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10 Master’s Degrees To Help You Land Top Jobs in Columbus

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While many cities in the Midwest continue to face population decline, Columbus is experiencing exciting growth. In fact, we were the only large northern city to grow by more than 10% from 2010 to 2017.

As the population increases, our job market is more than keeping pace. From 2013 to 2018, jobs increased by 9.7%, outpacing national growth trends by 1.2%. With this type of growth comes more opportunities, higher salaries and steeper competition. 

Leading companies in Columbus’ hottest fields—like healthcare, technology, finance and education—are on the hunt for top talent. When it comes to distinguishing yourself for some of Columbus’ high-paying jobs, a master’s degree is a must-have.

While a master’s degree is key, there are many degrees that can help you succeed in Columbus’ leading fields. Let’s take a look at what degrees are trending to help you get ahead.

Master’s Degrees That Will Prepare You to Lead in the Complex and Evolving Healthcare Industry

The number one reason to get a master’s degree in healthcare?

“The demands of the industry,” says Dr. JoAnn Jordan, program chair of Franklin University’s Health Informatics master’s program. “Healthcare is a large and complex system, so people don’t operate in a silo. Not only do employers want someone with expertise in their area, but they also want leadership skills. To succeed, you need to see the big picture and understand the effects and ramifications of your department on the rest of the system.”

Columbus is home to renowned healthcare systems, hospitals and research centers, like Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Wexner Medical Center and OhioHealth, not to mention healthcare companies like Cardinal Health and CoverMyMeds. As leaders in the industry, these organizations set extremely high standards for their employees and only the most qualified land leadership positions.

“Having a master’s degree is becoming a requirement for moving up the management hierarchy in healthcare,” says Dr. Leslie Mathew, program chair of Franklin University’s Master of Healthcare Administration program. “Columbus is a hub for healthcare—making it extremely competitive. Especially for large organizations, like Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Ohio State, a master’s degree can be key for advancement.”   

Here are some of the best healthcare master’s degrees to have right now:

  • For the business-minded: A Master of Healthcare Administration degree (MHA) prepares you to lead change across the continuum of care, advocating for patients while ensuring fiscal responsibility. Getting your MHA will give you the knowledge, skills and credentials to advance to management and leadership positions in healthcare organizations of all sizes.
  • For the data obsessed: Technology is the driving force of change in healthcare. A Master’s degree in Health Informatics teaches you to harness the power of healthcare data and turn it into usable insights that can improve efficiency and patient outcomes.
  • For the caregiver: A Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) will help you take your nursing career to the next level. Whether you’re interested in continuing direct patient care by becoming a family nurse practitioner or want to advance into administrative leadership or education, getting a master’s degree is essential to upward mobility.

Master’s Degrees That Will Help You Spur Technological Advancement in Any Organization

Technology is growing both more complex and more competitive every day. Because of the rapid changes, the stakes for organizations to harness technology to stay at the top of their game is higher than ever. That makes this industry an ideal opportunity for master’s graduates.

“Columbus has been selected three years in a row by Fortune Magazine as a top city in the U.S. for IT professionals,” says Dr. Nimet Alpay, chair of the Data Analytics master’s degree program at Franklin University. “It is the perfect time to earn a master’s degree in analytics or technology in the middle of this ‘hot’ city.”

Based on your career aspirations, here are some of the best master’s degrees to have right now in the Columbus technology sector:

  • For the software developer: A Master’s in Computer Science degree can take you from coding to leading change in organizations, helping them harness technology to increase efficiency, develop systematic technology solutions and ensure maximized investments in technology.
  • For the analytical thinker: A Master’s in Data Analytics is an industry-agnostic degree that prepares you to lead in any business environment. This degree gives you the tools and strategies to access reliable data and turn it into actionable insights so you can make real-time decisions to fuel business success.

Master’s Degrees That Will Help You Lead Businesses to Financial Success

The finance industry is alive and well in Columbus. Not only are dedicated financial institutions looking to harness data and technology to improve how they operate, every business is looking to make finances more efficient.

“In the area of finance, more and more consumers are informed themselves,” says Alan Rogers, program chair of the Master of Science in Accounting at Franklin University. “As a finance professional, you must be able to show your in-depth expertise to remain credible. One way to show this expertise is through a master’s degree, which is becoming a standard in the industry. Getting a master’s degree will give you skills to stay competitive, especially in our technology-driven world.”

More and more, companies are seeking out individuals with highly-specialized financial skill sets.

“We will continue to see a trend in specialist master’s degrees,” explains Dr. Andy Igonor, dean of the Ross College of Business at Franklin University, “Bachelor’s degrees are generalist in nature. Master’s degrees, on the other hand, show not only your expertise, but your passion for a subject that shows employers you’re dedicated and ready to lead.”

Based on your career goals, here are some of the best master’s degrees to have right now in the finance industry:

  • For the true accountant: A Master of Science in Accounting gives you the credit hours you need to sit for the CPA exam, while adding another credential to your resumé, to boost your profile as a top job candidate.
  • For the strategic leader: A Master’s in Business Analytics helps you take raw financial data and turn it into rich business insights. This degree gives you the skills you need to make data-backed decisions in real time, making you an invaluable resource to any employer.

Master’s Degrees That Will Help You Become an Educational Leader and Innovator

“Aside from the knowledge gained in-and-of itself, a master’s degree can set an individual apart from the rest of their peers in a given organization, be it a school or business,” comments Denver Fowler, program chair, Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership at Franklin University, “School districts in Ohio pay their teachers based on degree attainment and years of experience, translating to an immediate salary increase. In the higher education setting, it is most certainly a requirement for non-staff positions and with so many programs now offered online, an abundance of adjunct opportunities exist across the nation and around the globe.”

Based on your career goals, here are some of the best education-focused master’s degrees to have right now:

  • For primary and secondary educators: A Master’s in Educational Leadership can help you increase your salary and qualify you for administrative positions like vice principal, principal or athletic director.
  • For college educators: A Master’s in Higher Education can be your first step toward leadership positions, giving you foundational knowledge in higher education administration that will prepare you for doctoral studies.
  • For the tech-focused innovators: A Master’s in Instructional Design and Learning Technology prepares you to lead change in how people teach and learn, giving you the skills to pursue careers like curriculum developer, educational or instructional technologist, or consultant for school districts, higher education institutions or businesses.

Get Your Master’s Degree to Achieve Your Professional Goals

As our population grows and top talent continues to saturate the Columbus job market, you need to set yourself apart. Whether you’re looking to advance your career, increase your salary or open doors to a new profession, getting a master’s degree is a valuable investment in your career in the short and long term. A master’s degree is also an immediate way to open the door to even more of Columbus’ most in-demand jobs.

This article is one installment of the Jobs & Education Outlook series, presented with paid support by Franklin University.

Franklin University is an accredited and nonprofit college in Columbus that has been dedicated to educating adults since 1902. The University offers a variety of career-focused master’s degree programs online & on-campus, many of which can be completed in as few as 14 months. For more information, visit franklin.edu.

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