15 Graduate Degrees That Can Help You Earn Over $100K

High Paying College Degrees


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High Paying College Degrees

Hitting the Books for Bucks

While the prospect of going back to school can be exhilarating, it's important to know that the degree you spend time and money on will be financially worth it. You don't want the future, smarter version of yourself mired in debt with few options for paying it off. While there are plenty of graduate degrees that can translate to a heftier paycheck, those contemplating hitting the books again should be considering workforce demand, job competition and more. Read on for graduate degrees that can help you land that six-digit salary.

Look Into the Legal System


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2018 median yearly salary for lawyers is $120,910. Employment seems to be growing as fast as average — estimated to be between 5 and 9 percent from 2016-2026. There are, however, more students graduating from law school than there are jobs available.

Become Dr. You


In other news: Medicine is still a promising career. The BLS predicts that demand for doctors will continue to be higher than average at 13 percent, and the most recent figure for annual median pay is "equal to or greater than $208,000."

Aspire to C-Level

Business Administration

A business degree can lead to a myriad of interesting careers, but companies large and small and across all sectors need chief executive officers. For CEOs, the median 2018 pay was $104,980, and it's estimated that job growth will be steady, depending on the specific industry.

Nurture Your Inner Nurse

Advanced Nursing

If medicine is calling your name, but being a doctor isn't quite the right fit, look into becoming an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), the scope of which varies from state to state. In 2018, someone with an advanced nursing degree could expect to make around $114,000 per year, and employment is expected to grow by 31 percent, much faster than average, over the next 10 years.

Tackle Telecommunications

Telecommunications Engineering

Those with an advanced degree in telecommunications engineering can expect to make around $141,000, according to Payscale.com. Telecommunications deals with phone, internet, cable and satellite television, and more. Though the industry is shifting its focus to wireless communications, it's expected to remain strong overall.

Dive Into Electronics

Electrical Engineering

While engineering itself does not require an advanced degree, getting an advanced electrical engineering degree would net you around $100,000 per year after graduation. And, with all such degrees, it's important to be forward-thinking. According to the BLS, whereas the median annual wage for electrical engineers, who tend to work on large-scale electrical systems, was $96,640 in May 2018, the median annual wage for electronics engineers — think small-scale projects like computers and circuits — was $102,700. The latter number excludes computer engineers, who make more with an annual salary of around $115,000.

Build Brighter Smiles


The BLS predicts that jobs for dentists will grow by 19 percent over the next decade, which is higher than average. And dentists can expect to make around $156,00 based on median 2018 salary data. Dentists must be licensed in the state(s) in which they work.

Assist an Architect (Or Engineer)

Architectural and Engineering Management

If you're interested in architecture and engineering, a managerial role would entail planning, directing, and coordinating activities in companies of this type. While an advanced degree isn't required, it certainly doesn't hurt, considering that job growth in this category is about average at 6 percent. The 2018 median salary for architectural and engineering managers was $140,760.

Opt Into Optometry


With projected 18 percent growth over the next 10 years, why not look into optometry? Vision problems tend to occur later in life, so the U.S.'s aging population will likely lead to higher demand for optometrists. In May 2018, the median annual age for optometrists was $111,790.

Get Your Orthodontia On


According to Payscale.com, the average orthodontist in the US can expect to make around $173,000 per year. Plus, job satisfaction tends to be high for orthodontists.

Compute for Cash

Computer and Information Systems Management

Managers in computer and information systems can expect to make $142,530 per year, according to 2018 data. Not everyone in this type of role has a graduate degree, but many do, and these types of jobs are growing faster than average. According to data, one can theoretically make as much money with a degree in information systems as with an MBA.

Build Better Technology

Computer and Information Research Scientist

According to BLS, "computer and information research scientists invent and design new approaches to computing technology and find innovative uses for existing technology." Job growth over the next decade is expected to be a higher-than-average 19, and recent annual salaries averaged $118,370. Another bonus: Many companies report difficulties finding the highly skilled workers necessary to take over these positions.

Study Software Development

Software Development

Depending on the type of software, the average developer can expect to make anywhere from $103,000 to $110,000. While a master's degree isn't necessary to enter this field — especially where employment is expected to grow 24 percent in the next decade — those who got an undergraduate degree in something like computer science or computer programming might find that a graduate degree in software development is just the ticket to propel them to a higher salary.

Sell Drugs (Legally)


The median annual wage for pharmacists was $126,120 in May 2018. Along with dispensing medications and offering expertise in proper use, the BLS explains that "pharmacists may conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations, oversee the medications given to patients, and provide advice on healthy lifestyles." Job growth is expected to be average over the course of the next 10 years.

Learn the Laws of Physics


Though federal government spending for physics research is not as likely to grow as in past years, overall job growth is expected to reach 14 percent over the next decade — still faster than average. Most physicist jobs require a doctoral degree, and the 2018 median annual wage for physicists was $120,950.