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Aug 3 2017

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Undergraduate Degree Vs. Graduate Degree: Income and Salary Comparison

Undergraduate vs. Graduate Degree Salary

In general, graduates of master’s degree programs earn more than those with an undergraduate degree in similar positions. Overall, however, individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn slightly more than individuals with a master’s degree. Individuals with a professional or doctoral degree earn around $30,000 more than either.

According to 2014 data from the United States Department of Labor, U.S. workers with a bachelor’s degree earned a median salary of $69,260, while U.S. workers with a master’s degree earned a median salary of $65,330. Meanwhile, someone with a doctoral or professional degree could expect to earn around $98,940.

Salaries for college graduates vary by subject, as well as the level of degree earned. However an individual with a master’s degree can expect to earn more than an individual with a bachelor’s degree in a similar position. For instance, according to the 2015-2016 College Salary Report done by Payscale, an accountant with a bachelor’s degree earned an average salary of $46,900. Meanwhile an accountant with a master’s degree earned an average salary of $55,600.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Salary Comparison

The table below shows the average starting salaries according to Payscale’s 2015-2016 College Salary Report:

  • Doctorate
      • Ph.D. in Business Administration
      • Ph.D. Health Sciences
      • Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
      • Ph.D. in Educational Leadership
  • Master
      • Master of Arts in Education
      • Master of Business Administration
      • Master of Science in Health Sciences
      • Master of Science in Human Resources Management
      • Master of Science in Information Technology Management
      • Master of Science in Emergency and Disaster Management

Get Started with Trident University

4 Strayer University

Minimum eligibility requirements:
  • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
School locations:

Get Started with Strayer University

5 Concordia University Portland

Minimum eligibility requirements:
  • Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree or higher.
School locations:
  • Doctorate
      • EdD in Educational Administration
      • EdD in Teacher Leadership
      • EdD in Higher Education
      • EdD in Transformational Leadership
      • Ed.D. Professional Leadership, Inquiry, and Transformation
  • Master
      • MEd in Curriculum & Instruction – Leadership
      • M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction – Online Teaching and Learning
      • M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction – STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math)
      • MEd in Curriculum & Instruction – Methods & Curriculum
      • M.Ed in Curriculum & Instruction – Common Core State Standards
      • M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction – Early Childhood Education

Get Started with Concordia University Portland

6 Colorado Technical University

Minimum eligibility requirements:
  • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
School locations:

Get Started with Colorado Technical University

7 Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Minimum eligibility requirements:
  • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
School locations:
  • Master
      • Master of Arts in Health and Human Services Administration
      • Master of Arts in Human Resource Management
      • Master of Arts in International Development
      • Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership
      • Master of Arts in Special Education
      • Master of Science in Accountancy

Get Started with Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

8 Herzing University

Minimum eligibility requirements:
  • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
School locations:

Get Started with Herzing University

9 University of Delaware

Minimum eligibility requirements:
  • Applicants to University of Delaware online programs must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Additional requirements may vary by program.
School locations:
  • Master
      • Online Master of Public Administration
      • Master of Business Administration
      • Master of Business Administration – Finance
      • Master of Business Administration – Healthcare Concentration
      • Master of Business Administration – International Business
      • Master of Business Administration – Triple Concentration

Get Started with University of Delaware

10 Wilkes University

Minimum eligibility requirements:
  • Applicants to the RN to MS programs must have an Associate’s degree or higher. All other Master’s programs require a Bachelor’s or higher. The DNP program requires a Minimum of a Master’s degree.
School locations:

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