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What percent of men have a master’s degree?

What percent of men have a master's degree?
Discover the percentage of men with a master's degree and how it impacts career prospects. Elevate your understanding with key education stats!

Are you curious about the percentage of men with master’s degrees? Let’s dive into the latest statistics and uncover the truth.

According to new data from the Census Bureau, it has been revealed that men make up a significant portion of master’s degree holders in the United States. As of 2021, approximately 38 percent of all master’s degrees conferred were earned by men.

This signifies a notable contribution by men in the pursuit of advanced education and reflects the increasing recognition of the value a master’s degree can bring to their professional and personal lives.

Key Takeaways:

  • Approximately 38 percent of all master’s degrees conferred in the United States are earned by men.
  • Men’s representation in master’s degree programs highlights their commitment to higher education and personal growth.
  • Master’s degrees provide men with enhanced career opportunities and specialized knowledge in various fields.
  • Earning a master’s degree is an important step towards professional advancement and staying competitive in today’s job market.
  • Men with master’s degrees often enjoy higher earning potential and increased job security.

Evolution of the Master’s Degree

The history of the master’s degree can be traced back to medieval European universities, where it was known as the “magister” in Latin. Originally, obtaining a master’s degree was a license to teach, indicating a person’s mastery over a specific subject. The history of the master’s degree dates back to a time when formalized education began to gain prominence.

Over time, the master’s degree evolved into an advanced postgraduate academic degree that bridged the gap between undergraduate studies and doctoral research. As society’s need for specialized knowledge and expertise grew, the master’s degree became a valuable asset in several fields.

Today, the master’s degree is recognized as an important milestone in one’s educational journey. It signifies a higher level of academic achievement and serves as a stepping stone for individuals who aspire to pursue further studies or advance their careers.

Types of Master’s Degrees

Master’s degrees offer a vast range of disciplines and specializations to suit different academic and professional aspirations. Here are some of the prominent types of master’s degrees:

1. Master of Arts (MA)

The Master of Arts degree is awarded in humanities, arts, and social sciences fields. It allows students to delve into subjects such as literature, history, philosophy, psychology, and more. An MA degree provides a comprehensive understanding of the chosen discipline while emphasizing critical thinking, research, and analytical skills.

2. Master of Science (MS or MSc)

The Master of Science degree is typically conferred in natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics fields. It focuses on advanced scientific theories, research methodologies, and practical applications. An MS or MSc degree equips students with specialized knowledge and skills necessary for careers in scientific research, data analysis, engineering, and related industries.

3. Master of Business Administration (MBA)

The Master of Business Administration degree is designed for individuals seeking expertise in business management and leadership. An MBA program covers various aspects of entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, operations, and strategy. It prepares students to tackle complex business challenges and develop innovative solutions, making them valuable assets in the corporate world.

4. Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

The Master of Fine Arts degree caters to individuals pursuing creative fields such as visual arts, writing, theater, dance, and more. It provides a platform for artists to refine their artistic skills, explore new concepts, and develop their artistic voice. An MFA program fosters creativity, artistic expression, and critical thinking, preparing students for careers in the arts and creative industries.

These are just a few examples of the diverse types of master’s degrees available. Depending on your interests and career goals, you can choose a program that aligns with your passion and provides the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in your chosen field.

different types of master's degrees

Benefits of Pursuing a Master’s Degree

Are you considering pursuing a master’s degree? That’s a great decision! There are numerous advantages to earning a master’s degree that can greatly impact your career and personal growth. Let’s explore the benefits:

Enhanced Employment Opportunities

One of the major advantages of a master’s degree is the expanded range of employment opportunities it opens up for you. In today’s competitive job market, many top-tier positions in various industries require or prefer candidates with advanced degrees. By earning a master’s degree, you position yourself as a highly qualified candidate, making it easier to stand out from the competition and secure coveted job roles.

Higher Earning Potential

Another significant benefit of a master’s degree is the potential for higher earning. Statistics show that master’s degree holders often command higher salaries compared to individuals with only a bachelor’s degree. By investing in your education and acquiring advanced knowledge and skills, you create more value in the eyes of employers, leading to better compensation and increased earning potential over time.

Specialized Knowledge and Expertise

A master’s degree allows you to delve deeper into your area of interest, providing you with specialized knowledge and expertise. Whether you’re passionate about a specific field or want to focus on a particular aspect of your industry, a master’s degree enables you to gain a comprehensive understanding of your chosen discipline. This specialized knowledge not only enhances your professional capabilities but also positions you as a subject matter expert.

Pathway to Research and Academia

If you have aspirations in research or academia, a master’s degree is often a prerequisite for admission to PhD programs. Research-oriented careers in fields such as science, social sciences, humanities, and education require individuals to have a strong foundation in research methodologies and theoretical frameworks. Earning a master’s degree equips you with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue advanced research opportunities and career paths.

Master’s Degree Statistics by Gender

In 2020–21, there was a noticeable difference in the gender distribution of master’s degrees, with females earning 62 percent (536,200 degrees) and males earning 38 percent (330,700 degrees).

When examining the top fields of study, it becomes apparent that female students were conferred the majority of degrees in three fields. In health professions and related programs, females received 82 percent of master’s degrees; in public administration and social services, they were awarded 79 percent; and in education, female students made up 79 percent of the degrees conferred.

However, in the remaining top fields of study, the majority of degrees were bestowed upon male students. In computer and information sciences and support services, males accounted for 66 percent of master’s degrees, while in business, they received 51 percent.

Master’s Degree Statistics by Race/Ethnicity

When examining the racial/ethnic distribution of master’s degrees, it is clear that there are significant disparities among different groups. Asian students stand out as they are five times more likely than Latino/Hispanic students to hold an advanced degree. In fact, Asian attainment levels are at least 92% higher than those of other racial/ethnic groups.

The gap between White and Black master’s degree holders is also noteworthy, with a difference of 44%. This gap is the second widest after the Bachelor’s level. It is important to address and bridge this disparity to promote equal educational opportunities for all racial/ethnic groups.

In the academic year 2020–21, the three fields in which the most master’s degrees were conferred remained consistent across most racial/ethnic groups. However, Asian students exhibited a different pattern of degree fields. Their top three master’s degree fields were business, health professions and related programs, and computer and information sciences and support services.

Furthermore, the percentage of master’s degrees conferred in STEM fields varied among different racial/ethnic groups. It is essential to promote diversity and inclusivity in STEM education, ensuring that all groups have equal access and opportunities to pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Master’s Degree Statistics by Field of Study

When it comes to pursuing a master’s degree, the choice of field of study is a crucial decision. The most popular fields for master’s degrees include business, education, health professions and related programs, social sciences and history, and public administration and social services. These fields not only offer diverse career opportunities but also cater to different interests and passions.

In the business field, obtaining a master’s degree can open doors to managerial and leadership roles in various industries. With an emphasis on critical thinking, problem-solving, and strategic decision-making, a master’s degree in business equips you with the skills necessary to excel in today’s competitive job market.

Education is another popular field for master’s degrees, offering the opportunity to become a specialized educator or educational administrator. Whether you aspire to teach in a specific subject area, work in curriculum development, or lead educational institutions, a master’s degree in education provides a solid foundation for professional growth.

The healthcare industry is experiencing rapid growth, making health professions and related programs an attractive field of study. With a master’s degree in this field, you can pursue careers in nursing, public health, healthcare administration, and other specialized healthcare roles. It offers the chance to make a positive impact on individuals and communities through the provision of quality healthcare services.

Social sciences and history delve into the complexities of human behavior and societies, offering master’s degree programs that explore subjects such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, and history. These programs provide an opportunity to conduct research and contribute to the field’s existing knowledge base, as well as apply valuable insights to real-world challenges.

Public administration and social services focus on addressing societal issues and improving public policy. A master’s degree in this field equips you with the skills necessary to work in government agencies, non-profit organizations, and community development organizations. It provides a comprehensive understanding of public administration principles, policy analysis, and program implementation.

Within each field of study, there are variations in gender and racial/ethnic representation. For example, females were conferred the majority of degrees in health professions and related programs, public administration and social services, and education. On the other hand, males were conferred the majority of degrees in computer and information sciences and support services and business.

These popular fields for master’s degrees reflect the diverse interests and career aspirations of individuals seeking to advance their education and professional growth. Regardless of the field you choose, earning a master’s degree can greatly enhance your knowledge, skills, and career prospects.

popular fields for master's degrees

Master’s Degrees in STEM Fields

The distribution of master’s degrees in STEM fields varies among different racial/ethnic groups. Asian students have the highest percentage of STEM degrees, with a share of 25%. This is followed by students of Two or more races, who earn 13% of the STEM degrees. White students hold a 10% share, while Hispanic students and Pacific Islander students each have an 8% share. Black students and American Indian/Alaska Native students both hold a 7% share of master’s degrees in STEM fields.

Out of the 146,600 master’s degrees conferred in STEM fields in 2020–21, nearly a third were earned by White students. Among U.S. nonresident students, 51% of the master’s degrees conferred were in a STEM field.

Master’s Degrees and Employability

Obtaining a master’s degree can have a significant impact on your employment prospects. Studies show that having a master’s degree increases your employability by about 2%. This means that having this advanced degree can make you a more competitive candidate in today’s job market.

Many occupations require a master’s degree, and these fields are projected to grow at a rate of 16.7% through 2026. This growth indicates a strong demand for professionals with higher levels of education and expertise. By earning a master’s degree, you position yourself for a wide range of job opportunities in these expanding fields.

The Influence of a Master’s Degree on Occupations

The majority of individuals with master’s degrees work in professional and related occupations. In fact, over 55% of master’s degree holders are employed in professional or related roles. These occupations span various industries and sectors, providing diverse career options for those with advanced qualifications.

Within the professional category, approximately 30% of master’s degree holders work in management, business, or related occupations. This indicates a strong correlation between a master’s degree and leadership positions. By furthering your education and attaining a master’s degree, you equip yourself with the skills and knowledge required for managerial roles.

The Financial Rewards of a Master’s Degree

Pursuing a master’s degree not only enhances your career prospects but also offers significant financial rewards. On average, individuals with master’s degrees earn 16% more in median weekly earnings compared to those with a bachelor’s degree. This higher earning potential can have a considerable impact on your lifetime income.

In fact, the median lifetime earnings for individuals with master’s degrees is estimated to be $3.2 million. This demonstrates the long-term financial benefits that come with attaining this advanced degree. By investing in your education and earning a master’s degree, you set yourself up for a successful and financially rewarding future.

master's degrees and employability

Overall, a master’s degree has a direct and positive influence on employability. It opens doors to a wide range of professional opportunities, particularly in fields that require advanced qualifications. Additionally, the financial rewards associated with a master’s degree make it a worthwhile investment in your future. By pursuing this advanced degree, you not only enhance your skills and knowledge but also position yourself for long-term career success.

Online Master’s Programs

The digital revolution has reshaped the educational landscape, leading to the emergence of online master’s programs as viable alternatives to traditional classroom-based courses. These programs offer unparalleled flexibility and accessibility for students, allowing them to study at their own pace.

Online enrollment in master’s courses has increased substantially since 2000 and is more common than among bachelor’s degree programs. The convenience of online learning makes it a preferred choice for many working professionals and individuals seeking to balance their careers, personal commitments, and education.

One of the key benefits of online master’s programs is the flexibility they offer. You have the freedom to choose when and where you study, allowing you to maintain other responsibilities and commitments while advancing your education. Whether you prefer to study early in the morning, on your lunch break, or late at night, online programs accommodate your schedule.

Accessibility is another advantage of online master’s programs. You can access course materials, lectures, and discussions from anywhere with an internet connection, eliminating the need for commuting to a physical campus. This convenience saves you time and money on transportation and allows you to learn in an environment that suits you best.

When evaluating online vs. traditional master’s programs, several factors need to be considered. Flexibility is an essential consideration, as it allows you to tailor your study schedule to your individual needs. Interaction with instructors and classmates is also crucial for a well-rounded learning experience. Look for programs that offer opportunities for virtual collaboration and engagement.

Accreditation is another crucial aspect to consider. Ensure that the online master’s program you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting body. Accreditation ensures that the program meets high-quality educational standards and enhances the value and credibility of your degree.

Overall, online master’s programs provide a convenient and accessible avenue for advancing your education and career. By leveraging technology and embracing online learning, you can pursue your academic goals while maintaining the flexibility and freedom to thrive in other aspects of your life.

Educational Attainment Trends

Educational attainment trends among 25 to 29-year-olds in the United States have witnessed a steady rise at every level since 2010. Over the course of 12 years, from 2010 to 2022, the high school graduation rate has seen an impressive increase of 6%. Moreover, the number of associate’s and master’s degree graduates has experienced an 8% growth, whereas the number of individuals obtaining a master’s degree alone has risen by 2%.

Both males and females in this age group have demonstrated an inclination towards higher educational achievements, with educational attainment rates increasing for both genders between 2010 and 2022. However, there exists a notable difference in the percentages of men and women attaining each educational tier, starting from high school and extending to the master’s level. Women consistently showcase a greater percentage of attainment at each educational level compared to men.

Furthermore, the correlation between educational attainment and employment prospects within the civilian workforce is well-established. The likelihood of securing employment increases significantly with higher levels of educational attainment. By furthering your education and obtaining a master’s degree, you position yourself for enhanced career opportunities and professional growth.

In conclusion, the educational attainment trends observed over the years highlight the importance of education in personal and professional development. The continuous rise in educational attainment rates emphasizes the value society places on knowledge and skills. Pursuing a master’s degree not only equips you with specialized expertise, but it also boosts your employability and sets you on a path towards long-term success.

Homeownership and Education

Educational success has a direct correlation with homeownership, highlighting the importance of obtaining higher levels of education. Research shows that roughly 20% of homeowners have achieved a graduate or professional degree, reflecting the strong relationship between education and homeownership.

Among individuals with different educational attainment levels, those with a master’s degree or higher have the highest rate of homeownership, with a staggering 67.3% of them being homeowners. Following closely are individuals with a bachelor’s degree, with a homeownership rate of 61.4%. Those with an associate’s degree have a homeownership rate of 46.6%. In contrast, individuals with a high school diploma have the lowest homeownership rate, at 40.5%.

The disparity in homeownership rates according to educational attainment is a clear indication of the positive impact that higher education has on individuals’ financial stability and ability to secure their own homes. By obtaining advanced degrees, individuals not only gain valuable knowledge and skills but also increase their chances of homeownership, creating a more stable and prosperous future.

Furthermore, gender gaps in homeownership also exist within different educational levels. Professional and doctoral degree holders, who are more likely to be married, tend to have higher rates of homeownership compared to their counterparts. This suggests that achieving higher levels of education not only increases homeownership opportunities but also contributes to other factors associated with homeownership, such as marriage and financial stability.

homeownership and education

The image above illustrates the significance of education in homeownership. It showcases the connection between educational attainment and the percentage of homeowners at each level of education.


In summary, the statistics on men with master’s degrees reveal that a significant percentage of men have attained this advanced level of education. However, it is important to note that women have earned the majority of master’s degrees in several fields. The distribution of master’s degrees also varies by race/ethnicity, with Asians having the highest attainment rates.

Master’s degrees offer a range of benefits, including enhanced employment opportunities, higher earning potential, and specialized knowledge in specific areas of interest. The growing popularity of online master’s programs has further increased accessibility and flexibility for individuals seeking to pursue higher education.

Overall, the statistics on master’s degree attainment demonstrate a positive trend in education, with rising levels of educational attainment contributing to increased homeownership and better employment prospects. As educational opportunities continue to expand and evolve, earning a master’s degree remains a valuable investment in personal and professional growth.


Q: What percent of men have a master’s degree?

A: According to the latest data, males earned 38 percent of all master’s degrees conferred in the U.S. in the 2020–21 academic year.

Q: What is the history of the master’s degree?

A: The master’s degree, originally known as the “magister” in Latin, has its roots in medieval European universities. It evolved from a license to teach into an advanced postgraduate academic degree.

Q: What are the different types of master’s degrees?

A: There are various types of master’s degrees, including Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS or MSc), Master of Business Administration (MBA), and Master of Fine Arts (MFA), among others. Each type caters to specific academic and professional aspirations.

Q: What are the benefits of pursuing a master’s degree?

A: Pursuing a master’s degree offers several benefits, including enhanced employment opportunities, higher earning potential, and the opportunity to specialize in specific areas of interest. It is often a prerequisite for further research and academia.

Q: What is the gender distribution of master’s degrees?

A: In the 2020–21 academic year, females earned 62 percent of all master’s degrees conferred, while males earned 38 percent.

Q: How do master’s degree statistics vary by race/ethnicity?

A: The distribution of master’s degrees varies by race/ethnicity. Asian students have the highest attainment rates, while the gap between White and Black master’s degree holders is 44 percent, which is the second widest after the bachelor’s level.

Q: What are the popular fields of study for master’s degrees?

A: The most popular fields for master’s degrees include business, education, health professions and related programs, social sciences and history, and public administration and social services.

Q: How many master’s degrees are conferred in STEM fields?

A: Of the total master’s degrees conferred in 2020–21, approximately 146,600 were earned in STEM fields. Asian students had the highest percentage of STEM degrees, followed by students of Two or more races.

Q: How does having a master’s degree impact employability?

A: Having a master’s degree increases employability by about 2 percent. Occupations that typically require a master’s degree are projected to grow at a rate of 16.7 percent through 2026.

Q: What are the benefits of online master’s programs?

A: Online master’s programs offer flexibility and accessibility, allowing students to study at their own pace. They have gained popularity as viable alternatives to traditional classroom-based courses.

Q: What are the trends in educational attainment?

A: Educational attainment among 25 to 29-year-olds in the United States has risen at every level since 2010, with increases in high school graduation rates and master’s degree graduates.

Q: Is there a correlation between homeownership and education?

A: Yes, educational success is directly correlated with homeownership. Individuals with higher graduate or professional degrees have the highest rate of homeownership, followed by those with bachelor’s and associate’s degrees.

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