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This story originally appeared on Zippia.com.

Over 1 in 4 employed people now have a bachelor's degree, an all-time high. In such a competitive and saturated job market, it can be difficult to stand out from employers.

Acquiring a master’s degree is an opportunity to stand out from the crowd and unlock career paths that are otherwise difficult to enter. However, given the time and financial investment it takes to obtain a degree, it is important to choose the right one.

The people here at Zippia did the research, so you don't have to. We've compiled a list of the highest paying masters degrees to help accelerate your income and career.

The main criterion in classifying this list was income. However, we have tried to include grades from different areas to address all interests and skills.

1. Nursing anesthesia

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Nurse anesthetists administer anesthesia to patients during medical procedures that require it. They are key team members working with surgeons, dentists, and other qualified health professionals.

A master’s degree in nursing anesthesia also opens the way to becoming a certified anesthetist (CRNA) with further training. CRNAs are consistently among the highest in nursing jobs in the United States, with average salaries in excess of $ 180,000.

Anaesthesiology is a particularly high-paying area in Texas and Florida.

The healthcare industry is expected to grow rapidly over the next decade and the growth potential of this career is high.

National average salary: $ 176,386

2. Information technology

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A Masters in Information Technology opens up a wide range of careers in information technology management.

This includes roles such as IT risk manager, chief technology officer, and data analysis manager. The common responsibilities of these careers are designing, implementing, and overseeing systems that contain customer or company information.

National average salary: $ 121,769

3. Business Administration

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A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is one of the most useful and flexible degrees available.

You will acquire both theoretical and practical training in managing and operating companies. Leadership and teamwork skills as well as the peculiarities of budget management and strategic thinking are taught.

In addition to starting businesses, graduates apply their degrees in specific fields such as marketing, accounting, and finance.

MBAs also use their critical thinking and collaboration skills to thrive in completely independent fields.

This degree is often found by executives in high-paying positions in states like Massachusetts.

National average salary: $ 114,083

4. Finances

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Although less flexible than an MBA, a Masters in Finance is perfect for those looking to specialize in the field.

You will acquire the skills to handle investments, trade securities and manage risks.

With this degree, many students can get investment banking jobs at top institutions right after leaving school. Other careers include financial analysts and consultants.

National average salary: $ 108,518

5. Software development

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Software development is an area where demonstration of skills can make up for the lack of formal degrees.

However, once you have these skills, getting a Masters in Software Engineering can help you stand out from the crowd.

You will immerse yourself in software systems and architectures, learn complex algorithms and refine your basic programming skills.

This degree opens doors to competitive roles in top companies and helps you advance your career quickly.

National average salary: $ 107,366

6. Nursing

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Masters degrees in nursing typically offer many specializations, each leading to the highest-paying career paths.

Nurses are responsible for diagnosing diseases, prescribing drugs and treatments, and educating their patients about how to maintain their health.

Popular specialties include women's nursing, family care, and pediatric care.

In addition to specializations, graduates have many options with regard to their work attitude.

Nurses often work under the supervision of doctors in hospitals and clinics. You can also start your own independent practice or become a consultant.

This degree is highly valued in states like North Carolina, where the highest paying jobs are related to health care.

National average salary: $ 107,076

7. Electrical engineering

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A Masters in Electrical Engineering allows one to specialize in skills that are in great demand with employers. Such specializations include computing, photonics, and circuits.

This opens the way to high paying careers like genetics, communications, and computer hardware engineering.

Computer specializations are particularly flexible, allowing you to work for top companies in a wide variety of industries.

National average salary: USD 104,119

8. Statistics

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This degree will help you develop and strengthen a foundation in statistical theory. You will also learn how to apply statistical methods to businesses and use related technologies and software tools.

Your skills will be desired wherever decisions and data analysis are important.

As describes most companies in all fields, a Masters in Statistics offers extreme flexibility.

Statisticians are in demand in countless areas, including areas that are not directly related to mathematics. Such areas include marketing, public health, and medicine.

National average salary: $ 104,009

9. Medical assistant

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Medical assistants are essential members of the medical teams that support surgeons and doctors. They work in facilities such as clinics, hospitals and laboratories.

Responsibilities include evaluating patients, ordering diagnostic tests, and prescribing medications and treatment plans.

In addition to acquiring expertise in anatomy, pathology, and patient care, you'll have the opportunity to specialize in over a dozen areas.

Such specializations include:

  • dermatology
  • Emergency medicine
  • Intensive care
  • Hospital medicine
  • Addiction medicine

High employment growth is expected in this field over the next ten years. The average age of the population is rising steadily, which will lead to a higher demand for specialized health care.

This job is one of the highest paid in California and Louisiana.

National average salary: $ 103,648

10. Economy

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Many assume that business graduates are only involved in research and become professors or economists.

In fact, business is one of the most flexible disciplines there is, opening up opportunities for employment in dozens of areas.

Economists receive expert knowledge of complex economic and financial situations. You will learn to analyze complex systems and interpret data.

These are universally useful skills that enable business graduates to work as statisticians, consultants, market researchers, and more.

11. Chemical engineering

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Graduates with this degree acquire knowledge of the most important chemical-technical concepts such as fluid dynamics, mass and energy transfer and stoichiometry.

Chemical engineering is also an increasingly multidisciplinary field. Specializations allow you to focus on related areas such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and process engineering.

These skills are in great demand with pharmaceutical, power generation and oil exploration companies.

National average salary: $ 93,454

12. Physics

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Physics graduates have critical skills for a variety of engineering and research careers.

Your understanding of complex physical systems and math enables you to work in fields such as mechanical engineering, aerospace and defense, and nanotechnology.

The problem-solving and software skills you have acquired also enable you to transition into areas such as software engineering and data analysis.

Several specialization options can broaden the spectrum of viable careers. Examples are medical, nuclear and telecommunications-related areas.

National average salary: $ 91,080

13. Petroleum engineering

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With a Masters in Petroleum Engineering, you can not only work as a petroleum engineer, but also careers in geology, prospecting and geophysics.

As a student, you will acquire specialist knowledge on topics such as reservoir analysis, liquid flow and petroleum production.

National average salary: $ 82,330

14. Computer science

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This degree enables professionals to gain a head start in today's technology-driven economy. Computer science graduates are in great demand in almost all companies and industries.

Students strengthen their basic programming and computing skills by studying areas such as databases, advanced algorithms, and computer architecture.

Other areas of specialization are available, including artificial intelligence, data analytics, and network security.

Employment growth in this area is expected to continue over the next decade.

National average salary: $ 81,680

15. Industrial management

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Students in master’s courses in industrial management can expect to strengthen their core competencies in business and engineering. You will also acquire expertise on topics related to operations and productions.

Example topics are controlling, production systems and operational management.

Graduates have successful careers as industrial, manufacturing and supply chain managers in a variety of fields.

These fields include:

  • Plastic manufacturing
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Electronics manufacturing
  • To press

National average salary: $ 80,200

16. Applied Mathematics

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A Masters in Applied Mathematics is an extremely flexible degree.

Students have in-depth problem solving and analysis skills. You will also develop skills in specific areas such as computer science, numerical analysis, and combinatorics.

These strong analytical and math skills enable graduates to enter a wide variety of careers.

Some examples are:

  • Chemist
  • Software developer
  • Operations manager
  • Mechanical engineer

Applied math graduates have seen rapid employment growth in any economy as their widespread skills allow them to move into the growing industries.

National average salary: $ 79,815

17. Marketing

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In addition to basic marketing skills, students take courses in finance, database management, and strategic planning. You can also specialize in areas like branding and digital marketing.

Marketing graduates are valued by both marketing agencies and large companies with internal departments. They work as a sales, relationship and advertising manager, to name a few.

Businesses are always trying to reach larger audiences, target certain demographics, and convert sales. For this reason, employment growth in this area is expected to be above average for the next decade.

National average salary: $ 79,175

18. Health care administration

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Graduates lead high-paying careers in health management. Such roles include:

  • CFO of the hospital
  • Hospital administrator
  • Health Information Manager

Students are taught the interdisciplinary factors required to manage medical facilities.

This includes health-related topics such as health information systems, management of health operations and strategic planning of the health care system.

You will also learn general management and business principles, as well as leading and organizing staff.

These skills are especially valued in states like New York and Minnesota, where the highest-paying careers are all related to health care.

National average salary: $ 77,528

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