Hello, I am considering pursuing higher education in the field of Bioinformatics. The question is not if I should pursue a higher degree, but which degree I should ultimately go for. While a PhD is of course the more lucrative choice, I'm unsure if it the most realistic. I am 27 and living with my girlfriend and would like to settle down in the near future. I have been trying to see what jobs are available for masters vs PhD but that has been very difficult. I live in Maryland thankfully so the job market is right but my main concern is A. time and B. money. I don't think I can afford to stay in school 4-5 years and earn almost nothing to help support my soon to be family.
What options are available with a masters degree, will I hit a ceiling quickly? Are my options THAT limited? will a PhD propel me that far? I would like to stay in research but I do not want to go for a post doc. I am very much open to industry but I just can't see what the differences are between the job degree paths and if my job outlook is very differant