Business Administration

The Master’s Degrees You’ll Need to Work at Glassdoor’s 10 Top-Paying Companies in 2019

The Master’s Degrees You’ll Need to Work at Glassdoor’s 10 Top-Paying Companies in 2019
Technology dominates Glassdoor's list of top-paying companies. Image from Death to Stock Photos
Tom Meltzer profile
Tom Meltzer October 1, 2019

Technology dominates Glassdoor's list of top-paying companies—one of which has a category of jobs called "evangelists," further subdivided into "business evangelists" and "technology evangelists." You can't make this stuff up.

MBA/Business and Data Science Programs You Should Consider

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Who doesn’t love a good list? From Consumer Reports’ Best and Worst Cars to humor pieces at McSweeney’s to “behind the scenes facts” about ancient television shows, we are all suckers for the bite-size morsels of information these online features promise. We click, we read, we curse ourselves for wasting time, and soon enough we click again. The process is positively Sisyphean.

Glassdoor understands this, which is why the site generates a slew of tempting lists each year, including best cities for jobs and top CEOs. We recently wrote about Glassdoor’s list of the highest paying jobs of 2019; now we turn our attention to the site’s list of 2019’s highest-paying companies. The recurring themes in Glassdoor’s lists, you’ve probably noticed, are jobs and money, which, not coincidentally, are what interest most Glassdoor visitors.

These top-paying employers often require (or at least prefer) applicants to hold graduate-level degrees. When a specific degree helps you with a particular employer, we note it below in each employer’s entry. Some degrees, however, are universally valuable across all these top employers. We’ll discuss them first.

Degrees That Will Help You Get Hired By All Top-Paying Companies


This is the degree for business generalists. An MBA trains you in all core functions of modern business (finance, accounting, marketing, communications, operations, analytics) and, in many programs, allows you to develop a specialization (such as information systems). You won’t become an expert in any one area with an MBA, but you will be a well-rounded professional capable of pivoting from one function to another.

Master’s in computer science

Many of the top-paying companies are tech firms, and even those that aren’t have substantial tech components to their business. The master’s in computer science is the MBA of the tech world, general enough to position you well for role changes throughout your career.

Master’s in data analytics

Data are what drive modern business decision-making, putting data experts in the driver’s seat. A master’s in data analytics qualifies you to aggregate and analyze data, and to create predictive models. Most companies are run by people who really want to harness the power of data but don’t know exactly how. Be that person by earning a master’s in data analytics.

Master’s in business analytics

Business analytics is a field of data analytics that focuses on business. It’s a relatively new discipline with wide variation among top academic programs. Some schools treat this as a computer science discipline; others, a mathematics discipline; others still, a business discipline. Find the one that suits your skills and your career objectives.

Master’s in information technology

Every company that relies on computers—which is to say, every company—needs information technology (IT) experts to maintain and oversee hardware, manage networks and software packages, and secure information. A master’s of information technology should make you employable just about everywhere.


“I’m ready for a degree!”

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Which Master’s Degrees Do You Need to Work at Glassdoor’s 10 Top-Paying Companies?

Here they are, the ten top-paying companies, according to Glassdoor. Not every job with these employers pays top dollar—you can be sure their cafeteria workers, like cafeteria workers everywhere, are not living the life of Riley—but many do. When you average all the paychecks out, these are the companies forking over the biggest piles of cash per employee. Good luck landing a gig with one of them!

Palo Alto Networks

Median salary: $170,929

Palo Alto Networks is in the high-stakes, high-skills business of delivering cybersecurity solutions “to tens of thousands of organizations.” Their benign-sounding products—Demisto, Panorama, Prisma—prevent security breaches that would terrify you if you understood them, which fortunately most of us don’t. Defending against imminent cyber attacks is only part of Palo Alto’s operation; anticipating future threats and figuring out how to thwart them is at least as significant to the company’s success.

PhDs in computer science, cybersecurity, and other digital disciplines help drive the cutting-edge research that keeps Palo Alto one step ahead of the hackers. The company hires plenty of people with master’s degrees in those fields as well. At the time of this writing, Palo Alto was advertising 679 open positions around the world.


Median salary: $170,929

NVIDIA creates the graphics processing units (GPUs) that drive the Xbox and other video games. Their processors also help control self-driving cars, drones, and cryptocurrency mining. In short, these are not folks to mess with. This is a company in need of smart people, which explains why they do so much recruiting on university campuses.

Individuals with graduate degrees in computer science or engineering might well find a home here, and a master’s in software engineering would certainly serve you well at NVIDIA. At the time of this writing, NVIDIA had posted 675 open positions worldwide.


Median salary: $162,852

Can we sum up Twitter in 280 characters or fewer? “Social media company helped elevate Trump to presidency. Sad! #wepaybetterthanFacebook” Twitter, for the ten people out there who still don’t know, is a social networking site that allows users to post short messages, which followers can then repost (or “retweet”). We do this because apparently none of us has anything better to do than to let our friends know what Katy Perry is thinking about right now.

Twitter is always looking for software engineers and other technology specialists. Marketing is also a considerable piece of the company’s business, so a master’s in marketing could help you land a job here. According to their job postings, you’ll #lovewhereyouwork when you get hired here.

Gilead Sciences

Median salary: $162,210

Gilead Sciences develops and markets new medicines, many of which are used to treat HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. As you might expect, this is a wonky place full of MDs, PhDs, and PharmDs as well as experts in data analytics, public policy, manufacturing, law, marketing, and many other areas. An MBA in healthcare could help you find work on the business side, while a degree in biostatistics could be your ticket to a job in research. A recent search of their website yielded 414 job postings.


Median salary: $161,254

Whether you want to know if that weird lump on your arm is lethal (it isn’t; it’s just a ganglion cyst), who played “the funny one” on Full House (Dave Coulier), or what your IP address is (the most searched-for question by a surprisingly large margin), Google is there for you. Google’s business includes web search, of course, but it also encompasses Android phones, the Chrome web browser, Google suite (which includes office software and cloud storage), and youtube, among other services.

Did you know that if you google “Google,” your computer will explode? Check Snopes if you don’t believe us. The online information company recently listed 2,258 full-time job openings, so the opportunities to join the team here are numerous.

__ VMWare

Median salary: $158,063

VMWare is a software company that creates virtualization technology and virtual machines. Virtual machines enable your computer to run an operating system in a stand-alone window, allowing you to run software that wouldn’t work on your computer’s native operating system. VMWare plays an integral role in cloud computing, computer networking, and security.

Advanced degrees in computer science, mathematics, informatics, and cloud engineering should be useful to prospective employees. The company recently listed 1,457 job openings.


Median salary: $157,402

LinkedIn is a social media website focused exclusively on work, which sounds like the worst idea ever but is actually pretty successful. LinkedIn hires lots of specialists in marketing, data analytics, computer science, and content editing. An MBA should help you land a good job here, as would any technology degree. The company recently listed 669 openings worldwide on… you guessed it, LinkedIn (a job board is one of the many exciting features on the site; another is instant messaging, OMG!).


Median salary: $152,962

Facebook is ostensibly a social media site, and if you’re over 50 it is probably the only site you visit on the Internet. In that way, it has become the new AOL. We say ostensibly because Facebook’s actual business is selling your information, which is why so many of the company’s open positions—there were 2,644 when we last visited their job listings—are for marketers, data scientists, and business analytics experts. There’s also lots of work here for programmers, web designers, cybersecurity experts, and other technical whizzes.


Median salary: $150,379

Salesforce is a CRM, which is what people on LinkedIn call a customer relationship management solution. Do not ask why it’s not called a CRMS, because we just don’t know. It’s all just a fancy way of saying “a software package that integrates lots of different functions of your business so you can keep track of customers and all your interactions with them.”

In 2018, Fortune ranked it the best place to work among all large companies worldwide, which is pretty impressive for an employer with offices in Indianapolis. We’re kidding, Indianapolis—you’re awesome! Last we looked, Salesforce had 1,803 openings, nearly half of them in sales. Products and technology also hire prodigiously, so degrees in engineering, tech, and marketing should elevate your prospects here.


Median salary: $148,068

Microsoft is a $100 billion tech company that employs over 144,000 people. It once marketed a product whose most memorable feature was a talking paper clip and it survived that, so it can probably survive anything. After the nuclear apocalypse, there will be nothing but cockroaches and Microsoft.

The company hires people with every conceivable expertise; heck, they probably have a full-time poet on staff somewhere. Data analytics, engineering, finance, supply chain and operations, IT, sales—they even have a category of jobs called “evangelists,” further subdivided into “business evangelists” and “technology evangelists.” You can’t make this stuff up.

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About the Author

Tom Meltzer began his career in education publishing at The Princeton Review, where he authored more than a dozen titles (including the company's annual best colleges guide and two AP test prep manuals) and produced the musical podcast The Princeton Review Vocab Minute. A graduate of Columbia University (English major), Tom lives in Chapel Hill, NC.

About the Editor

Tom Meltzer spent over 20 years writing and teaching for The Princeton Review, where he was lead author of the company's popular guide to colleges, before joining Noodle.

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