CareerBliss Data Reveals the Top 10 Jobs Where Having a Masters Degree Pays Off

Posted August 18, 2011

Top 10 paying jobs for masters degreesIrvine, CA (August 17, 2011) CareerBliss, the leading online career community geared towards helping people find joy and success at every step of their careers with millions of listed job openings, employee happiness reviews and real-time salary reports, announces new data that explores the correlation between higher education and changes in average salary. The data shows that business managers, web designers as well as employees in finance and marketing with Masters Degrees on average make more than colleagues that have spent less time in academia.

Salary Comparison: Bachelors versus Masters Degrees

RankJob TitleBachelor Avg SalaryMaster Avg SalaryGrowth %
1Business Manager$62,723.68$80,439.5522.02%
2Web Designer$46,657.80$59,218.3221.21%
3Database Administrator$75,807.21$96,028.1521.06%
4Managing Partner$111,530.87$139,671.5920.15%
5Marketing Director$79,133.73$98,849.6119.95%
6Program Director$72,349.01$89,568.3219.22%
7Financial Advisor$62,710.51$77,625.6419.21%
8Graphic Designer$42,545.52$52,457.6718.90%
9General Manager$79,818.09$97,246.2717.92%
10Staff Software Engineer$79,104.09$95,960.4717.57%

CareerBliss analyzed more than 600,000 data points, from 2010 – 2011 evaluating salary averages among employees with post-secondary education and their profession to determine the top 10 jobs that show the highest pay increase from a Bachelor’s Degree to a post-graduate Master’s Degree. Rating number one are business managers, who with a higher degree had a 22 percent increase in pay over their counterparts with Bachelors of Arts Degrees. Rating at number ten, software engineers still received a 17 percent increase in pay for employees with a Masters versus software engineers with a Bachelors of Science Degree.

However, this type of increase was not universal across the board. For example, CareerBliss data shows the average salary of a Principal Engineer with a Master’s Degree versus a PhD fell by 5.42%, from $116,486.56 to $110,501.49.

Heidi Golledge, Co-founder and CEO of CareerBliss says, “We absolutely see that in general, the average salary of an employee increases with additional education and a higher degree. However, this is not true 100% of the time. It can vary by industry and job title, making it essential for candidates to research the trends in a particular industry - when weighing the decision of whether or not it would pay off to go back to school.”

CareerBliss data also explored which companies offered the largest percentage of salary increase for employees with higher education. For example, data shows Cisco Systems offers up to a 23% increase in pay for Software Engineers with a Masters degree versus a Bachelor of Arts or Science Degree. In comparison, companies such as Northrop Grumman and TATA Consultancy Services did not see growth for employees with a higher degree. A Software Engineer with Northrop Grumman would make about the same salary having either a Bachelors or a Masters Degree.

Companies and Salary Comparison: Bachelors versus Masters Degrees

RankCompanyJob TitleBachelor Avg SalaryMaster Avg SalaryGrowth %
1Cisco SystemsSoftware Engineer$78,369.33$101,983.2423.15%
2Cognizant Technology SolutionsProgrammer Analyst$40,714.29$48,846.1516.65%
3IBMSoftware Engineer$72,998.07$81,111.1110.00%
4Lockheed MartinSoftware Engineer$77,874.50$81,935.754.96%
5Northrop GrummanSoftware Engineer$83,196.26$86,385.733.69%
6Tata Consultancy ServicesAssistant Systems Engineer$43,000.00$43,454.881.05%
7Infosys Technologies LimitedSoftware Engineer$55,074.77$55,097.200.04%
8WIPRO TechnologiesProject Engineer$51,250.00$50,505.05-1.48%
9IBMProject Manager$90,000.00$87,235.70-3.17%
10Booz Allen HamiltonSenior Consultant$92,998.90$86,858.84-7.07%

Golledge of CareerBliss Says, “While incremental compensation for a higher degree may vary from industry to industry, or company to company, CareerBliss data reveals that a general trend holds true: for those in business, marketing and finance having a Masters Degree can pay off.”

photo of The CareerBliss Team

The CareerBliss Team

CareerBliss cares about your career happiness. That's why we offer a variety of great tools and resources to help you make better-informed career decisions. We believe that if you're happier at work, you'll be happier in life! Check out company reviews, salary information, career advice and, of course, millions of jobs on CareerBliss and choose happy today!

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