Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Value of a Two Year Degree

An article at about two year degrees suggests that, at least in some cases, a two year associates degree can result in a better pay off than a four year degree. The study, by, is largely based on a data collected in Texas concerning graduates of technical programs and with certificates in technical fields.
The results of the study suggest that the degree a student earns matters, but that there are important variations in returns by program and by institution. This report documents some of the differences in first-year earnings ranging from certificate programs through master’s programs.
Among the findings are:
• Technical-oriented associate’s degree programs are helping many students successfully enter the labor market by equipping them with skills that are in demand. On average, a year after graduation, students with two-year technical degrees have first-year median earnings of more than $50,000, just over $11,000 more than graduates of bachelor’s degree programs across the state.
• Graduates with these two-year technical degrees earn, on average, about $30,000 more than students who completed academically oriented two-year degrees and are now in the labor force.
• Certificates are one of the fastest-growing credentials offered by community colleges. The median first-year earnings of certificate holders often exceed those of graduates from academic and technical associate’s programs.

Locally, here's some numbers, broken down by the gender of the graduate, that shows the numbers of Associate Degrees among those age 25 or older in Herkimer and Oneida Counties.

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