The Most In-Demand Master’s Degrees

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Updated: November 29, 2023, Reading time: 19 minutes

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Over the years, an average American adult’s educational level has significantly increased as more and more college graduates opt to earn master’s, professional, or doctoral degrees.

From 2000 until today, the number of college graduates aged 25 and up with a master’s degree has reached 21 million

In a study shown by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers and additional salary requiring a master’s degree increased significantly for 2022. And because of today’s very competitive job market, having a master’s degree will make you stand out and differentiate yourself among others, making you a valuable employee to your organization.

But more than having a career edge, getting yourself a master’s degree also has a handful of benefits. 

Career Advancement. When you have a master’s degree, you can easily progress into senior positions like leadership and management. Every organization knows the benefits of one’s master’s degree, and in most cases, they encourage their employees to get one. In recent years, roughly 74% of employers have stepped up their educational standards.

More and more companies choose to hire applicants with advanced degrees. Like health care and education, graduate degrees require mandatory training to attain promotions and career advancements easily in some industries. 

Specialized Knowledge. Having a master’s degree gives you more specialized and advanced knowledge in your field. As the labor force advances, having a graduate degree exudes your commitment and dedication to your industry. You will focus more on a specific field of study, resulting in your being more competitive.

Also, you will improve your current capacity, gain new and better skills and even try your luck in an entirely different new area if you have a master’s degree. Today, you can find a handful of different graduate degrees to earn from different industries. Meaning your options are practically endless. 

Lifelong Learning. Getting a master’s degree can also boost your writing, analytical, and research skills. This will make you better at problem-solving, and when you come across complex projects, you can tackle these things seamlessly. Because of a graduate degree, you continue to widen your knowledge to gear you for a life full of constant learning ahead.

Furthermore, 73% of Americans believe they are lifelong learners, while 74% have already joined in various past years to boost their constant pursuit of knowledge.

Better Earning Potential. Having a master’s degree equates to an increased income. On average, those with a bachelor’s degree annually earn $74,464, while those with a master’s degree can earn $86,372 or more per year.

That’s a huge increase! There are also specific fields where the earnings of those with master’s degrees are notably higher than those with less education.

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According to the Center on Education and the Workforce report by Georgetown University, those who major in life sciences and biology with an advanced degree earn 63% more than their contemporaries who only have a bachelor’s degree. Those who majored in medical and health preparatory programs with a graduate degree are likely to earn 137% more than those who settled for a bachelor’s degree. 

All in all, workers with a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $2.27 million in their entire career, and those with master’s degrees earn up to $3.65 million. With this demonstration alone, you can conclude how remarkable it is not just to stop going to school after earning your bachelor’s degree. Getting a master’s degree, no doubt, can significantly boost your paycheck.

Improved Professional Network. Regardless of where you secured your master’s degree, online or in-person, your classmates will come from different backgrounds and industries. Being a graduate student means you can connect to several professionals, and in most cases, many of these are already successful in their respective careers. 

Below is a list of the most in-demand master’s degrees that will help you easily secure a career in no time:

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Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

In-Demand Master’s Degrees

Masters of Business Administration- Management Information Systems

As a whole, MBAs are still very important. But in recent years, we have seen a shift towards focusing more on specialized MBAs because not only does this broaden your business knowledge, but you can also target a specific field of study relative to your degree.

If you have noticed, hacks and cyberattacks are very rampant nowadays. Studies have shown that organizations, whether big or small, public or private, are very prone to cyberattacks. With this, the demand for qualified and well-rounded cybersecurity experts is extremely high.

Cybersecurity experts are there to monitor systems for possible security breaches. They are there to investigate attacks, upgrade firewalls, encrypt programs, and make the best and most secure practices to protect an organization.

An MBA in Management Information Systems is considered a non-executive MBA. Meaning this is open for both seasoned and experienced professionals and fresh graduates with some bit of experience.

This program starts with a basic set of courses you normally see in nearly all Master of Business Administration programs. These basic courses within the MBA umbrella are designed to provide a clear basis for understanding various business disciplines. The types of subjects within the MBA core requirements include:

Since the Management Information Systems program is a specialized area, you need to sign up for an MIS-track within your program before gaining your MBA in MIS. Although the concentration courses generally vary between each program, courses of the MBA in MIS include:

You can complete your MBA in MIS in 1-3 years, depending on your program: accelerated is completed in 1 year, a full-time program is done in two- years, while the part-time program takes three years to complete. 

Master’s Degree in Genetic Counselling. 

In this day and age, people are becoming interested in learning more about their background, specifically their hereditary illnesses and genetic links. And since this is achievable today, thanks to technology, the industry of genetic counseling has improved exponentially. 

The World Health Organization defines genetic counseling as that process where trained professionals can identify potential genetic illnesses and who are at risk of it, whether through a heritable disorder or passing it on to an unborn child.

Genetic counselors provide support and information to families who have members having genetic disorders or congenital disabilities.

Those with a degree in genetics or other science and health-related fields are qualified to study further with a Master’s Degree in Genetic Counselling. The program provides the clinical training and academic foundation needed for genetic counseling practices.

Coursework usually includes public health, epidemiology, patient empathy, and genetics. You are also required to undergo a clinical rotation where you work both with patients and clients. Once you secure your master’s degree, you need to get a certification from the American Board of Genetic Counselling. 

At present, there are about 3,500 genetic counselors all across the United States, and the number is expected to grow by 16% in the coming years. The average salary range is $89,990 – $128,380 annually.

Master’s Degree in Computer Science and Information Technology

If you want to upgrade your present computer skills or look forward to the transition and improve as an IT professional, you might consider enrolling in a master’s degree in computer science and information technology.

The IT field is undeniably one of the most in-demand and highly popular fields today. And with the steady increase of emerging technologies like data science or artificial intelligence, more software developers are needed over time.

Having a degree in Computer Science or Information Technology allows you to secure a career as a software developer for apps or video games that use impeccable programming and coding skills. This program hones your specialization further as the industry grows bigger by the minute.

As new technologies are introduced, these developments need lines of code, programs, and instructions to function correctly. Thus, securing a master’s degree in computer science and IT is something a computer-related graduate must pursue. 

Master’s Degree in Accounting

While most bachelor’s in accounting programs have 120 credits, a CPA’s (certified public accountant) certification needs students to have at least 150 college students before they are allowed to take the CPA exam. You can satisfy this requirement if you enroll in the master’s in accounting program.

Apart from the certification, you can also take advantage of the specialized training fit for accounting that will, later on, lead to better opportunities and higher salaries. Many programs under the Master’s in Accounting have specialization in in-demand fields like accounting and auditing in forensics, thus boosting students’ employment chances even more. 

Master’s in Accounting programs also do not require practicum courses and internships, so that students can complete all the requirements from home. Some schools offer their students an accelerated pathway, something suitable if you plan on completing the program in just a year (or less).

Master’s Degree in Dietetics and Nutrition 

A Master’s in Dietetics and Nutrition gears you up for possible careers as a dietitian or nutritionist. You will be the one to consult with your clients and promote better lifestyle choices and healthy food intake.

With core curricula focusing on physiology, anatomy, exercise science, and nutrition, this degree also advocates educating communities about the many forms of health and nutrition.

With the Master’s Degree in Dietetics and Nutrition program, you will be required to have one practicum course or internship to experience real-life, hands-on training.

Master’s in Business Administration- Human Resources

An MBA degree in Human Resource Management offers knowledge and training in managing an organization’s workforce. This program, which you can complete within two years, mainly focuses on management, recruitment, and guidance and direction for the people in every organization. 

The courses in this program are in the form of either an MBA degree or an MSc. Still, there are business schools offering HR courses as an integral part of their overall management degree.

In an organization, the HR department is the one that provides all the essential tools, administrative services, training, legal and management advice, and talent management for the company to function successfully.

These days, HR teams are not just there for training and recruitment of new employees; they are there to manage employee relations and compensations. HR departments play critical roles in an organization as their jobs now include handling special situations related to layoffs or mergers and even strategic decision-making. 

Human Resources personnel are basically responsible for creating a culture for each organization, ensuring that everybody understands the overall vision, mission, and value. 

Master of Library Science 

If you love to work in a library, perhaps a degree in library science best suits you. Library Science is a field of study where you are taught how to manage books and other vital information properly.

As a library science degree graduate, you are expected not only to oversee the total operation but you are also responsible for the collection, preservation, and organization of books and all other materials in the library.

However, if you want to boost your chances of practicing as a professional librarian in academic libraries (like those in universities) or public libraries, you need to have a Master of Library Science (MLS) degree. MLS is also referred to as MLIS, or Master of Library and Information Science. 

Coursework of MLS includes organization and classification for magazines, books, publications, reference materials, and the like.

You will also learn more about various advanced research methods and web-based reference systems, something that is especially required among public and school libraries. When completing the MLS, you can secure jobs in academic libraries in universities and colleges, corporate libraries in small and private businesses, or even law libraries in legal offices. 

Master’s in Mechanical Engineering 

For those who plan to pursue a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, you must have passion and dedication in your field before enrolling in the program. This field of engineering is considered highly specialized, and completing this curriculum entails sheer focus and determination.

During college days, students in mechanical engineering developed various consulting, engineering design, quality control, financial planning, consulting, and working with other clients and engineers. 

When you have a master’s degree in this field, you become more prepared to have careers in different sectors through coursework in mathematics, fluid dynamics, quality control, and other subjects that entail wide-reach applications.

Most master’s programs provide specialized mechanical engineering skills that can further sharpen the student’s skills (career-wise) and provide brighter and better jobs right after graduation. 

Master’s in Public Health

If you are someone who loves to dedicate yourself to helping other people who require medical assistance but you are still not a professional medical practitioner, a career in Public Health may be the perfect fit. 

Public Health has an interesting history that dates way back, aiming to improve the health of everybody worldwide. From family planning to vaccination programs to preventive medicine, these are just some of the many examples that show how public health plays a relevant role globally.

While the Master’s in Public Health program is very broad, below are some of the careers you can get when you have this master’s degree. 

Nevertheless, it’s best not to rely solely on the name of a degree. After all, every university has its naming scheme for its study programs. 

Master’s in Software Engineering

Software engineers are very smart people. These professionals develop computer systems software, and to be able to do that, they must have extensive knowledge about the many types of programming languages.

They are also responsible for building application software like database programs and web browsers. In most cases, software engineers work in offices. Whether they work independently or are part of a team, software engineers can easily find employment in development firms and software publishers. 

Furthermore, a master’s in software engineering helps the graduates find better career options, higher paychecks, and management-level positions.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a potential 25% growth in the software engineering world from 2022 – 2032. That’s four times faster than any traditional field of expertise in the entirety of the US.

While having a degree in software engineering is already impressive, having a master’s degree in this field will help you stand out from all the other applicants in your field. 

A bachelor’s degree in software engineering teaches its students the basics of the field. On the other hand, the master’s degree goes deeper, discussing emerging technologies and the best software solutions.

Plus, the master’s program gives more room for greater specialization. This allows students to explore several further topics that closely align with their career goals.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Should I or should I not get a Master’s degree?

Whether you are a candidate for graduation for your bachelor’s degree or you have already graduated, is a master’s degree worth it? Should you enroll in a master’s right after you graduate? Or do you have to wait for a few years before you decide to become a student again? There is no right or wrong answer to this. But here’s a basic comparison:

Why should I enroll in a Master’s program after I graduate with my Bachelor’s degree?

Why should I wait until later in life to enroll in a Master’s program?

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All in all, the decision on when you will get a master’s degree is a personal one. Timing is very important. And it is only you who will know whether or not you are ready or in the right mood to go back to school.

But the bottom line here is that a master’s degree can do so much more for your career. 

We’re certain of one thing—your search for more information on picking the best graduate degree or school landed you here. Let our experts help guide your through the decision making process with thoughtful content written by experts.