You don't need to spend four years (or more) in college to score a good paying job. Here are moneymaking opportunities that only require an associate's degree.
The higher your degree, the higher your pay? Not necessarily.
According to the USA Today College partner network, the ticket to a number of lucrative and stable jobs – especially in the high-demand health care and technology sectors – is an associate degree, not a bachelor’s degree.
If you’re looking for a high paying job that doesn’t demand that you devote four (or more) years to earning a college degree, this news is for you. These five jobs highlighted by OnlineDegrees.com offer high pay and strong job growth, but only require an associate degree:
- Computer network support specialist (mean annual wage of $66,140, as of May 2014): With employment in this field expected to grow by 17 percent from 2012 to 2022, “becoming a computer network support specialist is not only a solid job in and of itself, but it’s often a starter position for climbing up the tech ladder,” according to OnlineDegrees.com.
- Dental hygienist ($71,970): This in-demand position requires you to earn an associate degree in dental hygiene and meet state licensing requirements. But with a “whopping 33 percent projected job growth through 2022, this career will make you want to open up and say ‘ahhh,'” OnlineDegrees.com said.
- Paralegal ($51,840): If you’re interested in a career in law, but don’t want to devote nearly a decade to earning a law degree, becoming a legal assistant or paralegal may be a good alternative. Paralegals not only earn a good wage, but they’re in high demand, with a 17 percent projected job growth predicted for the 10 years ending in 2022.
- Cardiovascular technologist or technician ($55,210): According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, cardiovascular techs are in hot demand, with a 30 percent growth in employment opportunities predicted between 2012 and 2022, so this position offers both excellent pay and employment security.
- Registered nurse ($69,790): Although some prospective nurses opt to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing, known as a BSN, you can become a registered nurse (RN) after completing an associate degree in nursing and meeting national and state licensing requirements. With a 19 percent job growth predicted through 2022, nursing also offers job security.
Do you have a four-year or two-year degree? What do you think of the salaries and job potential of the featured jobs? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.