A recent study by the Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce shows that graduates of two-year degree programs are earning 30 percent more than their four-year degree counterparts.
The increase in wages for community college grads is being driven by a high demand for people with so-called "middle-skills" that often require no more than an associate's degree, such as lab technicians, teachers in early childhood programs, computer engineers, draftsmen, radiation therapists, paralegals, and machinists.
With a two-year community college degree, air traffic controllers can make $113,547, radiation therapists $76,627, dental hygienists $70,408, nuclear medicine technologists $69,638, nuclear technicians $68,037, registered nurses $65,853, and fashion designers $63,170, CareerBuilder.com reported in January.
Philadelphia Community Colleges
Community colleges have often advertised as a stepping stone toward a four-year degree. However, with associate programs in fields like computer engineering, court stenography and nursing, the savings in cost and the potential earning power is a compelling argument for a new path to career success.