Advantages of community college

January 3, 2013

Contradicting to many stereotypes, new research shows that students with a two-year associates degree oftentimes out-earn recent graduates from more prestigious four-year schools. This trend should be kept in mind by students looking for tips for college and how to start making money promptly upon graduation.

"In the U.S., we’ve tended to think that the bachelor’s degree is the only thing that matters," said Mark Schneider, president the organization responsible for the data analysis,, told MSN. "This data tells us that technical degrees from community colleges are hidden gems."

Reporting on the College Measures study, MSN explains that students who earn their associate's in technical or occupational fields, on average, earn $40,000 per year. Meanwhile, the average graduate with a bachelor's degree only pulls in $36,067 per year.

Experts who spoke to the news source explained that this trend is a comparatively recent happening. Anthony Carnevale of Georgetown's Center on Education and the Workforce said that a bachelor's degree was a more surefire segue into the middle class before 1981. These days, there's much more to post-grad employment than simply having a degree.

"You have to pay attention to the courses and the content of your degree," he said.

Other plus-sides of community college
Statistics FastWeb cites from the College Board show that community colleges are the sector of education currently surpasses all others in terms of growth and size.

Many of the primary advantages are financial, notes FastWeb. Tuition is generally less expensive at community colleges, and not immediately moving into a dorm or apartment after high school is another way to save money for college. There are also some potential personal and academic advantages. If you're a student who isn't sure what kind of career you want to pursue, community college gives you a little extra time to think about what to major in. In addition, if your high school grades weren't that impressive, community college provides an opportunity to boost your grade point average.

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