Undergraduate Degree Vs. Graduate Degree: Income and Salary Comparison
The income and salary of those with an undergraduate degree verses a graduate degree can vary widely by discipline. Read on to see a comparison of the average starting salaries for a variety of academic fields.
Undergraduate vs. Graduate Degree Salary
In general, graduates of master's degree programs often earn more than those with an undergraduate degree. Master's degrees may also allow graduates to advance in their current career field or secure positions where an advanced degree is a requirement. According to data from the 2000 U.S. Census, the average salary of U.S. workers between the ages of 21 and 64 with a bachelor's degree was $42,877, while those with a master's degree or higher earned an average salary of $55,242.
Salaries for college graduates vary by subject, as well as the level of degree earned. For instance, according to a September 2013 report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), graduates of bachelor's degree programs in elementary education earned an average starting salary of $39,000. In comparison, graduates of master's degree programs in elementary education earned an average starting salary of $48,600. Additionally, accountants with bachelor's degrees earned average starting salaries of $53,000, more than elementary teachers; however, accountants with master's degrees earned an average wage of $62,700.
According to NACE, the fields with the highest average starting salary in 2013 were engineering, computer science and business. Read on to see a salary comparison for graduates of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a selection of fields.
The table below shows the average starting salary for 2013 college graduates with bachelor's and advanced degrees in various fields. All figures are from NACE's September 2013 Salary Survey.
|Academic Major||Salary with a Bachelor's Degree||Salary with a Master's Degree|
|Elementary Teacher Education||$39,000||$48,600|
|Visual and Performing Arts||$35,600||$49,300|
Related to Undergraduate Degree Vs. Graduate Degree: Income and Salary Comparison
- Recently Updated
Today, many students throughout the country are finishing their high school training and preparing for college from the comfort...
Many students enroll in graduate programs either to advance their current careers or gain knowledge and expertise. However,...
An important part of a student's graduate school program could be the adviser he or she works with, but not all advisers are...
While college enrollment rates rise, graduation rates stay the same. That's not good news. A new report from nonprofit...
- American Graduate Education: Are We Losing Our Competitive Edge in the Global Economy?
- Who's Applying to American Graduate Programs?
- Graduate Nursing Scholarships: How to Find Them
- Molecular Biology Laboratory Analyst: Job Description and Outlook
- Career Information for a Degree in Retail Management and Merchandising
- Top Health Care Administration Degree Program - Nashville, TN
- Top School in Atlanta for Paralegal Training