Scoping out highest-paying master’s degrees is a good way to boost your chances of landing a high-paying job after grad school. And many of the highest-paying master’s degrees lead to excellent jobs that are in-demand and have promising job growth. When applying for a master’s degree and considering the costs of education, it makes sense to confirm your investment will pay you back. But attending grad school is about investing in yourself, and it warrants careful decision-making. In this article, we’ll look at the highest-paying master’s degrees and what they can do for your future, and tips on how to get into grad school and what to do if you’re switching careers. 

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Article Contents
9 min read

Top Highest Paying Master’s Degrees Highest Paying Master’s Degrees: Are They Worth it? How to Get Into the Highest Paying Master’s Programs Highest-Paying Master’s Degrees: Advice on Switching Careers FAQs

Top Highest Paying Master’s Degrees

1. Master of Business Administration (MBA)

An MBA is often one of the most lucrative master’s degrees, since it can open the doors to many different high-paying positions in virtually any industry. If you’re interested in how to get an MBA, it’s also worth considering choosing an MBA specialty or exploring applying for an Executive MBA vs MBA, to see what kind of MBA program is the best fit for you and your career goals.

Average Salary (US): $105,000 - $115,000

Average Salary (Canada): $90,000 - $100,000 CAD

Potential Jobs

Some of the top MBA jobs include executive and management positions, including:

·      Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

·      Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

·      Chief Operating Officer (COO)

·      Director of Finance

·      Management Consultant

·      Investment Banker

·      Business Development Manager

·      Marketing Manager

·      Operations Manager

2. Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT)

This graduate degree is perfect for individuals who want to deepen their knowledge and expertise in various aspects of IT, including technology management, software development, cybersecurity, data science, and more.

Average Salary (US): $80,000 - $110,000

Average Salary (Canada): $70,000 - $95,000 CAD

Potential Jobs

·      IT Manager

·      Chief Information Officer (CIO)

·      Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

·      Information Systems Manager

·      IT Project Manager

·      Technology Consultant

·      Systems Analyst

·      Cybersecurity Manager

3. Master of Science in Finance (MSF)

Like an MBA, a Master of Science in Finance can be very broad and include many different specializations. It most often prepares students for careers in finance, investment banking, financial analysis, and related fields.

Average Salary (US): $80,000 - $120,000

Average Salary (Canada): $70,000 - $100,000 CAD

Potential Jobs

·      Financial Analyst

·      Investment Banker

·      Portfolio Manager

·      Financial Manager

·      Risk Analyst

·      Hedge Fund Manager

·      Private Equity Analyst

·      Corporate Treasurer

4. Master of Science in Engineering or Engineering Management

Engineers are always in high demand in a wide variety of industries, and getting an engineering degree gives you plenty of opportunities for specializing, from biomedical engineering to petroleum and chemical engineering to civil and electrical engineering. If you’re looking for top engineering programs, check out the best engineering schools in the US and the best universities in Canada for engineering.

Average Salary (US): $85,000 - $120,000

Average Salary (Canada): $75,000 - $100,000 CAD

Potential Jobs

·      Engineering Manager

·      Project Manager (Engineering)

·      Chief Engineer

·      Technical Director

·      Director of Research and Development

·      Systems Engineering Manager

·      Product Development Manager

5. Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS)

Computer science is also a very lucrative and exciting field that demands a variety of skills and knowledge. Be sure to check out the best universities in Canada for computer science and the top computer science schools in the US.

Average Salary (US): $85,000 - $120,000

Average Salary (Canada): $70,000 - $100,000 CAD

Potential Jobs

·      Software Development Manager

·      Data Scientist

·      Machine Learning Engineer

·      Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engineer

·      Systems Architect

·      Information Technology Consultant

·      Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

6. Master’s in Data Science

For applicants who love numbers and analysis, a master’s in data science can open many doors. Data science is an interdisciplinary field that combines techniques from statistics, mathematics, computer science, and domain-specific knowledge to extract insights and knowledge from data.

Average Salary (US): $80,000 - $110,000

Average Salary (Canada): $70,000 - $95,000 CAD

Potential Jobs

·      Data Scientist

·      Data Analyst

·      Machine Learning Engineer

·      Business Intelligence Manager

·      Data Engineer

·      Statistician

·      Predictive Analytics Manager

7. Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

A master of science in nursing is one of many advanced types of nursing degrees. If you’re interested in a nurse practitioner program or becoming a nursing specialist such as nurse anesthetist, both very high paying positions, an MSN is a must.

Average Salary (US): $110,000 - $180,000

Average Salary (Canada): $90,000 - $140,000 CAD

Potential Jobs

·      Nurse Practitioner

·      Nurse Anesthetist

·      Clinical Nurse Specialist

·      Nurse Manager

·      Director of Nursing

·      Nurse Educator

·      Nurse Administrator

8. Master’s in Economics

This program is designed for individuals who want to deepen their understanding of economic principles, theories, and analytical techniques. The Master's in Economics program typically covers a range of topics, providing students with the skills and knowledge necessary for careers in academia, research, policy analysis, and various industries.

Average Salary (US): $75,000 - $100,000

Average Salary (Canada): $70,000 - $90,000 CAD

Potential Jobs

·      Economist

·      Financial Analyst

·      Policy Analyst

·      Research Analyst

·      Economic Consultant

·      Statistician

·      Government Economist

9. Master’s of Health Administration (MHA)

The MHA program is designed for individuals who want to pursue careers in healthcare leadership, healthcare policy, and the management of healthcare organizations. It’s an excellent choice for those who want to pursue high-level positions in healthcare administration.

Average Salary (US): $70,000 - $150,000

Average Salary (Canada): $70,000 - $150,000 CAD

Potential Jobs

·      Hospital Administrator

·      Healthcare Consultant

·      Health Services Manager

·      Pharmaceutical Project Manager

·      Healthcare Operations Manager

·      Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in Healthcare

10. Master’s in Marketing

A great choice for business students who want to deepen their understanding of marketing principles, strategies, and techniques, and it prepares students for leadership roles in marketing and related fields. The Master's in Marketing program covers a range of topics, combining theoretical knowledge with practical applications to address the complexities of modern marketing.

Average Salary (US): $70,000 - $120,000

Average Salary (Canada): $70,000 - $120,000 CAD

Potential Jobs

·      Marketing Manager

·      Brand Manager

·      Digital Marketing Manager

·      Product Manager

·      Market Research Analyst

·      Advertising Manager

·      Public Relations Manager

·      Sales Manager

Highest Paying Master’s Degrees: Are They Worth it?

The big question is: is it worth it to pursue one of these high-paying master’s degrees? If we’re speaking only about highest earning potential, the answer would be yes. But the answer is a bit more complex than that.

You might ask yourself, “is an MBA worth it?” “how to get into nursing school?” or “can I afford grad school?”. Pursuing a graduate degree may or may not be the best choice for you, although an advanced degree undoubtedly can lead to more senior job positions, higher earning potential and career growth.

However, just graduating from a high-paying master’s degree doesn’t guarantee a high salary. Here are a few things that can influence your earning potential and job opportunities in your field as a new graduate:

  1. Experience – Your level of experience, not just your educational qualifications, will heavily influence your salary and earning potential. As a new master’s graduate, you won’t be earning the top of the pay scale right away.
  2. Specialization – These fields have plenty of opportunities for specialization, both within the degree programs and in future jobs. Certain specialties are more lucrative than others, so this can shift the earning potential for some degrees.
  3. Location – Depending on the state, province or country, you have the potential to earn more or less, even with a master’s degree in a high-paying field.

Another thing to consider when applying to any of these highest-paying master’s degrees is how hard they are to get into. Even the easiest MBA programs to get into, for instance, can be pretty competitive. And because these master’s degrees lead to high-paying, in-demand jobs, they can be extremely competitive, especially at top schools. Schools with strong programs in these fields may receive thousands of applicants per year for very limited seats, and their admissions standards tend to be high as a result.

So, pursuing a high-paying master’s degree in Canada or the US can definitely be a wise investment in your career, but it’s also important to have a strong and valid reason to do so. And, it’s important to plan your education pursuits carefully. Next, we’ll go over some tips on how to get into these competitive programs and what to keep in mind during your planning.

Here are some tips for writing your graduate school statement of purpose!

How to Get Into the Highest Paying Master’s Programs

Getting into any graduate program means you need to be well prepared. It’s not enough to know the graduate program requirements and check things off the list. Start planning well in advance and take the time to complete your applications thoroughly. Next we have some tips on how to get into graduate school and what you need to know.

Highest-Paying Master’s Degrees: Advice on Switching Careers

Undergraduate students and even high school students planning their futures may look to pursue one of the highest-paying master’s degrees to secure a strong financial future. But many applicants to graduate programs are mature applicants or non-traditional students.

There are graduate programs who attract more non-traditional students than others. For instance, MBAs tend to draw students with at least a few years of professional work experience, and many programs even require you to have prior experience to apply. An MBA program is also a popular choice for any professionals seeking to switch industries or make a change in their career.

Making a drastic pivot in your career is definitely possible, but it can come with some drawbacks. As an example, someone with no prior nursing experience who wants to become a nurse practitioner will need to complete several steps first, including earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing and getting certified as an RN. During this time, you’ll likely incur both a pay cut and debt from taking on tuition and other expenses. Not only this, but it will take several years’ of commitment to reach your goal.

There are no real shortcuts in some cases, depending on your current career, your desired career and the qualifications you need, and your budget in time and money. Nonetheless, we have a couple of tips you can use to make the transition to a new career smoother.

  1. Find accelerated programs – To save yourself time in getting a graduate education, look for accelerated programs. There are 1-year master’s programs that cut the typical time to graduate in half. There are also industry-specific programs, such as accelerated nursing programs and 1-year MBA programs. Online programs such as online MBA programs or online nursing programs are usually shorter than traditional programs.
  2. Ask about transfer credits – If you have previous education or experience, it’s possible that a master’s program will accept some of these completed credits towards your new master’s degree, shortening the time you spend in school and fulfilling prerequisite courses. This is more likely if you are pursuing a master’s degree with some core coursework in common with your bachelor’s degree or another master’s degree you already have.
  3. Gain relevant experience Graduate programs often want to see that you have experience in the industry, although this is not always required. If you’re lacking core experiences, consider enrolling in a relevant certificate or diploma program to gain some credentials, or look for entry-level positions so you can start building your knowledge and skills.


1. What are the highest paying master’s degrees?

Some of the highest paying master’s degrees are in fields such as business, finance, engineering, computer science and healthcare. There are many different graduate programs within these career fields, and even more different types of jobs you can get with these degrees, with the average pay varying by location and level of experience.

2. What are the best master’s degrees to get?

In terms of job opportunities and salary potential, some of the best master’s degrees to pursue are in business, finance and engineering. All of these sectors are in-demand and have good job outlooks for graduates.

3. Is getting a master’s degree worth it?

Getting a master’s degree can definitely pay off in terms of job growth and salary potential, however it might not be the best choice for everyone as it can incur high costs and requires a serious time commitment. Before applying to a master’s program, consider why you want to pursue a master’s degree, how it will improve your career prospects and whether it is necessary to complete your goals. 

4. What master’s degrees are most in demand?

Some of the master’s degrees that are most in demand are an MBA, a Master’s of Science in Nursing and a Master’s of Information Technology.

5. How do I get into a master’s program?

To get into a master’s program you will need to have a bachelor’s degree, meet the GPA requirements, submit a complete application and attend an interview for some programs. The specific requirements may be different across programs.

6. What are the highest paying jobs I can get with a master’s degree?

Some of the highest paying jobs, on average, you can get with the right master’s degree are engineers in many different sectors, financial experts and healthcare experts, including a nurse anesthetist or nurse practitioner.

7. What is the easiest master’s degree to get into?

This can vary depending on the admission requirements of different programs, but in general master’s degrees in education, counseling, communications and human resources are less competitive. Many master’s programs are now being offered through online graduate programs, making them more accessible and less competitive for applicants to get into some programs.

8. What GPA do I need for a master’s degree?

Many graduate programs have a minimum GPA (usually between 2.0 and 3.0) for applicants, and some may have no minimum. Although, you should check to see what the average accepted GPA of incoming students is at a program, or what the recommended GPA is for applicants. Some programs are very competitive, and a high GPA can ensure you stay in the competition pool during admissions decisions.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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