25 Most Sought After Masters Degrees

18 Aug, 2011  |  Written by  |  under Master's Degree

Whether you want to enter the workforce at an advanced level or are looking to build on a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree can open the doors for both opportunity and pay in a big way. But with hours of studying time and thousands of tuition dollars at stake, it can be difficult to choose a master’s degree that’s right for you. There are many reasons to get one, but there are even more individual master’s degrees to choose from.

To help give you a better understanding of what is out there, we have gathered the 25 most sought after master’s degrees, including the well-known and more uncommon choices. With both options for earning an online master’s degree or more traditional one, they are sure to help narrow down the choices in what you should look for.

Popular Most Sought After Masters Degrees

  1. Master of Business Administration
    The MBA is one of the most popular and sought after degrees and has only grown in popularity. Students learn the theory and application of business and management principles along with the knowledge that can be applied to a variety of real world business situations. In fact, the MBA is so popular it comes in a variety of sub-categories including entrepreneurship, global management, and human resources.
  2. Master’s in Computer Science
    These are the students that can make the iPad a thing of the caveman. Named “best high tech master’s degree” by Forbes.com, they report that enrollment rates are rising. The video has more on who studies, what kind of jobs they can get, and what they pay.
  3. Master’s in Civil Engineering
    A long respected master’s degree, engineering has always been a sought after choice, especially civil engineering. Jobs taken after graduation include project engineer, structural engineer, and many others. It was even listed as one of Forbes best paying master’s degrees, with an average median salary of $98,700 per year.
  4. Master of Arts in Education
    An MEd is a popular degree and practically a must for teachers. However, many to choose a master’s in arts in teaching or education to give them an artistic background while studying education. There is even this special blog for the degree over at USC.
  5. Master of Public Administration
    The MPA is a professional degree that can lead to a career in nonprofits, government agencies, social enterprises, private businesses, financial institutions, and more. Coursework is in between the MBA and a Master of Public Policy, which also makes it a sought after degree. The blogger at Find What Works has more.
  6. Master of Information Technology
    With everything and everyone needing IT at some level, it is no surprise that this is one of the most sought after master degrees. Topics of study include programming languages, networks, software engineering, and many others. The degree also often qualifies students to take and earn popular certifications in information technology.
  7. Human Resources Master’s Degree
    This degree is similar to the one above in that just about every company requires some form of HR. Various jobs can be taken with this master’s degree including payroll supervisor, counselor, director, and even executive. The Human Resource Blog also has more on the degree and profession.
  8. Masters in Finance
    Learn all about the bears and the bulls in this degree. Financial analyst, business analyst, portfolio manager, and many other related careers are available with this degree. It is such a popular master’s degree, there is this site entirely devoted to it and all the schools available.
  9. Masters in Physical Therapy
    If looking to become an official physical therapist, the master’s degree is usually the way to go. There are many certified schools out there offering degrees all over the nation. There are also special programs for those looking to become physical therapy assistants.
  10. Master of Pharmacology
    Want to work in a pharmaceutical capacity? Then this master’s degree is a requirement to become a licensed and practicing pharmacist. Because so many pharma students asked, the blogger at The Angriest Pharmacist wrote this post all about the education.
  11. Masters in Veterinary Medicine
    This degree is for those interested in treating and caring for animals. Veterinarians can have all sorts of education from an associate’s degree right up to a doctorate. The About.com expert in Veterinary Medicine has this list of vet schools and universities that is full of information.
  12. Masters in Psychology
    Be the kind of doctor that has a couch in their office with this degree. Entry level positions in the field include counselors and social workers, which can be held with a master’s. Kendra Cherry of About.com has more on the career and the field.

Uncommon Most Sought After Masters Degrees

  1. Master’s in Physician Assistant
    Want to work in a doctoral setting without the M.D. degree or medical school, residency, etc. that follows? Then see why this is one of the most sought after master’s degrees. It allows graduates to work as a physician’s assistant, often doing similar work to a doctor.
  2. Master’s in Math
    If your favorite subject in school was mathematics, why not choose a master’s degree on the subject? In addition to teaching, graduates with a mathematics degree can also become actuaries and statisticians. According to Payscale, the average annual salary is from $47,000 to $137,000 per year.
  3. Master of Public Health
    If looking to work in an administrative capacity in the healthcare field, this degree will be one of the choices. Possible positions include health management analyst, director of programs and services, and even research scientist. The master’s degree is often the standard in public health and this site has more on the topic.
  4. Master’s in Physics
    Gravity, force, and much more take center stage in this degree. The fact that the career prospects are so intriguing also makes this one of the most sought after degrees. According to the Sloan Career Cornerstone Center, the median annual earnings of physicists are $102,890 in the United States.
  5. Master in Economics
    This degree is an option for those studying for a master’s in finance or MBA who want to focus on the economy. Careers include many positions that can often include predicting and forecasting on the economy. The MBA Podcaster even has a special episode on the difference between the three degrees.
  6. Master’s in Geology
    If you really love rocks, earthquakes, and related scientific areas, this is the master’s degree you should seek. Geologists study the earth, the materials you can gather from it, and the future of our planet. Also making the Forbes list of best master’s degrees, the average annual salary for geologists is $90,100.
  7. Master in Criminal Justice
    Want to work in the legal arena but not as a lawyer? Then learn more about this master’s degree. Careers can be sought in corrections, homeland security, forensics, and much more.
  8. Master’s Nursing Programs
    Many think you just need an associate or specialty degree to become a nurse. While this holds true for most RN’s, many continue on to get a master’s degree in nursing, which prepares them for advanced practice nursing. The AACN has more on the degree here.
  9. Master in Biomedical Science
    Biology and medicine combine on this degree. Biomedicine draws from the fields of both human veterinary medicines to come up with new innovations in health. It differs from traditional medicine in that it looks at it as a whole along with its practical applications.
  10. Masters in Accounting
    This is another degree that can have graduates working for a variety of employers, as everyone needs accountants. A master’s degree is usually the preface to getting an accounting certification. It was even named one of the best careers by U.S. News.
  11. Master’s in Kinesiology
    This degree prepares students to become professional trainers, coaches, and related work. Graduates can go on to become individual or team trainers. Josh Leeger recently earned his and blogs all about it.
  12. Masters in Toxicology
    If ready to take your love of forensics to the career level, check out this master’s degree. It is the study of chemicals that can be harmful to people. The Society of Toxicology reports that the most common degree for toxicologists is the master’s, with 73 percent of graduates entering the workforce.
  13. Master in Dental Hygiene
    The dentist may not be the only one in the exam room with a graduate degree. Many dental hygienists often seek a degree at the master level. The American Dental Hygienists Association has more, including which programs they approve of.

And the above 25 most sought after master’s degrees are just a few of the choices out there. When narrowing down the choices of what you want, it is important to beware of diploma mills and avoid financial scams.