Not cut out for a four-year degree program and eager to get out and earn some decent money? Don’t sweat it. There are some surprisingly well-paid positions that don’t require a bachelor’s degree, and surprisingly affordable two-year programs that tend to spring graduates into those positions, according to new data from PayScale, an online salary, benefits and compensation information company:
These are the top 10 highest paying associate degrees by salary potential, according to PayScale:
- Management information systems: $45,100 early career pay, $72,100 midcareer pay
- Construction management: $43,900 early career pay, $71,200 midcareer pay
- Economics: $36,800 early career pay, $71,100 midcareer pay
- Electronics and communications engineering: $45,100 early career pay, $69,600 midcareer pay
- Mechanical engineering technology: $40,600 early career pay, $69,600 midcareer pay
- Dental hygiene: $61,300 early career pay, $68,700 midcareer pay
- Occupational health and safety: $50,300 early career pay, $68,200 midcareer pay
- Computer science: $40,900 early career pay, $67,400 midcareer pay
- Diagnostic medical sonography: $50,200 early career pay, $66,800 midcareer pay
- Networks and telecommunications: $41,600 early career pay, $66,400 midcareer pay
If you’re looking for a good value for your education dollars, you may want to look into enrolling at a community college, PayScale noted.
In general, public community colleges produce the highest earners. If you are looking for an affordable education, that’s a good thing — community colleges are usually the most affordable way to get a college education whether you want an AA or want to transfer to a four-year school.
PayScale said these two-year public schools produce the highest paid graduates:
- CUNY – New York City College of Technology: $40,600 early career pay, $72,700 midcareer pay
- Fashion Institute of Technology – New York, New York: $41,500 early career pay, $72,100 midcareer pay
- De Anza College — Cupertino, California: $49,800 early career pay, $69,800 midcareer pay
- Bakersfield College — Bakersfield, California: $41,900 early career pay, $68,700 midcareer pay
- Alvin Community College — Alvin, Texas: $43,000 early career pay, $68,400 midcareer pay
- Lamar University — Beaumont, Texas: $40,300 early career pay, $67,000 midcareer pay
Click here to access PayScale’s new college salary report in its entirety. The report includes rankings for more than 1,000 colleges by salary potential.
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