6 Careers Where Getting an Advanced Degree Will Actually Reward You

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We’ve all heard the horror stories of people with Ph.D. degrees who, because they can’t get a job in their field, are working as baristas and grocery store baggers. While it’s true that some advanced degrees don’t guarantee a bump in career opportunities and employability, there are some career paths where an advanced degree provides an almost guaranteed reward in terms of payout and job prospects. If you’re wondering what sort of advanced degree you should look at pursuing, here are six careers where getting a graduate degree is most likely to pay-off.

1. Nursingadvanced_degree

The field of nursing has a remarkably secure career outlook, and while you only technically need an associate’s degree to be a nurse, getting your Master of Science in Nursing will improve your prospects and your pay. Especially as more and more studies show a connection between nurses’ education and patient outcomes, having well-educated and highly competent nurses in care facilities and hospitals is becoming more and more of a priority. So, if you were wondering whether an advanced nursing degree would make sense for you in the ling-run, the answer is simple: Yes.

2. Software Developer

For a software developer who wants a solid job and isn’t interested in working as a freelancer or going the startup route, an advanced degree does a lot more than just make you a more competitive applicant in the current job market. According to CareerBliss, software developers with a bachelor’s degree can expect to make just under $ 80,000 a year. With a master’s degree, however, that salary jumps to over $ 95,000. While your title would most likely be the same regardless of your level of schooling, making $ 15,000 more a year amounts to quite a bit over the course of a career.

3. Finance

While there are plenty of ways to go into finance and make a killing without getting a master’s degree, if you’re a financial advisor, a master’s degree is a big helps. On average, a financial adviser with an undergraduate degree makes over $ 62,000 a year. With a master’s degree, however, a financial advisor’s worth jumps considerably. Financial advisors with the advanced degree can expect to make roughly $ 15,000 more a year, which means grad school is probably well worth the investment.

4. Psychology

Community health and addiction counselors are important members of any community, and many people perform these jobs admirably well with just an associate’s or undergraduate degree. However, if, as a counselor, you’re interested in expanding your knowledge base and making more money, you needn’t shy away from a master’s degree, Ph.D., or MD. Psychiatrists and psychologists are well-compensated, and the demand for their services continues to be sound. An advanced degree in this field is almost always a good career move.

advanced_degree25. Architecture

To truly participate in the world of architecture, a master’s degree is required — as is an often-lengthy and thankless apprenticeship or internship. For anyone who loves the idea of designing and building structures, however, the necessary advanced degree and extra time put in is worth it. The payoff can also be substantial, although the range of pay among architects is a little surreal.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, architects make anywhere from $ 44,000 a year to just under $ 120,000. While overall it seems true that an advanced degree is a good move for the budding architect — especially since it’s required — you might also consider the fact that your pay seems very connected to both where you work and how good you are at your job.

6. Law

Since you can’t even practice law without a law degree and a win at the bar exam, getting an advanced degree seems like a requirement. However, there are plenty of legal jobs for people with four-year degrees out there, but overall, they can’t hold a candle to being a lawyer. Paralegals and legal assistants routinely make as much as $ 50,000 a year, but getting that JD and passing the bar elevates your earning potential to well over $ 100,000. Yes, law school might be hard and expensive, but what you stand to reap on the other side of it is substantial.

So, get that master’s degree or other advanced degree you’ve always wanted. Just be sure you’re getting it in a field or industry where having it will benefit you, not just create one more line item in your budget each week.


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5 Reasons to Get a Degree in Fire Science

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firefighterBeing a “fireman” has been and still is one of the most popular jobs listed by grade school-aged children when asked what they’d like to be when they grow up, yet few children find themselves pursuing this path once they move beyond adolescence and begin to consider career options and college paths.

While it’s true that not everyone is cut out to work in fire safety and science, the jobs, roles, and tasks performed by firemen, firewomen, and others working in related fields form an essential part of our neighborhoods’, communities’, and nation’s safety. If you were one of those kids who used to dream of one day braving burning buildings, who let the rigors of the “real” world keep you on the path to what some would call a more practical route, don’t give up just yet. Here are five reasons you should get a degree in fire science.

1. It Will Give You a Leg Up on the Competition

If you already know you want to be a firefighter, then getting your bachelor degree will give you an edge over others who are also interested in the job. Getting hired by a fire department can be difficult, because most fire departments find that they have a lot more applicants than they have job openings, which makes even getting an interview a highly competitive endeavor. While entry-level positions usually only require a high school education, when you arm yourself with a degree in fire science, you’ll easily move your resume to the top of the job applicant stack over people who lack four-year degrees altogether or who have degrees in a different field.

2. The Job Is Secure

While getting your foot in the door at your local fire department can be difficult due to the ratio of jobs to applicants, for a highly qualified applicant, the job is not only within reach, but it’s also both in demand and stable. Regardless of the shifts in the United States economy, firefighting will always be needed. Especially because firefighters are first responders to emergencies of all kinds, including fires, the job is essentially recession-proof, which is something few industries can lay claim to. And, because a degree in fire science also enables you to embark on other fire- and public safety-related careers, you have a multitude of other job options available should you ever want to try your hand at something else.

firefighter23. It Pays Better Thank You Think

If your dreams of firefighting were deemed little more than the musings of a whimsical child who didn’t understand the necessity of making money to pay bills, then you’ll be happy to learn that firefighters earn a decent wage.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly rate for firefighters is over $ 21 an hour, while the median salary sits over $ 45,000 a year. Also, depending on the job to which you aspire within fire science and safety, you can make quite a bit more than that. Fire chiefs, for instance, make over six figures in some markets.

4. So Many Different Jobs

Another great feature of earning your fire science degree is that it can lead to so many different types of jobs and career paths — fighting fires is just one of them. Here are some of the jobs for which a degree in fire science prepares you:

  • Fire chief or fire captain
  • Arson investigator and fire inspector
  • Engineer
  • Police officer or detective
  • Fish and game warden
  • Forest ranger
  • Forensic science technician
  • And more!

Whether you enjoy the rush of emergency response or the predictability of conducting fire inspections in commercial and residential buildings, a fire science degree can prepare you for a satisfying day-to-day work life and career.

5. You Can Work 9 to 5 — or Not

Because fire science can be so broadly applied to such a wide variety of jobs, whether you’re looking forward to working a 9 to 5 job, or you loathe the prospect, you can find something within the field of fire safety and science that works for you. Few industries allow for such a variety of types of work and hours, which is yet one more reason why a degree in fire science is a good move for the right person.

Live your childhood fantasy of becoming a firefighter, or your adult fantasy of working as a game warden, by obtaining a degree in fire science.


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