BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -
Some graduates with two-year degrees can earn more right out of school than those with four-year degrees.
According to a study done by Georgetown University, 30% of Americans with associate’s degrees can make more, but that typically applies to graduates with degrees from technical or occupational programs.
23 ABC talked to one local community college professor about the findings.
“I shared the news with my students and they were pretty happy to hear that. I strongly encourage young people who aren’t really sure what they want to do with their lives to be in an occupation that can’t be outsourced to another place and hands on, high skill, high tech, that’s the way to go,” said Bakersfield College Assistant Professor, Darren Willis.
Willis teaches industrial drawing at Bakersfield College and also told 23 ABC that students with either a certificate or associate’s degree in a technical field are successful.
“You can make anywhere between 12 and 22 dollars an hour with a certificate and having the associate’s degree gives you a little extra validation that you have other skills in addition to just the job training skills.”
Michael Cudd started college right out of High school in 1993, but never finished. Cudd then went back to Bakersfield College in 2011 and is now studying to become an architect.
“I plan on getting my Associate of Science degree in architecture. That way I’m in the workforce and you know I have the option to continue school or just work my way up in the field.”
Cudd told 23 ABC he needs more school to eventually become an architect, but students in his field can still find good jobs with a certificate or associate’s degree.
“There are draftsman people in my position that probably top out around $70,000 I would say and that’s if they work their way up to supervisor.”
A study by Georgetown University says there are 29 million jobs for workers without bachelor’s degrees.
“We see students getting jobs with local manufacturing. We see students that are working in engineering support positions for engineering firms,” said Willis
However, The Director for the Center of Community Engagement & Career Education at California State University, Bakersfield released a statement to 23 ABC that said CSU Bakersfield is very optimistic about career options for four-year degree holders.
The statement also said job postings through the career center have also increased by 18% in the past year with employers participating in campus recruiting events and activities.
Willis is also optimistic about tech students finding jobs.
“There’s a future in doing this. It is high skill, high demand and high wage as a result.”
Willis told 23 ABC there are even different clubs set up to support women in technical and occupational programs.