As twinkly-eyed final year undergraduates continue to apply to oversubscribed grad school programs, hoping to specialize or “become an academic”, master’s bashers will scoff that the costs outweigh the benefits of even the best master’s degrees. Of course, it’s not quite so black and white. Some careers actually require a master’s.So, read on to discover amazing jobs you’ll need a master’s to get into, all promising great job satisfaction, earnings and employment prospects, or read about great graduate careers you can get with any degree.
1. Occupational therapist
Working with disabled, injured and ill people, occupational therapists coach their patients to rebuild skills and the confidence to return to work, as well as advising them on the best ways to alter their home and workplace to fit new health requirements. Salaries vary based on location, skills and experience, typically between $49,500 and $84,970 in the US.To practice, you first need to complete a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy or a related field such as biology, psychology, sociology or health science. Then you’ll need a master’s degree in occupational therapy approved by the relevant professional body in your country. Your course should include work experience in hospitals or rehabilitation centers.
2. Nurse practitioner
The US has seen a surge in demand for nurse practitioners (nurses who are qualified to treat a wide range of medical conditions without a doctor’s supervision). Salaries vary depending on city, experience and skillset, ranging between $71,700 and $113,000 in the US. To work as a nurse practitioner, you would need to start with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and then enroll on an MSc in advanced practice to learn new skills such as diagnosis and consultation.
3. Family/marriage therapist
Marriage and family therapists in the US typically earn between $33,700 and $64,000, providing individual and group therapy for couples and families on a range of psychological issues related to their relationships. To become a marriage counselor, you would need to be a licensed mental health practitioner, with a master’s degree in counseling or marriage and family therapy, a license and a couple of years’ clinical experience.
Statisticians collect, analyze and interpret data to inform strategy, often in sectors like education, the environment, government or transportation. In the US they generally earn between $48,300 and $104,400. To work as a statistician, you would usually need a master’s in mathematics of theoretical statistics, with a skillset that includes data modelling, machine learning and Python.
5. Physician assistant
According to the World Health Organization, the world will need 12.9 million new healthcare professionals by 2035. To meet that demand in the US, enrolment of physician assistants is expected to grow by 30% over the next 20 years. Salaries match the short supply, with physician assistants earning on average between $72,000 and $115,600 in the US. Physician assistants are licensed medical professionals who work in clinics, doctor’s offices or hospitals, carrying out many of the duties doctors perform. To work as a physician assistant, you would need a relevant bachelor’s degree, followed by a master’s in physician assistant studies.
6. Industrial organizational psychologist
Industrial organizational psychologists apply psychological theories and principles to help businesses improve efficiency and job satisfaction. Employed in-house or via an agency, they work with HR staff and employees, to improve workplace satisfaction and productivity. Salaries range between $39,800 and $115,500 in the US, depending on experience and employer. To work as an occupational psychologist or an industrial organizational psychologist, you would need a master’s degree and in some cases even a PhD!