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The 5 Best Graduate Degrees By Salary

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A graduate degree isn't a guarantee, either of employment or high earnings. For one thing, not all graduate degrees are created equal. Some fields obviously grow more than others, and may or may not reward candidates with advanced degrees on their CVs. Some occupations require licensure to practice, or set the barrier of entry at a certain educational level. To help you figure out whether going back to school is in your best interests, this year's College Salary Report ranks the top graduate degrees by earnings.

A graduate degree isn’t a guarantee, either of employment or high earnings. For one thing, not all graduate degrees are created equal. Some fields obviously grow more than others, and may or may not reward candidates with advanced degrees on their CVs. Some occupations require licensure to practice, or set the barrier of entry at a certain educational level. To help you figure out whether going back to school is in your best interests, this year’s College Salary Report ranks the top graduate degrees by earnings.

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(Photo Credit: thethreesisters/Flickr)

These are highest-paying degrees in the ranking:

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1. Masters, Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum Engineering also made the top of PayScale’s list of high-paying bachelor’s degrees, but earning a masters bumps graduates’ salaries up by $5,000 per year.

Early Career Median Pay: $96,500

Mid-Career Median Pay: $173,000

% High Job Meaning: 74 percent

2. Masters, Nurse Anesthesia

Nursing majors earn the second-highest early career salaries on the highest-paying associate degree lists, and Registered Nurses with bachelor’s degrees often have greater choice when it comes to employers, but their salaries max out pretty early on. Nurse Anesthetists earn more than double Registered Nurses’ mid-career median salary of $73,600.

Early Career Median Pay: $139,000

Mid-Career Median Pay: $159,000

% High Job Meaning: 79 percent

3. MBA, Strategy

Want to become a Management Consultant and determine the direction of entire companies? This MBA might be for you. Students contemplating this degree should feel comfortable analyzing data and doing research.

Early Career Median Pay: $93,100

Mid-Career Median Pay: $148,000

% High Job Meaning: 45 percent

4. MBA, General and Strategic Management

Good leaders are both born and made. To lead big teams, you’ll need the experience and education to make sound decisions on a large scale. MBAs in General and Strategic Management can help companies effectively manage their staff.

Early Career Median Pay: $84,000

Mid-Career Median Pay: $144,000

% High Job Meaning: 51 percent

5. MBA, Finance and Real Estate

What a difference a few years makes. While the real estate market endured a rocky couple of years during the recession, it’s back on track, making this MBA concentration a worthwhile investment.

Early Career Median Pay: $78,900

Mid-Career Median Pay: $143,000

% High Job Meaning: 37 percent

Tell Us What You Think

Did you go to grad school – and if so, did it pay off? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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Raj
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Raj

I m confused what branch to go for in mba??

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Dear Rahul,

The first step you can take is to learn the language English. It is the international business language accepted by most of the countries.

Cheers,
Anonymous

rahul
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rahul

I have paas out 12th class with 52 % pcm . and I want to earn more money so please guide me .that what I will do for join you .and how can I join you . what am I able for petroleum engeenring ..please help sir…

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