How much more will I make with a master’s degree?
Overall, around 20% more, although that depends on the type of work you do. This article is part of the series “Master’s degree. Is it worth it?” As a CFO, my job is to value things. That’s what I have done for masters. In this article, I describe how much more money you will make.
Those with a master’ degree earn 20%
The median salary, in the US for someone with a university degree is around $5,000 a month.
For someone with a master’s degree is $6,000, or 20% more.
The difference is $12,000 per year. Over 35 years, that is worth 450,000.
Master’s degree salary premium by type of work
The 20% premium varies by type of work. It’s around 41% for those in marketing, sales, and finance; 26% for those in IT and science, and less than 20% for high school teachers and nurses. The overall range is 14% to 89% according to the BLS.
Around the world, a master’s degree pays 20% more
We did a survey in 30 countries in Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. All 11 industry groups were covered. We compared our results to those from the US Current Population Survey, which covers 60,000 households representing everyone in the US. The results were remarkably similar, both very close to 20%..
Most of the world pays a 20% premium, Latin America more
The premium paid for a master’s degree is 20% around the world, except in Latin America where itis 22%. Asia-Pacific, as well as Europe, Middle East, and Africa, are at 20%.
49% of executives hold a master’s degree
Our response group were senior executives. 65% were hiring managers holding senior positions (CEO, President, C-Suite, Director). Around 50% of them had a master’s degree. The range was 40% in the financial industry, 50% for CPG, and close to 60% for IT.
Those holdings a masters would pay more for it
On average, respondents who had a master’s degree would pay 23% more for it, compared to 14% more for those who didn’t.
Unemployment is lower for those with a master’s degree
The unemployment rate for those with a master’s or professional degree is 20% lower, even during times of full employment, like 2019. That is what the data from the Current Population Survey shows
Education, including a master’s degree, increases our earnings potential. For a master’s degree that is worth 20% or $450,000 over a career.
On the next article, we look at the tuition cost of master’s degrees around the world.
This material from this article is part of a lecture available on YouTube.
About the author
Mr Benaroya receives no compensation or endorsements for this. He does it to support education.
George Benaroya is a Global Financial Executive who managed operations at Procter & Gamble, Tetra Pak, Nivea and currently a Private Equity firm. His executive positions include Vice President Finance, Global Controller & CFO.
Mr. Benaroya lived in 9 countries and visited 193.