Associate degrees can be much more valuable than many people realize! According to Yahoo! Education, here are the five college degrees that offer the best financial return–that is, the highest financial rewards for the least amount of money. Note that #4 and #5 on the list are associate degrees.
You’re probably not surprised by the MBA, but did you know that associate degrees in paralegal studies and IT can really pay off–especially considering how little you’ll pay to earn these degrees? Experienced professionals with these two year degrees average over $60,000 a year, and can potentially earn quite a bit more. This is great news for students with these interests who aren’t crazy about the thought of going to school for years, and who want to get into the workplace now. Two year degrees can really pay off.
So why isn’t the two year degree in nursing on the list? If you’re interested in nursing, keep in mind that the four year nursing degree–which is #3 on this list–has really become the standard in the nursing field. Two year degrees haven’t lost all their value, though– especially because you can get an associates degree in nursing, work for awhile, and then go back to finish a four year degree.
Of course, some associate degrees are more valuable than others, so if you’re interested in or attending a community college, talk to an advisor about the financial prospects of majors that interest you. But don’t think that a four year degree is absolutely necessary to make yourself valuable in the marketplace.