To Master’s or not to Master’s…

resume, job tips, medical sales

If you are considering a career change or trying to improve your earning potential, the decision whether or not to further your education is always one of tradeoffs:  the cost of the education and the time spent versus the eventual payoff in increased salary and job outlook.

There are a number of options for advanced degrees in the health care field, all of which can lead to a variety of jobs. Forbes has a list of the best master’s degrees and three health care fields made the cut.  The top of the list was a master’s in physician studies, they say the median pay is $97,000 and the projected employment increase for jobs in the field is 30%, which is faster than average.

Also in the top ten was a master’s degrees in occupational therapy (with a median career pay of $79,200 and projected job growth of 33%), and health care administration (with a median career pay of $87,800 and projected job growth of 22%).

According to, health administrators, sometimes known as health care managers or health service managers, direct the operations of various types of health systems. They usually are responsible for services, facilities, programs, budgets, staffs, relations with other organizations and other aspects of administration and management. The median salary in the field of health administration currently is $84,000, with the top 10% earning up to $144,000.

Interestingly, according to Forbes, master’s degrees in biology and chemistry were considered amongst the worst master’s to invest time and money in.

Another master’s degree to consider, which didn’t make the best or worst list, is a master’s in public health. Public Health programs prepare students to become leading public health professionals capable of addressing current global health problems through multidisciplinary approaches that apply the latest scientific knowledge.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, four common jobs in the area of public health are health educators, with a 21% job growth; epidemiologists with an average growth rate of 10%; social workers, 19% job growth, and statisticians, with 27% job growth.

Nurses are consistently among the most in-demand jobs in the nation, and also earn some of the highest salaries. RNs make over $64,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the demand for nursing professionals is only expected to grow over the future. There are many entry points into the world of nursing, however, earning a Master’s in Nursing  provides more options and increases the average salary by around $20,000 a year.

As you are considering going back to school, make sure you do some research on the trends and job market you’ll be facing on graduation, but if you make the right choice, the time and money could well be worth it.

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