The PayScale College Salary Report has data on nine graduate programs in Tennessee. Known as "The Volunteer State," Tennessee's two most famous cities are Nashville (the state capital) and Memphis. American popular music evolved (and continues to flourish) in those two cities, with the Grand Ole Opry and Sun Records and names like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and more. On the higher education front, colleges like Vanderbilt University, University of Memphis, University of Tennessee, and Middle Tennessee State University, all top the list of eight schools where you can earn a master's degree, MBA or PhD, with high salary-earning potential in Tennessee.
Business Schools Is Your Best Grad School Option in Tennessee
Among the top graduate schools in Tennessee, The Business School at Vanderbilt University (located in Nashville) tops the list for high earning potential as reported by MBA alumni. Notable alumni include John Bogle, David Farr (Emerson Electric Co.), David Ingram (Ingram Entertainment), Karen Rogers (FedEx) and Doug Parker (US Airways). If you're pursuing a doctoral degree, Vanderbilt is also reported as having one of the top top potential salaries, by alumni with a PhD.
Master's Degree Programs in Tennessee
Of course, if you're looking for the top grad school to pursue your non-MBA master's degree, Vanderbilt may still be your best choice, with the highest salary potential of $92,400 for mid-career pay. The University of Tennessee is a relatively close second place ($87,000 for mid-career) for alumni with a master's degree.
For the lowest salary potential with a master's degree, alumni reported that their education from Middle Tennessee State University resulted in a median mid-career salary of $71,400. MTSU is also the smallest grad school, with an enrollment of 2,719. The gender split skews toward the female population (62 percent). It should be noted that 74 percent of alumni said the jobs they got after college were meaningful, the second highest rate in the state.