physics

Physicist

Median Salary: $122,220

Physics is an all-encompassing field of study that can be applied to several science careers and even to engineering and education fields. Those who have a master’s degree in physics often qualify for research positions where the study of how matter and energy interact is integral. They conduct complex scientific experiments that require the use of advanced technology like lasers and special computer software to analyze data. To date, there are 21,600 physicists in the country. With a projected growth of 9%, this occupation has a bright outlook. Physicists who hold a master’s degree earn higher salaries and receive better compensations. The median pay for this profession is $122,220.

Schools offering this program:

Stanford University 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
California Institute of Technology
Columbia University
Yale University

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Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace Engineer

Median Salary: $116,500

As one of the most challenging fields, aerospace engineering has been advancing at an unparalleled rate. Aerospace engineers play valuable roles in developing and expanding high-speed vehicles such as aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, space stations, and lunar vehicles. They do research and create designs for these aeronautics vehicles, combining the unique tradition of aerospace technology with engineering and management methods from related disciplines.

The research and development side of this field often requires a master’s degree from applicants, which can provide them with more lucrative salaries and benefits. Aerospace engineers are mostly employed in manufacturing, analysis and design, research and development, and the federal government. Currently, there are a total of 67,200 employed aeronautics engineers. Their median salary is $116,500 a year.

Schools offering this program:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
California Institute of Technology
Stanford University 
Georgia Institute of Technology
University of Michigan

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Taxation

Taxation

Median Salary: $71,550

People with a master’s degree in taxation are often employed by the IRS, state departments of revenue, or individuals and organizations. They have ample knowledge of federal, state, and local taxes that put them in the best position to provide tax advice and planning. Many of these master’s degree holders are employed as certified public accountants, financial advisors, chief financial officers, and advisors to tax law courts. They have a great advantage in climbing to executive-level positions and earning higher salaries than their undergraduate counterparts.

As tax accountants and auditors, they can earn a median salary of $71,550 per year, with good chances of even higher compensation depending on their positions.

Schools offering this program:

Golden Gate University
Fordham University
California State University
Villanova University
DePaul University

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Acute Nurse Practitioner

Acute Nurse Practitioner

Median Salary: $118,840

Most acute nurse practitioners provide care to older adult patients with complex acute, critical, and chronic health conditions. They are often required to provide complex monitoring and therapies, high-intensity nursing interventions, and continuous nursing vigilance. It is their job to assess and manage acutely ill patients within the inpatient/hospital setting. Mostly, they are present in emergency departments, intensive care units, specialty labs, acute and sub-acute wards, and specialty clinics.

This profession requires a Master’s in Nursing specializing in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, with emphases in critical care, emergency/trauma, and cardio-pulmonary. They earn as much as $115,070.

Schools offering this program:

Walden University
Texas Tech University
Wright State University
University of Rhode Island
University of Northern Colorado

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Software Engineering

Software Engineer

Median Salary: $108,080

Some of the most complex and high skilled jobs involve software engineering. While entry-level jobs in this field require at least a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree in software engineering can go a long way, ushering better career prospects and greater compensation. Software engineers with graduate degrees have gained the skills and tools used to solve complex problems with the use of computers. They are also effective leaders within the workplace. Their career options range from software development and management to database administration and network architecture.

Those with a master’s degree can vie for advanced and managerial positions, requiring them to lead a team or direct an entire project. Currently, there are 903,160 software engineers employed, making it one of the most in-demand occupations in the country.

Schools offering this program:

Kennesaw State University
DePaul University
Florida Institute of Technology
Carnegie Mellon University
Auburn University

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Materials Science and Engineering

Materials Science and Engineering

Median Salary: $93,360

The Materials Science and Engineering field provide a broad spectrum of job possibilities for graduates. Those with a master’s degree, however, can obtain better job positions with higher pay scales. Most employers prefer graduate degree holders for their better understanding and familiarity with new technology, materials, and textile technology. They are better prepared to enter higher positions that require more advanced skills and a better experience.

A Master’s in Materials Science and Engineering leads to careers such as materials engineers, research scientists, technical sales engineers, manufacturing systems engineers, and many more. Their specialist knowledge can open doors for them in offshore operations and aerospace industry. Their median pay annually is around $93,360.

Schools offering this program:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Northwestern University
Stanford University
Carnegie Mellon University
The Ohio State University

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Telecommunications

Telecommunications

Median Salary: $112,690

As the lifeblood of global commerce, the telecommunications industry is huge and poses fierce competition. A master’s degree in telecommunications can serve as a boost to your career prospects, allowing promotions and salary increases. The telecommunications graduate programs often offer specializations in the following fields: policy management, wireless systems, and security. They can find high-paying positions in cable providers, telephone companies, and internet providers.

Their most common positions range from telecommunications consultant, network analyst, and network administrator to systems engineer, systems developer, and network architect. Computer network architects can earn a median salary of $112,690. Currently, there are 159,300 of them employed in the country, with a projected growth of 5% from 2018 to 2028.

Schools offering this program:

University of Pittsburgh
Florida International University
Northeastern University
University of Texas at Dallas
University of Nebraska Lincoln

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Industrial Engineering

Industrial Engineering

Median Salary: $88,020

Industrial engineering involves the integration of machines, staff, production materials, money, and scientific methods. Industrial engineers plan, design, and implement complex systems to create products, ensure product quality, and determine the costs.

Working in a variety of settings like factories, the energy industry, and the IT sector, industrial engineers aren’t very limited in their opportunities. They find job prospects in healthcare operations, transportation, food processing, media, banking, utilities, and government agencies.

A master’s degree in industrial engineering can hone your skills in dealing with complex issues in manufacturing, efficiency, and productivity. They can easily take on leadership roles, entering management jobs in factories and businesses. They can lead a team or a division or even spearhead a project. At present, there are 284,600 jobs for industrial engineers, with projected employment growth of 8% from 2018 to 2028.

Schools offering this program:

Georgia Institute of Technology
Arizona State University
Purdue University
New Jersey Institute of Technology
University of New Haven

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Geology

Geology

Median Salary: $92,040

Geology involves the study of Earth’s physical structure and substances. It makes use of methods and knowledge from various science fields like biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Geologists and geoscientists are often required to study aerial photos, collect rock samples, conduct surveys, and more that will allow them to create maps and charts of different geological features.

A master’s degree in geology can give them a gateway to senior-level positions with more responsibilities and higher compensations. Geology graduates can go on to work in varied industries, including petroleum, mining, and many others. Geoscientists often spend their time working indoors in offices and laboratories. They also do research and investigations outdoors, requiring them to work irregular hours and extensive travels to remote locations. As of 2018, a total of 31,000 geoscientists are employed. The job outlook for this profession looks good, with a projected 6% increase from 2018 to 2028.

Schools offering this program:

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Western Michigan University
University of Alaska Anchorage
Georgia State University
University of Oklahoma

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Statistics

Statistics

Median Salary: $92,030

Statisticians are knowledgeable in providing information about various sets of data. This skill can be applied to numerous fields and industries, such as healthcare, business, or engineering. It is their job to analyze various sets of data, design surveys or experiments to collect data, and solve actual problems for clients. They can interpret their statistical analysis and present it in reports to their employers. A master’s degree in statistics can lead to managerial and leadership roles with high-paying salaries. Apart from statisticians, other roles for this degree include mathematician, market research analyst, financial analyst, statistical consultant, and operations research analyst.

According to BLS, there are around 47,300 statisticians and mathematicians in the country. The job outlook is impressive, with an occupation growth of 30% from 2018 to 2028. This means there are ample opportunities for graduate degree holders in statistics.

Schools offering this program:

University of California Berkeley
Stanford University
University of Chicago
University of New Hampshire
University of Texas at San Antonio

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Pharmacology

Pharmacology

Median Salary: $128,090

Pharmacologists often deal with laboratory work and research. The field of pharmacology combines medicine and science to find drugs that can cure various health problems. They also test other products such as preservatives, food coloring, and others, examining whether they are toxic or not. They are responsible for conducting clinical trials that they often report to agencies, such as the US Food and Drug Administration.

A Ph.D. in Pharmacology has a stronger focus on clinical skills and medical research, a requirement for most pharmacists. They qualify for high-paying positions in the private industry, public service, or even academia. Pharmacists can work in drugs, general merchandise, or grocery stores. They can also find career prospects in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. In 2018, there are a total of 314,300 pharmacists in the country. Their median salary is $128,090.

Schools offering this program:

Emory University
Boston University
University of Colorado Denver
University of Maryland
University of Pennsylvania

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Organic Chemistry

Organic Chemistry

Median Salary: $78,790

Organic chemists deal with the structure, properties, and reactions of molecules that contain carbon. Their profession involves designing and making new organic substances that have unique properties and applications. The outcomes of their study are used to develop commercial products, including pharmaceutical drugs and plastics. Ph.D. holders in organic chemistry have better opportunities in research jobs, leading research teams, and taking on bigger responsibilities. They have control over the direction and content of projects. These positions are often high-paying and also pose more independence when it comes to research works.

There are currently 95,800 employed chemists in the country. The job outlook in this position is as fast as average employment growth at 4%.

Schools offering this program:

University of California Los Angeles
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of New Orleans
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
University of Missouri St. Louis

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Physical Chemistry

Physical Chemistry

Median Salary: $78,790

Physical chemistry involves the study of fundamental characteristics of how matter behaves on a molecular and atomic level and how chemical reactors occur. It is the job of physical chemists to analyze the results and develop new theories on how these complex structures are formed. They research and develop potential uses for new materials, often with the help of material scientists.

While entry-level jobs require a bachelor’s degree, research positions need a Ph.D. with a significant level of work experience. As part of the research projects, doctoral degree holders often hold leadership positions within the team. They have a significant role in managing research projects and directing outcomes. They are commonly employed in analytical chemistry, materials science, or molecular modeling. It is also their responsibility to help create new materials and novel applications. Some of the industries that require their expertise include pharmaceutical companies, healthcare, and other related fields.

Schools offering this program:

University of Massachusetts Boston
Colorado State University
University of California Davis
University of Memphis
University of Oregon

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Immunology

Immunology

Median Salary: $75,650

A branch of medicine that chiefly focuses on disease immunity, immunology involves studying, analyzing, and treating disease processes that have to do with the immune system. Immunologists are research scientists and specialists who are often immersed in laboratory research. A Ph.D. in Immunology can help you become an expert in scientific research immunologists. This career path contributes greatly to the development of treatment processes for certain illnesses. They often receive salaries ranging from $50,000 to $200,000. All vary depending on their specialization and workplace. Other Ph.D. holders in Immunology become instructors and faculty members in the academic world.

Schools offering this program:

Stanford University
University of Washington
University of Illinois Chicago
Creighton University
Yale University

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Clinical Psychology

Clinical Psychology

Median Salary: $87,450

Clinical psychologists with a Ph.D. have the best possible career path. They often have a major area of focus, including child psychology, neuropsychology, and health psychology. It is their responsibility to diagnose and treat mental disorders and other mental health issues, ranging from schizophrenia to grief. They treat patients through psychotherapy. They often work in private practice, providing evaluations and treatment for individuals with mental health issues. They also have career opportunities in hospitals, clinics, residential facilities, and other institutions that provide mental health services. Their advanced degree can land them with high-paying positions such as administrators and practitioners.

Schools offering this program:

American University
University of South Alabama
University of North Dakota
University of Virginia
University of Rhode Island

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Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Median Salary: $94,490

Biochemists and molecular biologists are often expected to provide breakthroughs integral in battling diseases and saving lives. They have a wealth of opportunities in various fields, including agriculture, basic and clinical research, biotechnology, cellular biology, microbiology, and many others. Those who earn a Ph.D. in this field of study, however, have greater chances of securing high-paying jobs within research and academia. They are well-versed in laboratory operations and biomedical and health science researches. They can work in independent research and development, posing more opportunities for professional growth and higher compensation. As of 2018, the total number of biochemists employed is around 30,400.

Schools offering this program:

Johns Hopkins University
Michigan Technological University
University of Maryland
Clark University
University of California Riverside

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Actuary

Actuary

Median Salary: $108, 350

An actuary is a specialized field that requires dealing with the financial impact or risks involving an individual or business. Actuary professionals have a deep understanding of mathematics, statistics, historical data, and financial systems. These are important in helping them evaluate the possibility of events and their inherent risks. Many actuaries work in insurance companies, with specializations ranging from health and life to property and casualty insurance. There are also opportunities to work with pensions and retirement benefits and serve as risk managers for various businesses. Actuaries with a Ph.D. in Actuarial Science can find high-paying positions that require them to lead teams or work as consultants, to enjoy higher compensations and professional growth. The employment outlook for this occupation is quite impressive, with projected growth at 20% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than average.

Schools offering this program:

University of Wisconsin – Madison
University of Connecticut
University of Waterloo
Arizona State University
University of Illinois

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Veterinary Medicine

VetMed

Median Salary: $95,460

Veterinarians are responsible for caring for the health of animals. They are often employed in private clinics and hospitals, although many travels to farms or zoos. They can also work in classrooms and laboratories. Those with a Ph.D. have ample knowledge of metabolic, infectious, and toxic diseases in humans and animals. Their research encompasses wildlife, farm animals, laboratory animals, poultry, and pets.

They have the edge over competitions when it comes to positions in academic institutions. They can take on the roles of administrators, instructors, or researchers. Moreover, a graduate degree in veterinary science poses opportunities outside of academia. They can be involved in research or take on leadership positions at pharmaceutical, animal nutrition, or biotechnology companies.

While the current employment number for this profession is at 85,500, a growth of 18% is projected from 2018 to 2028. This gives excellent job prospects for veterinarians.

Schools offering this program:

University of Minnesota
Ohio State University
University of Georgia
Louisiana State University
St. George’s University

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Epidemiology

Epidemiology

Median Salary: $70,990

A branch of public health offering many career opportunities, epidemiology involves working infectious diseases and how they may affect a population. The roles of epidemiologists include developing plans and solutions to help a population contracting diseases and contribute to a better level of overall public health. A Ph.D. in epidemiology presents exciting opportunities in various fields, including those in academia, government agencies, private industry, and non-profit organizations. They take on roles such as university faculty, research directors, physicians, research associates, study coordinators, and public health practitioners. They also often qualify to take the role of principal investigator on research projects.

Employed epidemiologists in the country number 7,600. It is expected to grow by 5% between 2018 to 2028.

Schools offering this program:

Boston University
University of South Florida
University of Maryland
Tulane University
University of Memphis

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Microbiology

Microbiology

Median Salary: $75,650

Microbiologists study living organisms and infectious particles such as bacteria and viruses. They normally work in laboratory settings but can also find opportunities in various fields like food production, environmental science, medicine, basic research, among many others. They find employment in hospitals, universities, private companies, and non-profit organizations. Earning a Ph.D. in Microbiology qualify you for positions in medical and scientific research. Their roles involve developing or leading a new research project, studying the life cycles of bacteria, protozoa, parasites, viruses, and fungi. This occupation has a good outlook, with projected growth at 5% from 2018 to 2028.

Schools offering this program:

Miami University
Colorado State University
Franklin University
University of Utah
Indiana University Bloomington

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Neuroscience

Neuroscience

Median Salary: $95,937

Neuroscience deals with understanding the central and peripheral nervous systems that control human senses, behavior, and thought. It aims to understand the workings of the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. The knowledge of those in this field is often used to improve and find new treatments for numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke.

Often, neuroscientists work as professors within medical schools and research universities. They also find employment in research institutions and government agencies. Clinical and medical neuroscience experts also work in hospitals and industrial settings, allowing them to focus on patients and treatment methods. Earning a Ph.D. in Neuroscience can give you better prospects and high-paying opportunities.

The job outlook is promising, with a projected growth of 8% or 10,600 employment opportunities from 2018 to 2028.

Schools offering this program:

Marquette University
Temple University
University of South Alabama
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Dartmouth University

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Political Science

Political Science

Median Salary: $122,220

A deeper understanding of politics and how it impacts governments is the main component of a Ph.D. in political science. This graduate study also involves tackling basic regression, research design, and qualitative methods. It is their job to uncover information on political and social issues using their data analytical skills to come up with solutions. A Ph.D. degree is often needed for political scientists, equipping them with knowledge and skills to fulfill this research-intensive profession. They can seek employment in the federal and local government, non-profit organizations, think tanks, businesses, advocacy groups, and higher education institutions.

Schools offering this program:

Brown University
Loyola University of Chicago
Kent State University
Brandeis University
Syracuse University

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Analytical Chemistry

Analytical Chemistry

Median Salary: $71,770

Analytical chemists deal with the study and test of chemical composition and behaviors of many different substances. They often conduct controlled experiments to explore the exact chemical components of a substance, analyzing samples, and determining their reaction under certain conditions. Their work also often includes writing complex technical reports that detail their findings. They are usually in laboratories and office environments. A Ph.D. in analytical chemistry can greatly improve your job prospects, especially if you decide to work in research and lead a team.

Schools offering this program:

Purdue University
University of Washington
University of Arizona
Washington State University

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Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity

Median Salary: $99,730

Although a Ph.D. in Cybersecurity is not required for entry-level jobs in this field, earning your doctorate can enhance your portfolio and pose better job prospects. Cybersecurity is integral in protecting internet-connected computer systems, including software, hardware, and data from cyberattacks.

Cybersecurity Ph.D. holders have impressive opportunities as college professors, corporate researchers, or policy advisors. They do have not only excellent wages but also better chances of career growth. They can even qualify for executive-level management positions, where responsibilities include management and maintenance of all information security and IT risk management systems within a company or government organization. Their salaries can range from $95,000 to $204,000.

Schools offering this program:

Marymount University
Northeastern University
Capella University

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Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice

Median Salary: $72,980

Criminal justice professionals ensure the safety of communities, protecting vulnerable individuals from violent crimes, and helping victims seek justice. While a bachelor’s degree is good enough for front liners like police officers and probation officers, those with advanced degrees like a Ph.D. in criminal justice can seek opportunities in academia. They can also dabble in forensic psychology and make vital discoveries in laboratories that could reveal important crime details. They can go on to become a forensic science technician, information security analyst, teacher, law enforcement worker, or criminal justice specialist.

Schools offering this program:

University of New Haven
Florida State University
Northeastern University
University of Nevada
Walden University

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Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

Median Salary: $84,950

Occupational therapists make use of therapeutic methods to address physical and mental disabilities to help patients perform their day-to-day activities. They carve out careers in a variety of settings, including therapy offices, hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and other health service institutions. A doctorate in occupational therapy can help advance your career as a leader, researcher, and academician. The job outlook for occupational therapists has a projected growth of 18% from 2018 to 2028. It will potentially open up 23,700 more jobs.

Schools offering this program:

Nova Southeastern University
New York University
Colorado State University
University of North Carolina
Texas Woman’s University

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Astronomy

Astronomy

Median Salary: $122,220

Astronomers often take on responsibilities that involve a combination of teaching and research. Most astronomers work as faculty members at colleges and universities. This kind of position requires a Ph.D. in astronomy and other related fields. Apart from academia, Ph.D. holders in astronomy can also find amazing prospects in government-supported observatories and laboratories. This job requires them to conduct research defined by their employers. They develop theories based on astronomical observations with the use of telescopes. They can also get to design experiments, build instruments, and analyze data for a broad range of projects. Astronomers enjoy a bright career outlook with projected growth from 2018 to 2028 at 9%.

Schools offering this program:

Northwestern University
Michigan State University
University of Michigan
Harvard University
Arizona State University 

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Oral Biology  

Oral Biology

Median Salary: $159,200

The role of a dentist often involves examining, diagnosing, and treating diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums. They also provide preventive care for patients. Those who choose to take the path of independent research, however, strive to earn a Ph.D. in oral biology. It is designed to help them conduct studies in important areas of oral biology. The areas of focus include biomaterials and biomechanics, epithelial biology and carcinogenesis, among many others. They utilize cutting edge biomedical technology to address basic and clinical research questions that promote and maintain oral health.

Schools offering this program:

University of Minnesota
University of Washington
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of California Los Angeles
Texas A&M University

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Environmental Engineering

Environmental Engineering

Median Salary: $88,860

Environmental engineers often design and carry out solutions to waste disposal problems and other everyday problems that can affect the natural world. They may take on roles in water management, building design, and many others. The promising job prospects in both the public and private sector only gets better if you have a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering. They often have a wealth of opportunities in government organizations, consulting firms, and academia. They work with other engineers as well as urban and regional planners, carrying out solutions through construction projects.

As of 2018, the US had 55,400 environmental engineers. The statistics for this occupation may rise by 5% from 2018 to 2028.

Schools offering this program:

Michigan Technological University
Illinois Institute of Technology
New Jersey Institute of Technology
University of North Dakota
State University of New Jersey

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Optometry

Optometry

Median Salary: $115,250

Optometrists are responsible for diagnosing and treating visual problems and manage diseases, injuries, and other disorders of the eyes. They often work in doctor’s officers and optical goods stores. Most of the time, they set up their eye clinics. For optometrists who want to advance their knowledge in this field, a Ph.D. in vision science can give them exciting prospects in their career. They can develop research expertise in advanced experimental approaches and state-of-the-art research skills, and gain empirical experience in knowledge dissemination through scientific writing and research presentations. All of these are valuable in preparing them for an advanced career in academic institutions, governmental research/regulation sectors, or private corporations.

Schools offering this program:

Pacific University of Oregon
State University of New York
Boston University
New England College of Optometry
University of Waterloo

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Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management

Median Salary: $116,720

Human resource professionals and managers are essential in an organization. They are responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing their administrative functions. HR managers who wish to advance their knowledge and skills can consider earning a Ph.D. in human resource management. This helps them become highly qualified and well-trained in their discipline, gaining better prospects as head of the HR department and overseeing the entire company’s workforce. They also find opportunities as Human Resource consultants and human resource executives. Others went on to become a part of academia.

Human resource managers are employed in almost every industry. They often work in offices, but their job can sometimes require them to travel and attend professional meetings. To date, there are 152,100 human resource managers. They have a projected growth of 7% from 2018 to 2028.

Schools offering this program:

Cornell University
University of Kansas
University of Immaculate Conception
University of Texas at Tyler
Claremont Graduate University

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Data Science

Data Science

Median Salary: $30,810

A data scientist collects, analyzes, and interprets large data sets that could help them develop data-driven solutions to difficult business challenges. A Ph.D. in data science can help them break new ground. In this program, they are often equipped with skills to make pioneering research contributions to data science theory and practice in the academic and the industrial sectors. They can then apply these principles to specific areas, from life science to product development. Data scientists with Ph.D. degrees can find excellent prospects for a rewarding career in both academic settings and industrial research and development laboratories.

Schools offering this program:

Indiana University
Yale University
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
University of South Florida
Bowling Green State University 

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Speech-Language Pathology

Speech-Language Pathology

Median Salary: $83,507

Speech-language pathologists often work in institutions such as hospitals, schools, nursing facilities, rehab centers, and nursing homes. They are tasked to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults. They can work in a collaborative, interdisciplinary team. This could include teachers, physicians, audiologists, psychologists, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, and rehabilitation counselors.

A graduate degree is required for the Speech-Language Pathology career, along with clinical experience and passing score in the national examination. But more opportunities await those who have earned a Ph.D. in Speech-Language Pathology. They can explore areas such as college teaching, research, and private practice.

Schools offering this program:

University of North Carolina
Boston University
University of Oklahoma
University of Washington
Vanderbilt University

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Education

Education

Median salary: $98,750

Those who want to pursue educational leadership roles can have a great chance of doing so by earning a doctorate in education. This professional degree is designed to prepare graduates for research and teaching roles. This is where they conduct original research in the hopes of driving change in the education field.

A Ph.D. in education can be your ticket to a tenure position in universities. They can find a high-paying job in academic institutions, both public and private, as education administrators and instructors. You can also seek our opportunities as literacy specialist, director of curriculum, school superintendent, and education coordinator. You also have several options for specialization, including curriculum development, educational psychology, teacher education, educational leadership, or education policy.

Schools offering this program:

Harvard University
University of Pennsylvania
University of Michigan
Walden University
University of North Dakota

Highest Paying Grad Degrees fact 3