2-year tech degrees offer middle-class pay

Associate degree graduates in technical fields earn more than the average four-year graduate in three states — and they paid a lot less for their education.

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  1. palisadesk says:

    This is certainly true in some fields. A neighbor’s son, a bright boy who has never been academically inclined, completed an associate’s degree in some kind of nuclear energy field. He was immediately snapped up (in fact, he had a choice of several attractive offers) with a starting salary of over $60 grand plus benefits including a company car and paid apartment and meal allowance. Another finished a program in aircraft maintenance and quickly got a job with a large international carrier and was earning over 100k in less than 5 years, with prospects of much higher earnings if he is willing to travel and do much overtime. These jobs also come with excellent medical, dental and benefit plans.

    I htink we do a disservice with the B.A. for all emphasis. It’s not all about brains, either. Many high ability students are simply not academics and prefer a more “practical” career — and it does pay more. Skilled bricklayers, carpenters and electricians all earn a lot more than teachers, for instance!

    If you exclude the professions — dentistry, medicine, etc. — “white collar” jobs requiring a 4-year degree may well be tomorrow’s “pink collar” income jobs. We are seriously lacking in skilled tradespeople. Unfortunately, high-paying jobs for people with marginal skills are disappearing. My auto mechanic, who only has an elementary-school education himself, says that apprentices today need sophisticated computer and literacy skills as well as practical math competence. He finds few secondary school students/graduates meet this criterion, but those who complete an appropriate associate’s degree are better able to succeed.

    Friends who manage a successful plumbing business have had difficulty recruiting skilled young people, even though they can also expect to earn up to 80 grand in their first few years. He has been importing skilled workers from eastern Europe and the Middle East.