1. K-State home
  2. »K-State Olathe
  3. »Academics
  4. »Graduate degrees
  5. »Professional Science Master's Degree
  6. »Career pathways and outcomes with a PSM

Career Pathways and Outcomes

Graduates with a Professional Science Master's degree are positioned for leadership roles in their business, organization, unit or lab.


What can I do with my PSM degree?

Professionals who may benefit from a PSM degree are those working as laboratory scientists and analysts, research and development scientists, federal agency technical specialists, or in production and quality support. 

A PSM degree opens the door for managerial or supervisory positions in these professions, such as lab manager or director of quality assurance, and mid- to senior-level scientific or technical positions, such as project manager.

What fields do PSM graduates lead in?

PSM graduates work in a broad range of career fields, including STEM industries related to animal health, food science, consumer science, biomedical sciences, informatics and technology, engineering, communications, public policy and business. 

What advantages do PSM graduates have in the job market?

• A survey by the Council of Graduate Schools finds that the real-world experiences and internships gained by PSM graduates make them highly marketable to employers. 

• According to a fall 2017 survey by the Council of Graduate Schools, 93 percent of respondents who graduated with a PSM degree in the last five academic years were employed in a job that is closely or somewhat related to their field of study. Graduates reported earning 4-16 percent more than their original base salary after they completed the degree program.

• The same 2017 survey found that that a majority of PSM graduates had a base annual salary of $29,999 or less before earning their PSM. After completing their PSM, the average annual salary rose to $50,000-$59,999 in five years or less.  

• A 2013 survey by the Council of Graduate Schools reported that 83 percent of 2012-13 PSM graduates were "very satisfied or generally satisfied" with the distinctive nature/reputation of the program. Additionally, 82 percent were "very satisfied or generally satisfied" with the quality of their non-scientific and/or mathematical professional training (a key element of PSM degrees). 

What is the demand for STEM professionals in the Greater Kansas City region?

• The Brooking's Institute 2014 report states that "Greater Kansas City has a skilled workforce, but is not educating and retaining enough workers to meet future demand." It also notes "The region has not produced enough highly educated or STEM-qualified workers to keep pace with employers’ demand, and its ability to attract talent from elsewhere has diminished."

• A report from Austin Peters Group Inc. in coordination with the Kansas Department of Labor and the Missouri Department of Labor found that the professional science field "shows the highest projected job growth on a percentage basis." 

• According to a report by BioNexus KC, formerly the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, Kansas City is currently being outperformed by similar cities in the growth of young, STEM-educated talent while the need continues to increase. Reinforcing the finding, KC Rising, a group focused on increasing regional prosperity, states that a challenge to reach its goals is that local demand for educated workers is exceeding supply, especially in STEM-related fields.