Importance of a Masters Degree: How Will IT Help My Career?
A master's degree is often necessary to land certain jobs or for career advancement within some fields. Many careers that require master's degrees are typically found in sectors such as research and academia. Professionals with a master's degree often benefit from higher pay and increased job responsibilities.
How Master's Degrees are Important for Career Opportunities
What Can I Achieve with a Master's Degree?
A master's degree can open many career doors, including certain career fields, advancement opportunities and higher salaries. Careers that may require a master's degree include dietitian, special education teacher or counselor, college professor, advanced practice nurse, school administrator, occupational therapist and speech-language pathologist.
Career Advancement Opportunities
Advancement opportunities can include moving into managerial or administrative positions and obtaining licensure and certification. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), dietitians may need a master's degree in order to work in research, public health or advanced clinical positions (www.bls.gov).
Counselors and special education teachers interested in becoming licensed often must obtain a master's degree. Additionally, athletic trainers in most states must be licensed or registered. Often, this requires certification by a professional athletic trainer organization, such as the Board of Certification (www.bocatc.org), which often requires a master's degree from an accredited training program.
How Do the Salaries of Workers with a Master's Degree Compare to Those with Less Education?
According to PayScale.com, workers with master's degrees generally earn higher salaries workers with less education. A 2009 survey conducted by the BLS provided a comparison of the median weekly earnings between master's degree holders and workers with less education.
Those with a master's degree earned $1,257 a week, bachelor's degree holders earned approximately $1,025 and associate's degree holders earned about $761 a week. Those with some college training earned approximately $699 a week, while workers with a high school diploma averaged $626 per week. Those with less than a high school diploma made about $454 per week.
Popular Careers for Professionals with a Master's Degree
According to PayScale.com, the most popular jobs for workers with a master's degree in 2010 included elementary and high school teacher, senior software engineer, developer and programmer, physician assistant, human resources director, nonprofit executive director and architect. Reported 2010 median salaries for these careers were:
- Elementary School Teacher _ $43,564
- High School Teacher _ $51,350
- Architect (excluding landscape and naval) _ $58,260
- Executive Director, Nonprofit Organization _ $63,478
- Physician Assistant _ $74,471
- Human Resources Director _ $75,394
- Senior Software Engineer/Developer/Programmer _ $92,967
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