Top 13 Master Programs of The Future.

Updated on: June 13th, 2023

November 19th 2022

Ontology Of Value Top-13-Master-Programs-of-The-Future-1024x683 Top 13 Master Programs of the Future All Posts For Undergraduates Job Market Analysis and Predictions

This text was fully written by humans.


  • The job market is currently developing faster than we, as professionals, can follow, skill-wise. In this situation, many high-school students wonder: does it pay off to study in the first place?

  • In this article, we answer the following questions: If to study, which majors to choose? What are the jobs of the future? How to make sure that the skills acquired during studies will pay off later on?

  • We list the top 13 Master Programs that will guarantee you a great professional future with the highest degree of certainty.

Table of Contents

  1. Which Master Program To Choose in the Unstable Job Market?
  2. The Major Pitfall When Choosing a Master Program.
  3. So, Which Master Programs Lead To Good Long-Term Prospects in the Job Market?
    1. Master Program in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).
    2. Master Program in Data Science.
    3. Master Program in (Aero)Space Engineering.
    4. Master Program in Cybersecurity.
    5. Master Program in Biotechnology.
    6. Master Program of Science in Nursing (MSN).
    7. Master Program in Public Health.
    8. Master Program for Physician Associates (PA).
    9. Master Program in International Corporate Law.
    10. Master Program in International Intellectual Property Law.
    11. Master Program in Human Resource Management.
    12. Master Program in International Sales Management.
    13. Master Program in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.
  4. Conclusion: Specialistic Versus Operational Majors.
  5. What Competencies Will Be Valued in The Future?
  6. Which Professions Are The Most Prospective In Today’s Job Market?

Which Master Program To Choose in the Unstable Job Market?

The Covid-19 outbreak, the new trends such as the arrival of web3 and Metaverse, or turmoil in financial markets impacted the job market in many ways. Let’s be real — the job market is currently developing faster than we, as professionals, can follow, skill-wise. In this situation, many high-school students wonder: does it pay off to study in the first place?

Young professionals representing generation Z, also known as “boomers,” no longer believe in the role of the public education system in their life success and don’t trust higher education in general. They are eager to learn and start careers on their own rather than spending most creative years of their lives and often, getting in a massive debt, during the years spent at the university.

In fact, there are many exciting careers that can guarantee you a shiny future in the job market and yet, they do not require a college degree. We listed examples of such career paths in our article “High Paying Jobs Without Degree: How To Start a Career Without Higher Education?

Additionally, there are multiple support programs and fellowships actively encouraging young people to quit studies (!). For instance, the famous Peter Thiel Fellowship program offers young people from all around the world a two-year fellowship worth $100,000 to support their work on their own business idea, but only under the condition that they will drop their public education.

In this article, however, we assume that as a reader, you chose to study. And if to study, which major to choose and what are the jobs of the future? How to make sure that the skills acquired during studies will pay off later on, regardless of the direction in which the job market will develop?

The Major Pitfall When Choosing a Master Program.

One major pitfall while choosing a Master Program is the confusion between the directions popular among students today versus the directions that give viable opportunities for the future.

For instance, one of the hottest Master programs is “Ethics in AI” or “Digital Transformation and Innovation” offered by many prestigious universities such as Cambridge University or Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

One might think that this major gives great perspectives as it is a discipline on the edge of technological innovation and social sciences. But in fact, what is the demand for “ethics in AI” or “sustainability in AI” experts in the job market? Almost none.

With such qualifications, you can find positions in a few public institutions oriented at supporting innovation, as well as in a few large corporations in IT that will hire you as a PR person. That’s it.

The same holds for many popular majors related to sustainability or social impact, such as Master Program in Social Impact Assessment, Social Sustainability Studies, Applied Sustainability Management and such. They won’t teach you any viable skills that would open doors and your employment opportunities will be limited.

This misconception comes from the fact that on the media, a lot of attention is put into sustainability. Virtually any business pitches itself as a green, pro-environment, and sustainable organization. However, it does not mean that investing into sustainability is their focus!

The keyword, or rather buzzword “sustainability” has become an expected element of the public relations strategy in almost any sector of the industry. Terms such as “sustainability” or “ethics in business” help in creating trust and building a bond with the company’s clients or audience. But it doesn’t mean that businesses are interested in hiring sustainability experts on full time contracts.

Of course, if “sustainability” or “ethics in business” are your passions and you are willing to study in this direction, you are welcome to. Just please make sure that this is not a main focus of your studies, but rather, a secondary study following a major that gives you some practical skill.

So, Which Master Programs Lead To Good Long-Term Prospects in the Job Market?

And as a matter of fact, most master programs that turn out useful, are hard to study and require lots of focus and effort or sound boring at first. 

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that prospective Master Programs are primarily related to science, data science, healthcare sector, and IT industry. The report on the study majors leading to best-paid jobs today, the NCSEF Survey of Earned Doctorates, reveals the same trends:

Ontology Of Value Post-PhD-salaries Top 13 Master Programs of the Future All Posts For Undergraduates Job Market Analysis and Predictions
Median annual salary of doctorate recipients with definite commitments in the United States, by position type and broad field: 2021, source: NCSEF Survey of Earned Doctorates

Next to prospective salaries, you might also be willing to consider the range of applications associated with your major of interest. The closer to “the core of the map of science,” the more applications your knowledge will have:

In this article, we review 13 examples of master programs in various disciplines that will give you a great start into the job market — regardless of how it will change within the next decade.

1. Master Program in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).

The term “Human-Computer Interaction” comes from a book published in the 80s, The Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction. How to create a user-friendly interface? By creative work while developing an application, whether it’s coding, graphic design, or making a 3D model, there are many factors you may want to consider. 

Studies in Human-Computer Interaction can help you develop more user-friendly interfaces and applications. In these studies, you collect massive data based on human factors focusing on the user’s experience and cognition. All senses, especially sound, sight, and touch, need to be considered. Ensuring that your application is practical for a variety of users is necessary to creating a more user-friendly experience.

Which Jobs Can You Get After a Master Program in HCI?

  • Tech Startup Founder
  • Project Manager
  • Software Engineer
  • User Interaction (UI) Designer
  • UX Designer
  • HCI Research Scientist
  • Product Designer
  • User Experience (UX) Consultant
  • Information Architect
  • Systems Engineer
  • Computer Programmer

How Much Do HCI Degree Holders Earn?

According to Glassdoor, an average HCI earns an estimated up to $90,007 annually in the USA. Nevertheless, there are more chances of increasing volume in earning of HCI in the future.

2. Master Program in Data Science.

Data science means exploring massive datasets using advanced computational tools and methods to discover previously unknown patterns, extract valuable insights, and facilitate business decisions. The data used for analysis might come from various sources, either inside or outside of the company, and be presented in various ways.

The influence of Data Science has grown over the past decade. Organizations started using advanced analytic tactics to develop better products and services, and increase customer satisfaction.

Of course, you don’t need studies in Data Science to start working as a Data Scientist. However, such studies will greatly help you understand the machine learning algorithms and AI protocols on a deeper level.

You will not only learn which packages and commands to use in order to solve certain problem but also, why it is so and what the limitations are. This is what the top players in IT such as Google require from their prospective employees.

You can find more information on starting a career as a Data Scientist in our article ”5 Steps To Build a Career in Data Science and Land Top Data Science Jobs.”

Which Jobs Can You Get After a Master Program in Data Science?

  • Big Data Engineer
  • Data Architect
  • Statistician
  • Data Analyst
  • Database Administrator (DBA)
  • Business Intelligence (BI) Analyst
  • Machine Learning Engineer

How Much Do Data Scientists Earn?

As you can see, there are vast job opportunities for stable placement, from prominent data engineers to machine learning engineers, and their salaries vary from $98,247 to $134,290.

3. Master Program in (Aero)Space Engineering.

Space industry dynamically develops these days: after the market success of SpaceX, the industry grew beyond public institutions such as NASA. And, according to Citi, it will reach $1 trillion in 2040.

Similarly, aviation now contributes more than $700 billion to the global GDP and is projected to grow further in the next decades. No wonder that the demand for (Aero)Space Engineers will only increase.

Which Jobs Can You Get After a Master Program in (Aero)Space Engineering?

  • Aerospace Systems Analyst
  • Mechanical Design Engineer
  • Research Engineer
  • Senior Manufacturing Engineer
  • Quality Engineer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Aerospace Quality Manager

How Much Do (Aero)Space Engineers Earn?

According to Glassdoor, an average (Aero)Space Engineer based in the US earns $95,909 a year.

4. Master Program in Cybersecurity.

Protecting Intellectual Property is the pillar of international business and politics, and today, 95,909. Are you good material for a hacker and would you like to use your talents on behalf of society? You might be a material for a cybersecurity expert!

The Master in Cyber Security is a degree in Computer Science that includes studying communication networks and technologies, including legal and ethical issues in computer security. You have the opportunity to learn about forensic issues and safety policies that help find the source of hacks and prevent hacks in the future.

Which Jobs Can You Get After a Master Program in Cybersecurity?

  • Security Analyst
  • Security Engineer
  • Penetration Tester
  • Product Security Engineer
  • Security Consultant
  • Software Security Engineer

5. Master Program in Biotechnology.

Experts in Medical Sciences are not going anywhere in the next few decades. Along with developments in medicine, we also suffer from civilization diseases such as cancer.

Studies in Biotechnology offer you a great starting point into a career in Medical Sciences. It is a combo of science, medicine, and engineering that will allow you to grow into many potential directions as a professional, and secure you well-paid jobs with a great future.

Which Jobs Can You Get After a Master Program in Biotechnology?

  • Agricultural Engineer
  • Biophysicist
  • Biochemist
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Nanoformulation Engineer
  • Biotechnology Laboratory Technician
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Epidemiologist
  • Microbiologist
  • Medical Writer
  • Medical Science Liaison

6. Master Program of Science in Nursing (MSN).

Due to the worldwide demand for nursing professionals, especially after the pandemic, becoming a nurse practitioner could be the right step toward a stable future. If you love to help others and you are thinking of joining the medical field, a Master Program of Science in Nursing is all you need to become a nurse practitioner.

Nurse practitioners are “super nurses” so to speak. They can diagnose and prescribe medication like a doctor, and they do not have to be under doctor supervision. In order to become an independent nurse practitioner, you will need to complete a Master Degree in Science in Nursing. Last year alone, 28,000 students graduated with this degree in the US.

Which Jobs Can You Get After a Master Program in MSN? 

  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Educator
  • Clinical Director of Education
  • Nurse Manager
  • Director of Nursing
  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Nursing Informatics Specialist
  • Nursing Simulation Coordinator

How Much Do Nurse Practitioners earn?

According to Glassdoor, nurse practitioners make $116,816 annually in the USA.

7. Master Program in Public Health.

Students pursuing a Master Program of Public Health (MPH) are prepared to protect and improve the health of whole geographical regions. Students learn how to address complex health issues that affect populations of residents, how to collaborate with professionals from many sectors, and educate the locals about optimal health care standards.

With an MPH degree, you will be able to evaluate data, drive public policies, study and evaluate public health hazards, or perform medical investigations.

CDC listed out 10 essential public health services in 2020. This list includes developing policies and researching ways to solve public health problems — where you will need your MPH master title.

Which Jobs Can You Get After a Master Program in Public Health?

  • Epidemiologist
  • Biostatistician
  • Health Informatics Specialist
  • Healthcare Administrator
  • Public Health Project Manager
  • Healthcare Consultant
  • Health and Safety Engineer

How Much Do Professionals After Master Program In Public Health Earn?

Now it depends which career direction you choose. An epidemiologist can earn roughly around $102,021, while a biostatistician earns up to $113,715 annually in the USA. The average income of candidates with a Master degree in public health is $116,371.

8. Master Program for Physician Associates (PA).

Physician Associates are interdisciplinary medical practitioners that work with doctors, general practitioners, and surgeons to provide medical treatment as part of multidisciplinary collaboration. They are dependent practitioners who operate under the supervision of a designated supervisor but can also function independently with sufficient assistance.

Which Jobs Can You Get After a Master Program in PA?

A Physician Associate is one type of job, typically working in public health institutions. However, it includes a variety of duties:

  • Taking medical histories from patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Diagnosing illnesses
  • Seeing patients with long-term chronic conditions
  • Performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
  • Analyzing test results
  • Developing management plans
  • Providing health promotion and disease prevention advice for patients.

How Much Do Physician Associates Earn?

According to Glassdoor, you can easily earn up to $109,262 annually in the USA.

9. Master Program in International Corporate Law.

Leading international business operations is getting complicated for many reasons, including complex political situations and global crisis looming on the horizon.

Trading with international clients is almost inevitable today, and the competition on the market is so harsh that business founders choose sophisticated legal structures to optimize the tax burden of the company and attract more investors. In this situation, corporate lawyers are in higher demand than ever before.

Studying law doesn’t need to be just a “safe option” or “continuing family tradition.” It can be fun and an adventure that keeps you in the center of events internationally.

Studying International Corporate Law gives you broad employment opportunities and more personal freedom as it doesn’t bind you to one geographical location in a way studying local law does.

As an International Corporate Lawyer, you will acquire a critical understanding of the main legal, economic and financial matters spanning the entire life-cycle of a corporation, developed in an international and interdisciplinary perspective.

You will be able to grasp the legal implications of transactions and policies involving international institutions and multinational corporations, and advise those entities to choose the optimal course of action.

Which Jobs Can You Get After a Master Program in International Corporate Law?

  • Lawyer or Attorney in a Legal Practice
  • Independent Business Lawyer, Attorney, or Legal Adviser with Their Own Law Office
  • Business Lawyer, Legal Adviser, or Financial Analyst at (International) Companies
  • Civil Servant or Policy Adviser at international public institutions, for example at the European Commission
  • Academic Teacher or Researcher

10. Master Program in International Intellectual Property Law.

Today, intellectual property gets more and more relevant. For most businesses worldwide, the main value of the business lies in their human capital and Intellectual Property rather than in their material assets. In these conditions, public and private organizations recognize that protecting IP is priceless.

So, what is Intellectual Property, or IP? The World Intellectual Property Organization (or, WIPO) is a self-funding agency of the United Nations that curates intellectual property services, policy, and information worldwide. According to WIPO, Intellectual Property, or IP, means “creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names, and images used in commerce.”

IP is a broad term. It covers copyrights, patents, trademarks, designs, and trade secrets. According to the International IP law, every author of a new concept, method, design, piece of art, or original text, automatically becomes the sole owner of the associated intellectual property — unless they grant another party a license to use it or sell their intellectual property, for instance to their employer in an exchange for salary. Of course, in practice, managing IP is very complex and requires specialized knowledge.

Which Jobs Can You Get After a Master Program in International Intellectual Property Law?

  • Intellectual Property Lawyer or Attorney in a Legal Practice
  • Patent Attorney in Chemical, Mechanical, IT, Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Patent Practice
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer or Patent Attorney in private companies,
  • Civil Servant or Intellectual Property Consultant in Copyright and Patent Law in government institutes and nonprofit organizations
  • Independent Intellectual Property Consultant
  • Academic Teacher or Researcher

11. Master Program in Human Resource Management.

Organizations are like living organisms and healthy teams are what makes organizations healthy. But now in the post-pandemic times of the Great Resignation also known as the Great Reshuffle, hiring staff is harder than ever.

Employers need to offer competitive working conditions in order to attract the best international talent. Many teams are not only remote but only multicultural and with a complex management structure.

So, what does an organization need to do in order to perform well? And how does human factor influence “good performance”? How can you discover and employ human capital in your organization to excel? Is that recruiting the best employees, investing in training and development, applying a supportive leadership style, giving employees autonomy, providing a smart remuneration policy, or a combination of all these elements?

As a Human Resource Manager, you have lots of duties in an organization. You need to identify what skills companies require, find professionals with the necessary skills and choose the top talent, train employees, manage compensation and benefits to retain high-performing employees, monitor organizational change and adjust recruitment policies accordingly.

Human Resource Management is a difficult but fascinating game. However, once you learn it, your employment opportunities will be almost unlimited, as every large organization — either public or private — needs experts in Human Resource Management, and most probably, this sort of job won’t ever be replaced by AI. So, if you enjoy looking for and developing talent in people, this job might be the right one for you!

Which Jobs Can You Get After a Master Program in Human Resource Management? 

  • VP of Human Resources
  • HR Practice Leader
  • Learning & Development Director
  • Organizational Development Director or Consultant
  • Compensation & Benefits Manager
  • Chief Learning Officer
  • Compensation, Benefits & Job Analysis Specialist
  • Human Resources Manager or Director
  • Industrial Relations Director
  • Labor Relations Consultant or Manager
  • Program Administrator or Evaluator
  • Training & Development Manager or Facilitator

12. Master Program in International Sales Management.

During the next decade or two, many jobs will be washed out from the market by Artificial Intelligence. But sales experts can certainly feel safe! As companies go global, it’s getting increasingly harder to be successful in sales without cultural intelligence.

Sales requires empathy, understanding of human needs and complex human relations, and the ability to persuade and negotiate with a wide variety of people.

But today, in the times of digitalization, the art of sales is also undergoing a deep transformation. Tools and methods developed around AI, big data, and social media, to mention a few, have become incorporated in the sales process.

Overall, today, international sales requires business and cultural intelligence, comprehensive understanding of cultural trends and often also knowledge in statistics and programming skills. A solid Master Program in International Sales Management would prepare you for this challenging but also fascinating career.

Which Jobs Can You Get After a Master Program in International Sales Management? 

  • Executive Sales Representative
  • Sales Consultant
  • Marketing Manager
  • Sales Department Manager
  • Sales Plan Developer

13. Master Program in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.

You might be asking yourself: why do people need professional negotiators? Well, negotiations are rarely a part of the standard school education. We live in a multicultural society, remote teams have become a standard, the labor law is becoming increasingly complex, biased social media deepen the differences in political views, and multiple arm conflicts go on in many parts of the world.

In this situation, professional negotiators are more wanted than ever before. So, if you feel that you are a good listener and an empathic person interested in culture and traveling, who has a natural tendency to take other people’s perspective, it might be a perfect career for you!

Which Jobs Can You Get After a Master Program in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution? 

  • Restorative Practitioner
  • Conflict Mediator
  • United Nations Civil Service Officer
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager
  • Policy Advocate
  • Customer Success Manager
  • Human Resources Specialist

Conclusion: Specialistic Versus Operational Majors.

To sum up, is there any rule that could help you choose the right major? Well, studying the job market is not rocket science. The job market is fluid. It changes so quickly that we can be sure that in just a few years from now, There will be tons of new, interesting professions out there — and Master Programs will adjust to that!

However, looking at the list above, one rule of thumb that you might think of while choosing your major might be: choose “operational” majors that will allow you influence the whole life cycle of an organization rather than specialistic majors. Such a choice will make you independent of the location and of the market sentiment.

As an example, it is better to become an expert in designing new employment policies ensuring equality, diversity, and lack of discrimination in international organizations rather than become an expert in the local working culture in Burma, with its history, traditions, and mentality. 

The first choice will allow you work anywhere and with virtually anyone, and keep track of the changing demand in the market while the latter will only allow you work in Burma or in companies which employ many Burmese and need to better communicate with them.

What Competencies Will Be Valued in The Future?

Developed economies are based on services, and this trend will further progress. Therefore, it is easy to predict that in ten years, there will be lots of new professions related to media, social media, communication, logistics, and all kinds of online and offline services.

Furthermore, we live in times of high specialization. For instance, most YouTubers become famous and wealthy because they are world-class experts in some narrow discipline, such as: applying mascara, making funny movies of their cats, playing GTA, or reviewing horror movies—and not because they know a lot about life.

This is why it is important to focus on building your craft: learn to solve the same, specific problems for various clients rather than solving a broad range of issues within the same company. For instance, you might be a world-class expert in solving conflicts that stem from age differences between employees and get hired by companies to walk in and solve this particular problem at their side.

Or, you might become a Data Scientist specialized in analyzing trends in the fashion industry, and you are hired by different designers and clothing companies to analyze their data and recommend new sales strategies. You get the picture.

Of course, people who do well in their professional life are usually high functioning in general: well connected, sociable, likable, healthy, energetic, optimistic, creative, with common sense, and common knowledge in many different areas.

It is good to represent all these qualities—and next to them, find a niche in which you can create your brand. You don’t need to become a household name—it is perfectly fine if your name is only known within your narrow professional field.

Which Professions Are The Most Prospective In Today’s Job Market?

The future is unpredictable and jobs in which humans cannot be easily replaced by machines, are the safest bets for now. This includes any jobs that involve empathy and understanding of emotions, such as managing people, mediation, or salesmanship. Even a waiter might become well-paid one day, as good service is one of the crucial factors that decide whether the client returns to the restaurant.

Mind that your income will not grow linearly, but rather, exponentially. At first, you will need to acquire a minimum viable set of skills necessary to do the projects. Then, you will slowly polish your skillset towards proficiency. But your income will start growing exponentially only when you become and expert and develop a personal brand around your skills.

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Machine learning and AI are going to dominate technology and kill many professions. The rise of AI will stir and change the job market as we know it. On the one hand, robots will replace many types of blue- and white-collar jobs. On the other hand, there will be a high demand for professionals who can communicate with machines: engineers and programmers.

So, if you enjoy tinkering with electronic equipment, good times are coming for you. Perhaps, new professions that require speaking to machines but without the necessity to write code—for instance by using interfaces that allow for building complex, conditional commands from simple blocks—will be created. 

This requires logic reasoning rather than programming skills. In any way, the ability to interact with machines and service them will be highly valued in the future.

Lastly, we live in times when many people can no longer verbalize their emotions, and replace all the effort with sending emoticons through text messages. Growing up in the culture of emoticons kills the ability to vocalize and express your emotions with words and gestures.

That’s why in the next ten years, people who can notice, process, and understand other people’s emotions and intentions, and who can respond in an adequate, and empathic way, will be one of the most valued professionals regardless of the market sector—as these abilities will be so scarce.

Good luck looking for a compelling Master Program that will give you solid preparation for a professional career! If you are also thinking of starting PhD studies, please take a look at our article “How To Get a PhD? All You Should Know To Get Your PhD Degree.”

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Please cite as:

Siddiqui, H. A., Bielczyk, N. (2022, November 19th). Top 13 Master Programs of The Future. Retrieved from https://ontologyofvalue.com/top-13-master-programs-of-the-future/

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