In search of professional growth and career advancement? Then, consider pursuing a master's degree. The most useful master's degrees provide advanced training, exposure to the latest industrial trends, and expertise in specialized areas.
The demand for advanced degrees varies by field, and it pays to determine whether your job prospects might improve if you graduate from a master's program. Keep reading to check out the programs that offer the top master's degrees in demand.
Popular Master's Degrees
Benefits of Earning a Master's Degree
The benefits of useful master's degrees positively impact your professional, intellectual, and social development. Here are some of the most prevalent advantages of earning a master's.
Relevant Skills and Knowledge
The best master's degrees allow you to dive deeper into subjects that interest you professionally and gain an understanding of advanced concepts and theories. Also, graduating with a master's can give you a leg up as a job seeker because of the advanced skills you'll obtain.
Master's-level courses typically involve working closely with other students in groups or cohorts. The soft skills you'll develop will come in handy in the workplace when you're collaborating on specialized projects and presenting your ideas in meetings.
The best master's degrees equip you with practical skills and in-demand knowledge that specialized career tracks require. If you're a professional who wants to change careers, you'll need some practical training to help you fill in current knowledge gaps.
Graduate study typically involves interacting with other students, professors, and industry professionals who share your interests and have similar goals. Networking with these individuals can expose you to employment opportunities and connect you with people who want to work with you.
Some people seek in-demand master's degrees to advance their careers or hold leadership positions. Getting a managerial job or senior-level work sometimes requires a master's or higher. Also, many employers prefer to hire people with graduate degrees.
Studying in a master's program helps you develop your emotional intelligence — the ability to understand your emotions and their impact on others. Working with professors and other students, reflecting on advanced concepts, and writing papers enhance your self-reflection and interpersonal skills.
Popular Master's Degrees
The 10 Most In-Demand Master's Degrees for Employers
Check out 10 of the most in-demand master's degrees based on factors like job growth and earning potential.
- Computer Science
- Dietetics & Nutrition
- Human Resources
- Library Science
- Mechanical Engineering
- Mathematics & Statistics
- Public Health
- Software Engineering
Master's in accounting programs prepare you for fields such as corporate management, financial information systems, forensic accounting, and tax auditing. You can earn an MA in accounting, a master of accountancy (MAcc), or a master of professional accountancy (MPAC or MPA).
Whether you specialize in auditing, taxation, management, forensics, or international accounting, your track will likely prepare you for the CPA exam.
Featured Master's in Accounting Programs
Computer science programs offer some of the most in-demand master's degrees. As a student, you can expect to take 2-5 years to complete the program, depending on how many credits you enroll in per semester.
A computer science master's can prepare you for web developer, computer and information systems manager, database administrator, or software developer positions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer scientists earned a median salary of $131,490 in 2021.
Featured Master's in Computer Science Programs
Dietetics & Nutrition
If you have an undergraduate degree in nutrition or dietetics, getting a master's in nutrition can step up your game. Dieticians and nutritionists earn a median of $61,650, and professionals working in outpatient care centers make a median salary of $74,640 in the same year (BLS, May 2021).
Students earning this master's degree will learn about subjects like community nutrition, public health, and molecular biology. An advanced degree helps you get a license as a dietician or nutritionist and can expand job prospects in food manufacturing and other diverse industries.
Featured Master's in Nutrition Programs
Human resource professionals are crucial to organizational functioning. They hire and train new workers, facilitate organizational culture, track employee performance, manage pay and benefits, and perform other administrative tasks.
You'll study such topics as human resources strategy, leadership, and organizational culture. A specialized master's degree in human resources can prepare you for managerial and leadership roles with higher earning potential. And human resource managers earn a median wage of $126,230 (BLS, May 2021).
Featured Master's in Human Resources Programs
If you enjoy helping others find the information they need, support the freedom to read and learn whatever you want, and want a potentially lucrative career, a master's in library science might interest you.
Master's programs in library science typically offer concentrations like archives, curation, library and information services, youth services, and school librarianship. Professionals earn a median of $61,190. And the top 10% of earners make a median of $97,870 (BLS, May 2021).
Featured Master's in Library Science Programs
If you have a passion for engineering and a background in this field, earning a master's can prepare you for highly specialized work. Master's students acquire knowledge and skills in topics like engineering design, consulting, financial planning, and quality control.
Mechanical engineers make a median salary of $95,300, and scientific research and development professionals earn $102,050 (BLS, May 2021).
Featured Master's in Human Resources Programs
Mathematics & Statistics
Some people with mathematics bachelor's degrees continue their education, often getting a license or certification as well. If teaching math or pursuing a tech degree interests you, a master's degree may serve you well.
Courses may include algebra, calculus, industrial economics, computer science, and advanced engineering. This specialized training can expand your job prospects, preparing you for a career in accounting, aerospace engineering, education, cryptography, software development, or statistical analysis.
Featured Master's in Mathematics Programs
Some of the best master's degrees available are in nursing, a field with several specialties and job opportunities. A nursing master's can prepare you for jobs like clinical research nurse, nurse educator, and advanced practice nurse.
In addition to skills in leadership and administration, a nursing graduate program teaches clinical knowledge that you need to meet patients' and families' needs. You can also choose a concentration like nurse executive, nurse educator, nurse practitioner, or certified nurse midwife.
Featured Master's in Nursing Programs
Public health programs offer some of the most in-demand master of public health (MPH) degrees. As a student, you'll likely take classes in biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, health promotion, and health policy.
Your graduate education can prepare you for work in data analysis, program development, policy management, research, or global health, which can pay over the national median salary for all occupations of $45,760<. For example, medical and health services managers make a median of $101,340 (BLS, May 2021).
Featured Master's in Public Health Programs
Many software engineers need master's in engineering degrees to gain access to build and maintain computer and digital programs that many organizations need to function. Software developers make a median of $109,020, with the top 10% bringing in more than $130,000 annually (BLS, May 2021).
As a master's student, you'll gain in-depth knowledge from courses like software systems models, managing software development, mobile application development, and information systems structure and design.
Featured Master's in Software Engineering Programs
5 Tips for Master's Graduates Entering the Workforce
With your in-demand master's degree in hand, follow these tips to make a successful transition into the workforce.
Leveraging your network can help you find lucrative employment and make lasting connections with industry leaders. Keep in touch with classmates, former professors, internship supervisors, and other professionals who can provide job leads and insights into your field.
2. Reach Out To Potential Employers
Don't wait for the job to come to you. Be proactive and contact hiring managers about open positions. Even if your dream company doesn't seem to be hiring at the moment, get in touch with someone influential who works there — they may have a lead on a job that'll soon open up.
3. Attend Companies' Job Fairs
Company job fairs present excellent opportunities to practice your networking. At these events, you can hone your interviewing skills, interact directly with recruiters and hiring managers, and explore your career options.
4. Start With an Internship
You can test out your chosen career path and boost your resume with an internship after graduation. Interns work under supervision with or without pay, depending on the industry and employer.
5. Find a Mentor
Even to a new graduate with an in-demand master's degree, the job market can seem daunting and intimidating. Seek mentorship from a seasoned professional who can give you industry insights, advice, and encouragement.
Popular Master's Degrees
Frequently Asked Questions About Master's Degrees
Should I get a master's degree?
Deciding to get a master's degree involves a personal decision that you need to think through. A master's degree can help you gain the skills and knowledge you need to advance your career and find meaningful work, depending on your career goals and the field you'd like to pursue.
What is the highest-paying master's degree?
Master of business administration (MBA), master of science in nursing (MSN), and master's in information technology degrees are among the most popular and highest-paying master's degrees. To boost your earning potential, you can also pursue a master's in engineering management or a master's in marketing.
What master's degree is most in demand?
If you search for lists of in-demand master's degrees, you'll usually find accounting and computer science at the top. Other master's degree graduates employers seek are those in dietetics and nutrition, human resources, library science, and mechanical engineering.
How long does it take to earn a master's degree?
A master's degree can take up to two years, depending on the program, how many credits you take each semester, and whether you're enrolled online. If you're in a hurry to enter the workforce, look for schools offering accelerated courses online, allowing you to complete your degree in as little as one year in some cases.
Is a master's degree worth it?
Depending on your industry or career goals, having a master's degree can broaden your job prospects and expand your earning potential. Other factors to consider include whether your desired job requires an advanced degree and if you have the time and money to invest in furthering your education.