An article by contributor Rachael Murphey.
Despite what your parents may have said, it’s not always good to follow your heart when choosing an advanced degree. If you don’t weigh the costs of earning the degree against its career outlook, you could end up regretting your educational investment.
Below are five postgraduate degrees worth considering:
1 Master of Business Administration, Marketing Research
Completing an MBA may require upfront costs, but dividends will pay off. This is doubly true for those who earn MBAs in marketing research, a rapidly growing field. Graduates can expect their pick of positions in start-ups, large international corporations, and public institutions, among others, with their earning potential capped only by their ambition.
2 Master of Science, Nursing
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, nurse practitioners are not just among the top ten fastest growing careers, but are among the highest paid, too. Students who complete a master in nursing also have the satisfaction of knowing they provide important healthcare services to people with limited access to primary care physicians.
3 Master of Science, Communications
Hear me out on this: an advanced degree in communications, a field that bears the brunt of at least a few academic jokes, can be an excellent choice for self-motivated professionals in new media niches. Students can tailor their degree to cover an array of subdisciplines—including public relations, social media writing, and audience analysis—and most programs offer fellowships to outstanding applicants, which makes this one degree you can get for free.
4 Doctorate, Physical Therapy
A doctorate in physical therapy is an excellent choice for those who want to capitalize on both brain and brawn. Physical therapists enjoy high job satisfaction and a glowing career outlook, and many students complete their degree while also employed as therapy assistants or massage therapists, offsetting the cost of studies and making this an excellent, low-debt choice for an advanced degree.
5 Master, Accounting
Remember my warning to not necessarily follow your heart when choosing a degree? One reason is because doing so might lead you away from a master in accounting, which surprisingly opens the doors to dozens of very secure careers, some of which are more engaging and rewarding than you might expect. Advanced accountants manage the complex finances of businesses, making them desirable professionals in a competitive business landscape.
Be smart about your studies. After graduating, don’t enter your career randomly. By being thoughtful about your decisions, you can leverage your skills and knowledge into industries that are both exciting and productive.
Rachael Murphey is a recent graduate from the University of Colorado Boulder. She writes on entrepreneurship, finance, and personal success. She currently lives in Denver with her dog Charlie.