Last week, we reported on theThe Bachelors Degrees With The Highest Salary PotentialandTheAssociatesDegrees With The Highest Salary Potential, but many careers today require a masters degree, particularlyfor those who wish to advance or earn more money.
Which of those graduate-level degrees are worth the hefty pricetag? As part of their2015 2016 College Salary Report,Payscale.comcombed data for more than 200 graduate-level degrees and ranked them according to the mid-career salaries of college graduates holding those degrees.
Though the lists of the best-paying bachelors and associates degrees were packed with degrees in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math, the list of the best-paying masters degrees is even more so, and is described by the accompanying report as a parade of other STEM subjects.
At the top of this ranking is Petroleum Engineering, which also took first place among the Bachelors Degrees with the Highest Earning Potential.Careers associated with this degree, described by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as belonging to those who design and develop methods for extracting oil and gas from deposits below the earths surface,pay early career wages of $96,500 and mid-career wages of $173,000.
Of note, those who hold bachelors degrees in Petroleum Engineering actually earn slightly higher wages in the early careerjust over $100,000than those with a masters degree. By mid-career that discrepancy is reversed, but only to the slight advantage of those with masters degrees, who outearn those with a bachelors by $5,000.
Nurse Anesthesia comes in second, with mid-career wages of $159,000. Electrical & Computer Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering, and a three-way tie among Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Taxation round out the top five. Each offers mid-career compensation upwards of $125,000.
Further down the list a wealth of engineering-focused degreesincluding Software Engineering, Systems Engineering, and Engineering Management as well as degrees in Applied Mathematics, Finance, and Human Computer Interaction all make the cut with mid-career wages between $115,000 and $125,000.