Monday, March 25, 2013

Strong Two-Year Degree or Certificate Programs

Many people assume that a four-year college degree equates to a larger payoff, financially, than a two-year degree; however, many two-year degree or certificate programs can lead to careers with equivalent or even higher salaries. Combined with lower college debt, two-year degree earners could actually come out ahead of their four-year counterparts in lifetime financial worth.

The following are several occupations that require a two-year degree or certificate:

Trade Occupations

Electrical technicians: Trade occupations are still in high demand, and within the trades, electrical technicians have experienced the highest increase in earnings over the past 15 years. Often, paid apprenticeships are available. Median salary is more than $46,000.

Medical Occupations

Radiologic technicians: A radiologic technician is one of the fasting growing occupations. A radiologic technician performs such diagnostic imaging as mammograms, ultrasounds, and MRIs. A two-year degree and a state licensing exam are required, and the median salary is more than $52,000. Often, another advantage is a flexible work schedule.

Dental hygienists and Registered nurses: Both of these in-demand occupations require only two-year degrees. They offer excellent median salaries of approximately $62,000. You can do these jobs no matter where you live, and you can work full-time or part-time. Tuition assistance programs are often available for nurses who later pursue higher education.

Business and Technical Occupations

Paralegal: If you enjoy legal work but don’t want to pursue a law degree, this two-year degree can provide an entry into employment at a legal firm assisting attorneys. Median salaries start at about $42,000.

Computer Support and Information Technology: This field is growing at a rate of approximately 14 percent per year, so demand is high for individuals able to do on-site computer work. Break into the industry with a two-year degree and then gain hands-on experience. Average salaries start around $44,000.

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