I am a master degree student and I have been working in a company for about 8 months. I recently found out that the pay for bachelor's degree and mine are same. It's my fault that I didn't negotiate during my interview. Now how should I write a letter to my manager to increase my pay? Could anyone help in this?

  • 3
    Have you graduated with your Masters degree? Is there a policy in your company for higher pay for Masters degree holders? Were you hired on a graduate program?
    – Jane S
    May 13, 2015 at 4:36
  • 6
    In my opinion, this is company-specific issue. Some company would pay higher salary to masters degree holders. Some may not. It doesn't hurt to ask. Also, do other bachelors degree holders have more experience than you do? The experience has more weights than the degree.
    – Nobody
    May 13, 2015 at 4:43
  • 4
    Sorry to say but a Masters is pretty meaningless these days. I don't know why you expect to be paid more unless you're doing more than your colleagues and in a higher position.
    – Jack
    May 13, 2015 at 7:05
  • 5
    In the U.S. private sector, once you are hired whatever degree you have means nothing. In this country education and government are the only places that will give you a raise just based on your degree. May 13, 2015 at 14:48
  • 2
    Once you are hired, your degree is irrelevant and pay raises are based on your performance and your political skills. Concentrate on those.
    – HLGEM
    May 13, 2015 at 16:45

3 Answers 3


In general, the remuneration for a position is determined by:

  1. The responsibilities of the position.
  2. The financial impact of the position.
  3. The number of people being supervised by the role.
  4. The criticality of the business function being executed or supervised by the role.
  5. The exposure of the position.
  6. Reporting hierarchy (rare, but it some organizations this matters)
  7. Market factors

Degree does not determine salary. It is just a requirement for the minimum requisite knowledge for the person to be successful at that position. In many job postings, you will see "Masters Degree or equivalent experience"; and in rare cases some job roles (especially in regulated industries) require the position holder have a minimum level of formal education and experience.

As far as your current situation - there is not much you can do about this now but during your next review/appraisal you can highlight the work you have done, your responsibilities, execution (ie, didn't miss deadlines) in order to negotiate an increment in your pay.

Don't under any circumstances - tell your direct supervisor/HR that you found out that Bachelor degree position holders are getting paid more than you, for a number of reasons but the few that jump immediately to mind are:

  1. You are not supposed to know other's salaries (its confidential information in almost every organization).

  2. You do not know the circumstances against which the other person is hired (he/she may have more relevant experience, or was specifically headhunted for the position, etc.)

  3. Your overall impression with the organization may be affected negatively - as someone who believes they are entitled.

  • Regarding your point 1, in the US it is generally illegal to prohibit employees from discussing their wages. Companies try to tell people they can't, but they can. May 13, 2015 at 15:20
  • @thursdaysgeek, since in the US they don't have to give a reason for firing you, it is still dumb to discuss salary if a company policy forbids it. It generally only make sone of the people in the conversation unhappy for no reason at all since what other people make isn't relevant at all to what you make.
    – HLGEM
    May 13, 2015 at 16:43
  • @HLGEM, that is generally true. The right to talk about wages has to do with the rights to form a union, so it can be useful to buck company policy only if you're planning on fighting it all the way through. Knowing what others make can make a difference if you suspect there is a difference that has to do with a protected category, for instance in the case when I was paid less because I am female. May 13, 2015 at 17:25
  • 1
    Of course the other issue with talking salaries is that many people will lie about what they make espcially if they think they are making less. Do you want to admit you are making 60K when the people with less experience say they are making 80K? Of course not. Even the person that speaks first is likely to shade up because he doesn't want to look like worst paid either. Unless they show you their actual pay statement or you have access to the HR records, you really can't know what anyone makes.
    – HLGEM
    May 13, 2015 at 18:56
  • Just to clarify - I didn't mention it was illegal I just mentioned it is generally confidential information and gossiping about it is not looked upon in a favorable light. Legality should be left up to the lawyers. May 14, 2015 at 10:18

How should you write a letter? You shouldn't.

A graduate degree may help you get a job. It may help you get a better job, which may mean a higher paying job. But the time to negotiate starting pay was before you started. Having accepted what they offered, they have no reason to give you a raise until you earn one.

Put that additional knowledge to use, do things better/faster/more robustly than other employees, and show the company you're worth more than what they're giving you now. There is no entitlement here.

You are free to put the dice back in the box and start another job hunt. But you don't exactly have a good story to tell when they ask why you want to leave so quickly.

Personal opinion: This sounds like a combination of not understanding the system and "buyer's remorse". I'd suggest you stop worrying about what anyone else is being paid; it really is almost completely irrelevant right now. Instead put your attention on getting a high performance rating so they can justify giving you a raise when the next review cycle occurs.


I do not know where you are from and in which profession you work / which masters degree you have. In Germany where I come from, Most if not all companys in the electronics industry will totally disregard your masters degree when it comes to salary.

You may have a easier game when it comes to promotion, but initially you will earn the same. If that bothers you, you should have informed yourself prior to applying for masters degree.

That said, The salary of anyone else must not be of your concern. You even are not supposed to know about it (in my contract I am required to keep my salary secret). If you feel underpaid, you can approach your manager and demand a raise. But you should have a good reason for it, as you have accepted your current salary already. And the manager has no obligation to follow your reasoning.

  • Of interesting note is also the fact that in Finland you cannot get a Master's degree in Engineering before you have worked a minimum of 2 years fulltime in your field after getting a Bachelor's. May 31, 2017 at 6:02

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