Salary Differentials Show Value of Earning a Master’s Degree for Class of 2022 Graduates

September 25, 2023 | By Kevin Gray

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Summer 2023 Salary Survey

Summer 2023 Salary Survey
NACE members can access the Summer 2023 Salary Survey through MyNACE.


What is the value of earning an advanced degree? In terms of salary, some Class of 2022 graduates benefited significantly by earning a master’s degree, according to results of NACE’s Summer 2023 Salary Survey.

The mean salary for general business majors at the bachelor’s degree level was $65,246. However, Class of 2022 master’s grads in general business earned a mean salary of $110,700—a staggering 70% higher. (See Figure 1.)

Six other majors had mean salary differentials between bachelor’s and master’s graduate that exceeded 50%, including clinical counseling and applied psychology; computer software and media applications; business administration/management; allied health diagnostic, intervention, and treatment professions; biology; and communication disorders sciences.

More information about outcomes for the Class of 2022 will be available later this fall with the release of results from NACE’s annual First-Destination Survey.

Figure 1

Data in this figure represent base salaries only for the Class of 2022 and do not include bonuses, commissions, fringe benefits, or overtime rates. Data were gathered from Class of 2022 graduates through December 31, 2022, and reported to NACE through May 25, 2023. The salary data were reported to NACE through its national Class of 2022 First-Destination Survey by approximately 346 colleges and universities nationwide, and represent data for almost 828,516 graduates at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree levels.


blank default headshot of a user Kevin Gray is an associate editor at NACE. He can be reached at