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.
What do you think of the salary potential for the associate’s degree positions highlighted by PayScale? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.