Forbes Releases The Only Master’s Degrees Actually Worth Going Back To School For

Forbes Releases The Only Master's Degrees Actually Worth Going Back To School For

About a year or two into your postgrad life, you’ve probably had the thought pop into the back of your head that maybe you should go back to school. Usually, this is something that you think while organizing your boss’s calendar or listening to your officemate Matilda complain that her kids won’t call her. While sometimes your job is good, you know this isn’t where you’re going to end up, and if going back to school is what it takes to escape Matilda, so be it.

However, going back for just any postgrad degree isn’t necessarily worth it – I’m looking at you, Mid-Sixteenth Century English Literature. If you’re going back to school, you should probably ensure that you’ll actually be making more money than the job you left, especially considering that you’re probably looking at a nice chunk of change to be a student again anyway. Luckily for you, Forbes released a list of the best Master’s degrees to go back to school for based on earnings. Degrees are listed with the average salaries at the beginning of and the middle of careers, with jobs sorted from low to high by their average mid-career salary.

25 (tie). Human/Computer Interaction: $82,100 / $115,00
25 (tie). Finance: $63,200 / $115,00
25 (tie). Aerospace Engineering: $75,600 / $115,000
22 (tie). Physics: $66,900 / $117,000
22 (tie). Engineering Management: $71,700 / $117,000
20. Systems Engineering: $77,000 / $118,000
19 (tie). Software Engineering: $80,200 / $119,000
19 (tie). Information Technology Management: $65,900 / $119,000
19 (tie). Applied Mathematics: $66,000 / $119,000
16. Nuclear Engineering: $71,800 / $121,000
15. Telecommunications Engineering: $74,000 / $121,000
14. Computer Science & Mathematics: $80,000 / $121,000
13. Computer Science: $81,200 / $121,000
12. Computer Engineering: $85,000 / $121,000
11 (tie). Operations Research: $80,300 / $122,000
11 (tie). Materials Science & Engineering: $70,300 / $122,000
10. Chemical Engineering: $72,900 / $124,000
9. Technology Management: $63,600 / $125,000
8. Electronics and Communications Engineering: $84,300 / $125,000
7. Taxation: $60,700 / $126,000
6. Electrical Engineering: $78,000 / $126,000
5. Biomedical Engineering: $68,400 / $126,000
4. Computer Science & Engineering: $89,000 / $127,000
3. Electrical & Computer Engineering:
2. Nurse Anesthesia: $139,000 / $159,000
1. Petroleum Engineering: $96,500 / $173,000

Unfortunately, every single one of these degrees sounds like they would suck even more than my current job, so I think I’m going to have to pass on this one. Honestly, just once I’d like to see something on one of these lists more along the lines of Head of the Party Planning Committee, but I guess you can’t win them all. While I clearly won’t be going back to school anytime soon, if you have a science or physics background, it looks like it’s time to fire up the Common Application – you’re going back to school.

[via Forbes]

Image via Shutterstock

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Steph W.

Steph W. is a new Master's degree graduate with an intern's salary and six-figure taste. She realizes her expectations far exceed reality, so she spends her days pinning away Loubs she pretends are in her physical closet instead of her virtual one. Her hobbies include attempting to trapping her boyfriend into marriage before he finds out how insane she is and pretending that Black Box wine tastes as good as the kind she could afford when she was gainfully employed. Send her tips for getting out of student debt at

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