The Best Paid MBA Concentrations


However, there are a handful of specialties where Master’s compensation is equivalent to – or higher than – MBA compensation. They include: Project Management ($107,800 vs. $92,100) and Supply Chain Management ($108,000 vs. $108,200).

The findings for starting and mid-career salaries from business doctorate degrees were mixed. The highest starting and mid-career salaries from the doctoral space came from Economics at $95,900 and $127,900, with MBAs earning $3,900 more by mid-career than doctorate holders. The only other business-related doctoral program was Business Administration, where degree holders earned $78,600 and $108,000 respectively.


Despite earning higher wages – MBAs held 13 of the top 30 mid-career salaries – they weren’t particularly enthused about their work. The highest satisfaction came from MBAs in Health Care Management, where 82% answered “Yes” to whether their work makes the world a better place. That tied for 50th place among all degrees. The next highest? That would be Health Care Administration at 80%. After that, you won’t find an MBA concentration until Human Resources Management (65%) , Business Management and Human Resources Management at (61%), Operations Management (59%), and Project Management (59%).


However, you’ll find several MBA specialties near the bottom of the list, including Marketing and International Business (35%), Information Systems (39%), Economics (43%), Accounting (45%), Supply Chain Management (45%), Information Technology (45%), Marketing and Communications (46%), and Business and Marketing (46%). Strategy – the highest-salaried field – came in at 49%.

Alas, it isn’t just MBAs who are unhappy, as the bottom is also littered with graduates holding business-related master’s degrees, including Taxation (29%), International Business (33%), Accounting (36%), Accounting and Taxation (38%), Business and Marketing (39%), Finance (40%), and Economics (41%). Those numbers were actually lower than those of lawyers (42%), often cited as the unhappiest profession.

That said, these numbers correlate with a recent Gallup survey, which found that professionals with business-related undergraduate degrees are often the most disengaged employees in the workplace

The people who found the most meaning from work held master’s degrees in areas like Communicative Disorders (95%), Pastoral Ministry (95%), Community Health Education (94%), Physical Therapy (93%), and Divinity (92%).

To review the top MBA, and master’s degree salaries by concentration, continue to the next pages.


Top 10 Compensation

Rank Major Degree Type Early Career Salary Mid-Career Salary Percentage of High Job Meaning
  1  Petroleum  Engineering  Master’s  Degree  $102,800  $187,600  69%
  2  Nurse  Anesthesia  Master’s  Degree  $140,900  $162,800  87%
  3  Computer  Engineering  Doctorate  Degree  $108,100  $150,000  NA
  4  Electrical and  Computer  Engineering  Doctorate  Degree  $103,200  $145,100  64%
  5  Strategy  MBA  Degree  $92,200  $145,000  49%
  6  Electrical  Engineering  Doctorate  Degree  $99,100  $141,400  66%
  7  General and  Strategic  Management  MBA  Degree  $81,800  $140,700  58%
  8  Computer Science  Doctorate  Degree  $110,800  $140,600  66%
  9  Chemical  Engineering  Doctorate  Degree  $91,900  $139,300  63%
 10  Juris Doctorate  JD  Degree  $66,100  $139,000  42%

Source: PayScale

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