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Importance of a Masters Degree: How Will IT Help My Career?

A master's degree is often necessary to secure a profession and advance 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. View article »

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    • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
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    • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder
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  • 0:04 Achievements with a…
  • 0:45 Career Advancement…
  • 1:06 Salary Information
  • 1:49 Master's Degree Salary…

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Video Transcript

Achievements with a Master's Degree

Individuals may be interested in earning a master's degree in order to advance their career or earn a greater salary. We will discuss some fields in which earning a master's degree may be helpful, some career advancement opportunities, and the types of salaries individuals with master's degrees could earn.

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 special education teacher, 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. For example, according to the BLS, school principals working in a public setting can be licensed as school administrators. Most states require a master's degree to obtain this designation.

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  • Agriculture
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  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
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  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Salary Information

According to U.S. News & World Report, workers with master's degrees generally earn higher salaries than workers with less education. A sample of median salaries for careers that require a master's degree, as provided by the BLS in May 2016, indicates that nurse practitioners made $100,910 annually, education administrators made $92,510, occupational therapists made $81,910, physician assistants made $101,480, and speech-language pathologists made $74,680.

Master's Degree Salary Comparisons

PayScale.com lists the highest paying jobs for master's grads in a 2016-2017 report. As an example, all chemical engineers made a median salary of $72,829. However, those with a master's degree made a range between $73,100 and $125,000. Likewise, the median salary of an average nurse anesthetist, $135,925, is below the range of one with a master's degree from $140,000 to $156,000. The same can be said of electrical engineers, who made $72,602 compared to a master's range of $79,900 to $127,000.


To conclude, earning a master's degree can help individuals advance their career and earning potential, though the level of advancement they will be able to achieve will depend heavily on the specific field and career path.

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