When it comes to choosing a career, people consider a number of factors. Their interests and passions. Their potential income. Whether they want to work hands-on with others, such as in a medical setting. Part of the consideration also includes the required level of education, since a college degree – or two – requires both time and money.
Today. it’s more than doctors and lawyers who need an advanced degree. In fact, a 2014 report from Georgetown University projected that by 2020, 11% of all jobs would require a master’s degree, up from 7% in 1973. And a 2019 U.S. Census Bureau report said Americans have responded to the trend, with 37% of bachelor’s degree holders in 2018 having obtained an advanced degree.
So, what are some of the jobs that require a master’s degree or more? Here’s a look at 10 of them.
Last updated: Aug. 17, 2021
Median pay: $86,280
Occupational therapists work with patients who have injuries, illnesses or disabilities to allow them to regain the ability to do daily activities. A master’s degree and state license are required, and many students first earn a degree in biology or another health science. Jobs are available in medical facilities, as well as in schools and through organizations providing home health services. The BLS estimates jobs for occupational therapists will grow by 16% in the 10-year span from 2019 to 2029.
College Music Instructor
Median pay: $80,790
“In order to teach at good college music programs 50 years ago, it would have been enough for a music teacher to have a bachelor's degree and to have won a competition or two,” said Marc Levesque, the CEO of online music school Lesson You. “Now, the minimum expectation is that the music teacher have a doctorate, often regardless of their success in music competitions.” The BLS estimates the need for postsecondary teachers will grow 9% by 2029.
Median pay: $93,290
Today’s data-driven world has fueled the need for people to collect, analyze and interpret the data. Enter the statisticians. They work in a variety of industries, including government, professional sports, medicine, business and environmental sciences, and they deliver key data to decision-makers. Given the need, the BLS anticipates a 33% increase in the number of jobs for statisticians and mathematicians by the end of the decade. People filling the roles generally will have a master’s degree in statistics or math.
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Median pay: $ 96,270
Industrial-organizational psychology – also known is I/O psychology – involves studying human behavior on the job or in an organization. People working in the field have tasks that include identifying priorities for training and development; creating and evaluating training programs; coaching; developing a plan for work/life balance; setting criteria for performance evaluations; and studying consumer satisfaction. An I/O psychologist will have at least a master’s degree but typically a doctorate in the field.
Median pay: $108,350
An economist is charged with researching economic issues by collecting historic and current data, analyzing the findings and forecasting market trends. The work of an economist can span a variety of field, such as healthcare and energy, and a number of topics, such as inflation, interest rates, taxes and exchange rates. Positions are available in government, education and the private sector, and a master’s degree or Ph.D. is required for most. The BLS projects job growth of 14% by 2029.
Median pay: $56,760
Archivists record the history of entities such as organizations, communities and governments. As part of their job, they collect and research documents and other records to determine their historical significance. Those documents can include old photographs, letters or maps, as well as websites and audio or video recordings. Archivists who hold a certification from the Academy of Certified Archivists could have greater job opportunities, and a candidate for a certificate must have a master’s degree, additional coursework and at least one year of experience.
Median pay: $66,130
Anthropology is “the study of what makes us human,” according to the American Anthropological Association. Anthropologists look at how human groups lived in the past, compare their genetics and look at their bodies, their health and their diets, including how they ascertain and prepare food. They compare how humans relate to animals to determine commonalities. Professionals also study the “cultural consequences of natural disasters, equitable access to limited resources and human rights at the global level,” the association says. Anthropologists are needed in a variety of workplaces, including private businesses, universities, the government and health and human services.
Median pay: $75,950
Urban planners put the puzzle pieces of a town, city or region together. An urban planner will review how an area operates in terms of infrastructure, such as roads, as well as schools, libraries, recreation and zoning patterns. A well-planned community will attract homebuyers and business owners who are enticed by everything from good traffic patterns to access to green spaces. The BLS estimates the need for urban planners will grow by 11% by 2029.
Median pay: $85,700
Genetic counseling is a rapidly growing field, with the BLS predicting there will be 21% more jobs by the end of the decade. A genetic counselor has a variety of responsibilities, which include collection an individual’s family health history and to provide a risk assessment for diseases; providing information to people and their families to help them make informed health decisions; and educating larger groups about the field. Genetic counselors work closely with physicians when it comes to ordering tests or interpreting results. Those interested in the career need an undergraduate degree with coursework related to the sciences and genetics before earning a master’s degree from an accredited program, according to the National Society of Genetic Counselors.
· Median pay: $60,820
A librarian’s job has become more complex with the boom in technology over the past generation. Librarians still work to connect people with the books they desire for either pleasure or learning, but today, they also build websites, convert archives from paper to digital and even manage a library’s social media accounts. They work everywhere from the local public library to schools, museums, hospitals and other businesses. The American Library Association says librarians generally need a master’s degree from an accredited program. School librarians could be exempt from the master’s requirement but must meet teaching requirements in their state.
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