Every year, close to a million students, both domestic and international, apply for various Masters degree programs offered by the universities in the US. For some, an MS degree implies foray in the field of further research and knowledge, while for others, it is a shortcut for getting high paying jobs in the country after successful completion of the degree.
It is for the students belonging to the latter category that this post primarily applies to. This is so because for research and knowledge oriented student, the importance of the Masters degree is not measured by the salary or the job remuneration. However, for those pursuing Masters with the ultimate intention to land a high paying job and decent standard of living, it is important that they carry out their own research regarding the job market conditions.
Jobs after Masters in US
There are plenty of jobs for the MS graduates and the average salary is between $50,000 and $80,000. For IT professionals and researchers in embedded systems and radiation technology, the salary can be up to $113,000, depending upon the experience and years spent in research.
The job market is indeed upbeat and a simple search at payscale.com will give sufficient information about the salary of jobs for professional with MS degree in different field. The best end of the spectrum is occupied by the computer research and IT professional, the best of whom earn a six figure salary, but not all of them.
Feasibility Analysis: The Return on MS investment
When we talk about investment, that is the cost of doing MS in the US, it is pretty much clear that we take into account not only the tuition fee, but also the boarding expenses and the overall cost of living there for two years. In our post of the cost of doing Masters in the US, we calculated the semester wise cost to be between $35,000 and $50,000. This means that, for the two years course in a Masters degree program in the US, you will have to pay around $80,000 to $100,000.
The amount can shoot up to $110,000 for students with cars or those staying in tier I cities like NYC, San Francisco etc where the cost of living is very high.
Staying in the US with a Job
Let us work with a median salary of $50,000 for the MS degree holders and then see how much saving is possible to be made every month:
- First things first: tax of 33% is levied on the income, which means that the total disposable income remaining after tax deduction is $33,500. This means roughly $2800 per month.
- From $2800, the expenditure on accommodation and living expenses is around $1500 to $1800, including the automobile maintenance and other ancillary expenses.
- The average savings per month is between $1000 and $1100, which can be ruined in case of medical or health contingencies with no insurance coverage.
- The above figure also does not take into account the sum that goes towards the payment of loan installments, if you had taken any for your MS education in the US.
This is a rather tricky question and even after considering all the data given above, one cannot precisely state this. If the cost of MS education is $50,000 (after scholarships and loans) for two years, then with average salary of $50,000 and per month saving of $1000 (without the payment of the loan installment), it will take the students more than four years to recover the cost of education completely.
With payment of loan installments, it might take longer and a single short way of improving the return on investment on MS education in the US is to try for as many scholarships as possible. Studies indicate that it is possible to fund the MS degree program 100 percent through fellowships and scholarships.
The bottom line of the entire feasibility analysis is that an MS degree in the US is profitable only if the cost of education is minimized through scholarships and the person is able to get a high paying job, so as to maintain is decent standard of living and save good amount of money every month.