If you're considering earning a master's degree, your choice of major will affect how much you will earn in your career far more than which university you go to. PayScale's College Salary Report includes data for hundreds of graduate degrees and ranks them by the median mid-career salary of the college graduates who hold them. Note that MBAs were not counted in this list.
If you've read our list of the best bachelor's degree majors by salary potential, this may sound a little familiar: Petroleum Engineering is one of the master's degree subjects with the highest salary potential. Another high median mid-career salary belongs to workers who get a master's degree in Nurse Anesthesia. These workers, who presumably already earned a bachelor's degree and RN, are able to work in hospitals and surgical centers and give anesthesia just like a medical doctor.
The rest of the list of highest-paying master's degree majors is a parade of other STEM subjects, like computer science, biomedical engineering, electrical engineering and chemical engineering.
Earning a master's degree takes a lot of time, effort and money, and some simply don't result in high salaries. For example, Early Childhood Education is a major with low earning potential. Other master's degree majors with limited earning potential are Human Services, Counseling and Divinity.