How to Find Jobs Requiring a Master's Degree

Three Methods:Matching Your Interests to Careers Required Master’s DegreesSelecting a Master’s Degree ProgramMaster's Degree and Job Sheet

Getting a master’s degree means committing to at least two years of formal study, along with a substantial financial commitment. It’s wise to do some research before you choose a course of study; look at the jobs that require a master’s degree, what the median income for those jobs are and determine if the effort, time and expense will pay off for you.

Method 1
Matching Your Interests to Careers Required Master’s Degrees

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    Determine your area of interest. You will be investing your time and money in pursuit of an advanced degree, so make sure it's something you're going to find fulfilling. And while there are numerous careers that require a master’s degree, it makes sense to pursue a degree in a career field that you will find enjoyable as well as lucrative, as the resulting career should be one in which you feel competent and comfortable.
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    Start your search for relevant jobs. Begin with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website.[1] The Occupational Outlook Handbook of the BLS lists the top-paying jobs that require a master’s degree. On the website, select the master’s degree level of education in the drop-down box. That will narrow your search and provide you with the details about the career field that may impact your decision. When viewing the jobs, ask the following questions:
    • Is on-the-job training required? Is it even provided?
    • What are the immediate and near future projected jobs in the field? (Check job sites for current advertisements for the relevant jobs.)
    • What is the projected growth rate of the industry? Is this likely to be an area of expansion or contraction over the next decade?
    • What is the median pay? (The BLS figures are usually several years old, but you can still get a good sense of the average amount of pay you can get with a master’s degree in that field.)

Method 2
Selecting a Master’s Degree Program

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    Search online for colleges that offer master’s degrees in your field of interest. Not all universities will offer master’s degrees in every program of study, so you may need to choose colleges that weren't initially on your radar.
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    Assess the programs offered. Things to consider include:
    • Does the program cover everything needed to walk straight into the job or will extra training be required post degree?
    • How flexible is the degree program? Many people pursuing a master’s degree are already working full time and raising families. If this is you, you'll need to be sure that the master’s program has flexible class schedules.
    • Can it be done online? If you're thinking about an online degree, check to see if you will have to spend any amount of time on campus during the duration of the program. Programs that require on-campus as well as distance learning are usually called hybrid or blended studies. (If your online university is located in Minnesota and you live in New Hampshire, the logistical and financial hardships of any on-campus study may be insurmountable.)
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    Inquire about the university’s research capabilities. Getting a master’s degree in most fields of study will require intensive research; make sure the college you choose can supply all the research opportunities you will need to complete your degree.
    • If the degree requires additional learning, does the university have ties to the right institutions or other universities that will enable you to easily find positions in those training programs?
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    Investigate the total cost of the degree. You may not be able to afford to pursue a master’s full time, but some universities offer teaching positions, scholarships and grants to help students handle the educational expenses.
    • If you're considering working and studying at the same time, can you work out a rough timetable to see how you will manage this? While you might be able to juggle both, throwing in another full-time role such as child caring may make things very hard for you, so be realistic in your assessment of available time.
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    Ask about time limitations. Most students take two full years to complete a master’s on campus. If you can only pursue your degree part-time, make sure the college will allow you the total time you need to complete your studies.
    • Bear in mind unforeseen circumstances such as illness (yours or a family member's), pregnancy, change of jobs, moving away and loss of work. Find out what conditions are in place to deal with unforeseen hardship or family changes.

Master's Degree and Job Sheet

Master's Degrees and Jobs Chart


  • If you are thinking of getting a master’s in business (MBA) in the United States, find out if the university requires an entrance exam; most will accept either GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) or GRE (Graduate Record Exam). If you are afraid of low test scores on these exams, look for an accredited school that doesn’t require the GMAT or GRE for enrollment.[2]
  • Research the faculty of the school you are interested in. The school should list the faculty members that will teach the courses you will be taking; read those bios and conduct further research to see if you can find other feedback from former students.

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Categories: Job Search | College University and Postgraduate