7 Best Master’s Degrees for Career Changers in 2024
Career change occurs for a number of reasons – salary, work flexibility, job dissatisfaction, or life goals. Finding the career that best suits the interests of an individual is not an easy process and sometimes very challenging.
Research is the first thing that you must do before changing your career. For some of the careers, professional training or qualifications are required.
According to recent research, most people will have 12 jobs during their lives. In recent years, 32 percent of people 25 to 44 years old had thought of changing their careers.
Based on data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Statistics Canada, the UK Office for National Statistics, polls conducted by several companies, and other surveys, Erudera provides a summary of some of the best professions for career changers in 2024 and salaries for these occupations.
- 52 percent of employees in the United States considered changing careers in 2021.
- A Washington Post-Schar School poll revealed that 1 in 3 US employees under 40 thought of changing their job since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
- A marketing manager earns around $142,170 annually.
- The information security analyst job market is expected to grow by 31 percent in 2029.
7 Best Master’s Degrees for Career Change
Here is the list of the 7 best master's degrees for career change, according to Erudera:
1. Master's in Finance
A master’s degree in finance allows you to gain knowledge and understanding of accounting analysis, financial economics, finance concepts, modeling, and reporting.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in finance mainly include financial analyst, accountant and auditor, financial manager, and more. The amount that employees in these positions earn per year reaches $83,660, $73,560, and $134,180 each. Some of the other jobs you can do in the field of finance include the following:
- Insurance officer
- Business consultant
- Commercial banker
- Investment banker
2. Master's in Marketing
Marketing nowadays is among the top industries as it offers many job opportunities, from freelance to becoming an entrepreneur. Therefore, a master’s in marketing seems to be very beneficial.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics have shown that, on average, a marketing professional earns around $100,000 annually, sales managers $132,290, while the annual salary of a marketing manager is $142,170.
By studying marketing, you have the chance to learn about different strategies, decision-making processes, designing, campaigns, and more. In addition, a degree in marketing will also help you advance skills in promoting products as well as pricing negotiation.
In an interview with Erudera, Louise Alarie, a student from France who finished her Bachelor studies three years ago, said that she decided to make a career switch amid the COVID-19 pandemic because the future felt hopeless.
“I have decided to make a career switch amid the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve been doing an internship in a recruitment company which I thought I was enjoying and gaining skills and knowledge from.
However, when the COVID-19 started to spread, we were sent to work remotely, and the volume of work in our department started to decrease. Back then, I was also struggling with my income and feeling hopeless for the future; hence, I decided to switch to marketing as it offers various focus areas.
I have now decided to study for a Master’s in Marketing in Germany, and I have a complete picture of what I am going to do,” Louise told Erudera.
3. Master's in Business Administration
A Master of Business Administration may also pave the way for a very successful career. Prospective Students Survey from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), revealed that 36 percent of applicants studied master’s in Business Administration (MBA) during 2019 to change their profession, while another 27 percent said they enrolled in the program to change the degree.
Last year, a survey carried out by Harris Poll exclusively for Fast Company revealed that 52 percent of US employees considered changing their jobs in 2021 while 44 percent said that they were already taking the next steps.
4. Master's in Nursing
If you are amongst those who want to be challenged in their job as well as to receive a good payment, you may want to consider nursing.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing careers are expected to rise by more than 45 percent during the next decade. On average, a nurse earns around $75,330, whereas the annual salary of advanced practice nurses stands at $117,670.
5. Master's in Education
Career changers should also consider a master’s degree in education as it offers many good job opportunities, and a Master’s can help to advance more in the field.
Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the average salary of high school teachers stands at $62,870, while for postsecondary education administrators, the salary on average is around $97,500.
6. Master's in Cyber Security
For all those who show proficiency in programming or knowledge of operating systems, a master’s in cybersecurity might pave the way for the successful career they always dreamed of.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the information security analyst job market is expected to increase by 31 percent in 2029.
7. Master's in Software Engineering
A master’s in the field could be a good choice for those who have computer and technology knowledge. Advanced computer science programs can further help students gain technical skills which will also serve them well in any other industry.
Luckily, there are several master programs that do not require applicants to have an undergraduate degree in the field in order to enroll in a Master's degree and are also open to students without work experience in the field.
If you are one of those people who are interested in mathematics and have problem-solving skills, at the same time you want to change careers and become an engineer, you will most likely have to earn a Master’s degree in engineering.
According to data, the average entry-level and experience salary per year in the United States for these top degrees is shown in the table below.
|Average Entry - Salary
|Average Experience Salary (2-3 Years)
|Between $55,103 and $66,903
|Education / Elementary School
|Between $64,793 and $80,182
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the median weekly earnings of 116.3 million full-time wage and salary workers in the US were $1,010 in the fourth quarter of 2021.
On the other hand, in the UK, the average weekly earnings for full-time employees stood at £585 in April 2019, increasing by 2.9 percent since April 2018, according to the data about employee earnings in the United Kingdom in 2019 published by the Office for National Statistics, the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority.
Meanwhile, according to Statistics Canada, in 2018, the average salary per hour in some of these top fields now recommended for career changers stood as follows:
|Average hourly wage
|Business and Finance
|Sales Support Occupations
|Business and Finance Administration
As of September 2021, the average salary in Canada was $65,773.
It Is Never Too Late to Follow Your Dreams - How People at 30 Benefit From These Degrees
Age is indeed just a number, and it is never too late to change your career, study master’s, and obtain a degree. In fact, there are many advantages for people who make a career change at 30 or above.
Before deciding to shift careers at 30, it is also important to understand the things that you don’t enjoy in your current job and what is triggering the idea of a new career path. Researching is the next step as you may want to see whether your experience and skills are required in the new job.
Among the abovementioned careers, nursing and education can best fit people at 30 or above as both require maturity and experience.
Other careers for people at the age of 30 or above include:
- Personal trainer
- School counselor
- Life coach
Advice for Career Changers
Gent Ukehajdaraj from Erudera, an education search platform, says that although the career change is a difficult process, it is also very necessary for personal and professional fulfillment. According to Ukehajdaraj, if you are considering a career change, a good place to start is to understand where you are and where you want to be.
“There are a few things to keep in mind if you want to change your career path. One of my first tips as an education expert is to understand the reason why you want to make a career change. Speaking from experience, a lot of people started to miss their old profession, so be sure whether you are ready to switch jobs,” Ukehajdaraj said.
For those who are thinking to make a career change right now, Ukehajdaraj noted that they must be doing the following steps:
- Assess their interests, values, and skills
- Do a lot of research
- Find a mentor or someone who can assist
- Work every day towards their goal
You may want to change careers for different reasons - because you need a change in your profession or a new challenge, your talent and passion are in another field, for a better salary, work-life balance, because your job is stressful or your work environment is toxic.
Whatever the reason, before you decide to change your career, keep in mind that this process is not easy, but if you are not satisfied with the job you are doing, it is necessary.
Start by visiting the websites of universities located in the country where you live and see what majors/degrees they offer or search for coaching programs that can help you strengthen your skills in the field you are interested in.