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Some 2-year degrees pay off better than BAs...

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Some 2-year degrees pay off better than BAs

  @melhicken September 4, 2013: 9:16 AM ET

college degree earnings

In Texas, those who graduated from certificate programs to become communications systems installers, earned an average of $78,515 their first year on the job.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Shelling out more money for a four-year college degree doesn't always mean you'll land a job with a better salary, a recent report found.

In fact, graduates of many two-year associates and occupational certificate programs earn just as much as workers with traditional four-year degrees -- if not more in some cases, according to a report from CollegeMeasures.org, which analyzed the earnings of recent graduates in Arkansas, Colorado, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

In Texas, for example, workers with "technical" associates degrees, which typically include specialized training in fields such as technology and healthcare, earned a median annual salary of $50,827 in their first year after graduation -- an average of $11,000 more than those with bachelor degrees.

In Arkansas, aircraft technicians with an occupational certificate earned, on average, more than $40,000 in the first year on the job, while college graduates with a psychology degree earned roughly $26,000.

Over the span of a career, however, the earnings potential shifts with the average four-year college graduate out-earning the average associate's degree holder, said Mark Schneider, president of College Measures.

But the four-year degree often comes with a hefty price tag. For the 2012-13 school year, average annual tuition and fees at public four-year colleges was $8,655 and nearly $30,000 at private institutions, according to the College Board. At public two-year colleges (mainly community colleges), the average annual bill was $3,131.

Is the cost of college crippling?

With college costs spiking, student debt at record levels and hiring still weak, Schneider said it's essential that incoming students take into account their future earnings and job prospects when choosing a school and area of study.

For example, workers with "academic" associates degrees, which are tailored to students hoping to transfer to four-year schools, typically earn far less than students who choose technical and occupational associates degrees where students are armed with much more specific vocational skills.

"Students who go into community colleges with the expectation that they're going to transfer to a four-year degree are not getting their money's worth quite frankly," said Schneider, noting that many students never make it to the four-year degree.

Meanwhile, students enticed to the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with promises of high future salaries, should be wary of the 'S.'

According to the report, biology and chemistry majors have starting salaries that pale in comparison to their other STEM counterparts.

In Virginia, for example, graduates with a bachelor's degree in engineering earned an average starting salary of more than $50,000, while biology grads earned less than $30,000.

Schneider said he is hopeful that more students will educate themselves before taking on significant student debt to finance their education. President Obama recently proposed rating colleges on a variety of factors, including the earnings of its graduates.

"Right choices can lead to good careers and high earnings, but wrong ones can leave graduates with mountains of debt and poor prospects of ever paying off their student loans," he wrote. To top of page

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by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Replies (21-30):
susannah2000
by Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 8:33 AM



Quoting muslimah:

 

Quoting susannah2000:

that is true alot of times. 2 year degrees that are training programs will get people working, whereas a 4 year degree does not in alot of cases. It is true that 4 year school isn't for everyone, but some sort of higher education is required. If your kid doesn't know what they want to do, or how to make a career of their 4 year degree, , do a training program.

 Lol it might get you working but in the Arabic community it wont get you married. In the Arabic community it is all about what degree you have and what zip code you live in.


Kindly "LOL" elsewhere. I wasn't talking about the Arabic community and that doesn't change my point.

momtoscott
by Platinum Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 9:09 AM
1 mom liked this

An expectation of a certain amount of future earnings had almost nothing to do with why I went to college or the major (s) I chose.  College costs are obscene these days, though.  I enjoyed college and got a lot out of my undergrad and grad programs, even though they were (shudder) liberal/fine arts.  

Seasidegirl
by Gold Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 9:24 AM

 

Not to mention that the quality of a college education isn't what it used to be. Lots of people exit college still unable to freaking spell.

Quoting NWP:

This may sound a bit controversial coming from me and considering my livelihood....I've been involved in academia most of my life and can honestly say that while the social development is invaluable, the financial cost vs. return isn't the guaranteed value it used to be. College isn't for everyone and we need to stop pushing all of our children into debt by demanding/expecting a four year + degree from all of them. There are lots of other choices that could be better for many of our youth these days IMO. This is not the automatic decision/expectation it used to be:(


 

ms-superwoman
by Silver Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 10:08 AM
Quoting muslimah:

 

Quoting susannah2000:

that is true alot of times. 2 year degrees that are training programs will get people working, whereas a 4 year degree does not in alot of cases. It is true that 4 year school isn't for everyone, but some sort of higher education is required. If your kid doesn't know what they want to do, or how to make a career of their 4 year degree, , do a training program.

 Lol it might get you working but in the Arabic community it wont get you married. In the Arabic community it is all about what degree you have and what zip code you live in.

That is quite sad.
2Gs
by Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 10:14 AM

I think the problem is telling kids to just "do what you love" and the money will follow.  SO. NOT. TRUE.  Find something you can tolerate that is marketable and become good at it.  If you're in the 1% of 1% you will love it.  If you're like most people, you can learn to like it.   Very few people take a childhood passion and turn it into a career that becomes a moneymaker.  Not everyone is a Steve Jobs or Bill Gates type. 

Also money IS IMPORTANT.  So consider how marketable your degree will be.  Making $50k per year sounds great to a teenager but when you get there you realize it's not very much money if you have student loans to pay off.

In general though...the more college you have the more you make.  There are numerous statistics to back that up.


NWP
by guerrilla girl on Sep. 5, 2013 at 10:38 AM
Not from my classes LOL

Quoting Seasidegirl:

 


Not to mention that the quality of a college education isn't what it used to be. Lots of people exit college still unable to freaking spell.


Quoting NWP:


This may sound a bit controversial coming from me and considering my livelihood....I've been involved in academia most of my life and can honestly say that while the social development is invaluable, the financial cost vs. return isn't the guaranteed value it used to be. College isn't for everyone and we need to stop pushing all of our children into debt by demanding/expecting a four year + degree from all of them. There are lots of other choices that could be better for many of our youth these days IMO. This is not the automatic decision/expectation it used to be:(




 

muslimah
by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 11:44 AM

 

Quoting ms-superwoman:

Quoting muslimah:

 

Quoting susannah2000:

that is true alot of times. 2 year degrees that are training programs will get people working, whereas a 4 year degree does not in alot of cases. It is true that 4 year school isn't for everyone, but some sort of higher education is required. If your kid doesn't know what they want to do, or how to make a career of their 4 year degree, , do a training program.

 Lol it might get you working but in the Arabic community it wont get you married. In the Arabic community it is all about what degree you have and what zip code you live in.

That is quite sad.

 My girlfriend she is Iranian she is sitting here with me and I told her you said that is sad and she busted out laughing. She said to tell you "she hasn't seen sad yet".

OHgirlinCA
by Platinum Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 11:46 AM
1 mom liked this

I think it's smart to research what you're studying and what financial impact historically that area of study has whether you are going for a 2 year degree or beyond.  Of course, money isn't everything.  There is certainly something to be said about loving what you do for a living.

muslimah
by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 11:46 AM

 

Quoting susannah2000:

 

 

Quoting muslimah:

 

Quoting susannah2000:

that is true alot of times. 2 year degrees that are training programs will get people working, whereas a 4 year degree does not in alot of cases. It is true that 4 year school isn't for everyone, but some sort of higher education is required. If your kid doesn't know what they want to do, or how to make a career of their 4 year degree, , do a training program.

 Lol it might get you working but in the Arabic community it wont get you married. In the Arabic community it is all about what degree you have and what zip code you live in.


Kindly "LOL" elsewhere. I wasn't talking about the Arabic community and that doesn't change my point.

 I know you weren't I just couldn't resist throwing that in there because it is so true.

SewingMamaLele
by Leanne on Sep. 5, 2013 at 12:17 PM
As far as my husband knows, there aren't any unpaid apprentices. He said the unions wouldn't allow it because they wouldn't get a cut.

He said in his business (glazing, sheet metal, roofing), apprentices are paid at a rate of about 30% of the max wage and have to attend at last one class every two weeks or so for about two years.

He's very passionate about this topic and we talk alot about how skilled trades are dying off. He says he believes that the unions ( and he hates the unions, so this is saying a lot!), need to be going to high schools and job faires to recruit kids into the trades.

For the union, all you have to do is pass a basic test showing you understand basic concepts and then you can be put on the apprentice lists to be hired. Kids can start working right out of high school if they want.


Quoting NWP:

I think we should bring back paid apprentices for skilled labor/trade jobs. Some still do this.

Quoting susannah2000:

that is true alot of times. 2 year degrees that are training programs will get people working, whereas a 4 year degree does not in alot of cases. It is true that 4 year school isn't for everyone, but some sort of higher education is required. If your kid doesn't know what they want to do, or how to make a career of their 4 year degree, , do a training program.


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