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U.S. - average salary for graduates, by discipline 2020

In 2020, it was found that people in the United States with a Master’s degree in Computer Science had the highest average starting salary, at 79,793 U.S. dollars. People who held a Master’s degree in Math and Sciences had the second highest starting salary, at 79,717 U.S. dollars.

An abundance of Masters

As higher education in the United States has become more common, and even expected, the number of Master’s degrees awarded has increased. During the 1949-50 academic year, about 58,180 Master’s degrees were awarded to students, with the vast majority being earned by male students. In the 2016-17 academic year, this figure increased to about 804,680 Master’s degrees awarded, with the majority being earned by female students.

The right career

While Computer Science might have the highest starting pay for Master’s degree holders, those with a Master’s in Finance had the highest mid-career median pay in 2019. Engineering continues to be one of the most popular fields for those seeking their Master’s degree, and STEM fields continue to dominate the field in number of Master’s degrees awarded.

Projected starting salaries for master’s degree graduates in the United States in 2020, by discipline

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Release date

January 2020


United States

Survey time period

September 16 to December 2, 2019

Number of respondents

134 respondents

Special properties

Master's degree holder

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Statistics on "Higher education graduation in the U.S."

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