A master’s degree may not give you that extra salary bump over an undergraduate degree, according to this new survey.
- The difference between starting salaries for those with a master’s and those with a bachelor’s degree is shrinking.
- In 2021, an employee with a master’s degree earned approximately 22% more than one with a bachelor’s degree. That’s a decrease from 26% the year before, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
- This is the fifth year in a row the gap between salaries has shrunk.
- The change is primarily caused by increased compensation for bachelor’s degrees that is not matched for those with master’s degrees.
Why it’s news
There was a time when a master’s degree was viewed as an investment, but now companies looking to save money are searching for employees with bachelor’s degrees. As the demand for these employees increases, salaries increase as well.
Additionally, more students are considering whether or not the cost of higher education is truly worth it. College and tuition fees have doubled in the last 30 years while salaries have not.
Inflation is also cutting into salaries at every level. Adjusting for inflation, the average starting salary for someone with a bachelor’s dropped by 2.9% and salaries for those with a master’s dropped by 5.6%.
Interestingly, those with an associate degree saw a 2.4% increase.