Study in The U.S. – Which Master’s Degree to Choose?

    Updated on: 11 Sep 2023


    The US has undoubtedly one of the best education systems. International students always prefer the US to pursue a masters degree in different subjects. The US is home to one of the highest number of universities that are ranked among the top 100 universities by almost all the rankings. The admission process is pretty stringent in the US, and one must be very skilled and talented to study MS in the USA or any other masters degree. The universities in the US are known for their world-class teaching, research, interdisciplinary studies, job prospects, and several other criteria that a student might consider before moving ahead with their decision to pursue the master’s degree. 

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    Some of the world’s best universities like Harvard, Stanford, MIT, UCLA, etc., are the flag bearers of the best in class education the US has to offer. The best part is that the banks in India are also more willing to lend to those who wish to study a masters degree in the USA. It helps students in getting easing financing for their studies. Also, a degree from American universities has huge weightage when it comes to taking jobs in other foreign countries.

    And to top it all, the US is itself a great place to accommodate the talent pool that studies in the universities over there. All these reasons pretty much validate the reason why Indian students always prefer the US as their first choice when planning to study abroad. 

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    Which Masters Degree is Most Valuable in the USA?

    Whenever one sees the profile of a top corporate leader, a top-notch journalist, a renowned corporate lawyer, an investment banker, or for that matter, any successful person, there is one common thing, and that is a masters degree. Having a masters degree from a university in the US can bring an instrumental change in an individual’s career prospects. So, the decision of choosing the right course in the US can be a bit tricky as the education system over there is quite distinct from India. There is a broad scope of interdisciplinary studies. For instance, most students who want to pursue an MS in computer science think they must have a bachelor’s degree in CS, but this isn’t the case in the US. 

    Most of the universities allow students from mathematics or any other engineering background to pursue MS in computer science. Similarly, there are courses that even include club engineering and journalism. So, there is no dearth of options in the US. One can comfortably switch from one area of study to another if they think they have the zeal to study it. Here is the list of top courses for a masters degree in the US. 

    Business Administration

    It is perhaps one of the highest-paid jobs in the world. When one sees the CEO of a company, the chances are more than 95% that the person would be an MBA graduate. From Google’s CEO to Apple’s CEO to somebody heading a bank, the chances are very likely that the person must have an MBA degree. Even in the US, it is one of the highest-paid jobs, and the mean salary is around $115000. All the sectors wherein the MBA graduates go viz. Marketing, Finance, etc., are the top paid employees of the company. It is one of the reasons why most business schools have a high fee structure. When it comes to doing MBA from the US, Harvard Business School, Wharton Business School, MIT Sloan School of Management, Stanford Graduate School of Business are the prominent names. However, an MBA from most of the universities in the US has a very high value. 

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    Chemical Engineering 

    Students wanting to pursue an MS in chemical engineering can really make a difference with their degree. Those with a masters in chemical engineering are usually paid way more than someone with a mere bachelor’s degree. Also, the employability of chemical engineers in contemporary times is pretty high. Many industries like Cement Manufacturing, the Chemical industry, electronics industry, pharmaceutical industry have high paying jobs for those with an MS degree.

    The average salary is more than $95,000, which is pretty high for a fresh graduate. All the top universities have dedicated courses, and having a bachelor’s degree is also not required to pursue MS in chemical engineering. However, one must check the course requirement as some of the universities might have slightly different criteria for admission. 

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    Computer Science and Information Science

    A degree in computer and information science is one of the best choices for those who have a background in computer science, mathematics, and information sciences. There is a huge demand for graduates from this branch, but the talent pool is quite shallow. Most tech companies work on huge sets of data, depending on information science experts for its interpretation and analysis. A fresh graduate with an MS from a university in the US can bag a package of around $1,05,000. So, there is no dearth of jobs in the field, and it’s all about the right decision at the right time. 

    Nursing Anaesthesia

    It is perhaps one of the top paid jobs with an average salary of $1,80,000 per annum. In the midst of the pandemic wherein the whole world came to a crashing halt, the need for a talented nursing anaesthetic has risen to an all-time high. There were several hospitalisations, and there is a need to ramp up the health infrastructure. The job prospects are pretty high in developed countries. A Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anaesthesia can allow an individual to work at operation theatres, pain management centres, dental clinics, and a lot of other areas where anaesthesia is used. As a person grows in experience, the salary rises exponentially. So, the prospects are quite bright, right from the present to the future. 


    One of the most diverse subjects that an individual can study and reach the zenith of success. The best part is that students from almost all educational backgrounds can study this subject and make a career in it. A masters degree in economics can help students in getting a job in so many fields. They can start as advisors to a bank, a corporation, they can choose teaching, analyst, and perhaps the list is endless. The opportunities are endless from a corporation to sovereign governments and from organisations like the IMF to World Bank. The average mean salary is around $95,000, but the growth in this career is exponential. Successful economists go on to earn millions of dollars per annum in less than a decade. 

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    Human Resource Management

    Earlier, this used to be part of the MBA programs only, but now universities have started individual programs targeting solely Human Resource Management. In contemporary times, human resources are one of the most valuable assets of a company. Almost all the big companies of the world spend millions every year on human resource management. An organisation is nothing without the people working over there, and Human resource managers are at the helm of managing these valuable assets. Human resource managers are in great demand, and a Masters degree in this field of study can land an individual in a pretty interesting and high paying job. So, if individuals feel that they have great skills to manage people, this degree can be a life-changer. The average salary of human resource managers in the US is around $1,10,000 per annum. And those in the upper echelons of industry earn way more than this; some even go on to head big corporations. 

    Petroleum engineering

    Petroleum Engineering is something that is going to get a lot of attention in the coming years, as there is a rising concern among people about the environment and the use of fossil fuels. Also, the growing use of hydrocarbons and the use of clean energy fuel has led to a sudden rise in employment opportunities. The mean salary of an individual with an MS in petroleum engineering is around $1,25,000. 


    Statistics has been an evergreen field of study for doing masters as it attracts students from mathematics, economics, informatics, mathematical computing. A masters degree in statistics can be a growth accelerator for professionals working as analysts, investment bankers, economists, etc. Big corporations actively employ statistics graduates for doing big data analytics, market analysis, growth trends, credit rating agencies, and a ton of other jobs where numbers call the shots. The average salary of a fresh graduate is anywhere around $1,06,000 per annum. But the growth is pretty fast for statisticians, and they are one of the top paid employees in the corporate world. 

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    Physical Therapy 

    With an aging population in western countries, the need for physical therapists is at an all-time high. A masters degree in Physical therapy can be a significant addendum to those who wish to pursue a full-time career in this field. The physical therapist helps people with physical ailments, aged people, survivors of accidents in getting their physio in order. It is not only a well-paid job but also a great service to humanity. The profession of a physiotherapist is seen with the utmost respect, as they help people with disabilities and illnesses get back to normal living. There is a growing demand for individual physical therapists who earn a lot while making personal visits to patients. The mean salary is around $90,000 per annum. 

    As far as courses are concerned, there is no dearth of masters degree programs in the US that are overpaying and a great deal of growth in these jobs. However, the ultimate decision rests with an individual who wishes to pursue a course in any of the fields mentioned above. There is no hard and fast rule that one has to select a course from the list mentioned above. The decision of pursuing a masters degree must pivot on the area of interest as one has to live with that for the rest of their life. So, it’s important to choose an interesting area of study, not only high paying. Anyone can earn any amount of money by studying any subject. So, one should focus more on the subject vis-a-vis employability and other prospects. 

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    First published date: 19 Jun 2019


About author

Yogender Panchal
Yogender is a tech enthusiast with specialization in digital marketing. He is currently working at Gyandhan a leading company which provides Education Loan who are studying Abroad. Playing Volleyball, driving a car, traveling, researching new online marketing trends are some of his interest areas that keeps his rejuvenated.

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