Associates Degrees May Pay Better Than Bachelors Degrees - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Associates Degrees May Pay Better Than Bachelors Degrees

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The prevailing wisdom used to be that two-year college degrees weren't as lucrative or as prestigious as their four-year counterparts. But that's not necessarily the case any more. Studies have shown some graduates with two year degrees earn more money, sometimes starting out at $40,000 a year.  

An associates degree of applied science in majors like energy, agriculture, geographical information systems or health care can make more than those earning a four-year degree. Some first-year students were shocked and even began rethinking their college career.

"I kinda feel like I should go for a two year instead of a four year now. And save some money. Make more in the end than spending more," says Emily Williamson.

"Naw,  I'm just glad it makes me a little more content, little more secure," says Thomas Evenson.

Either way you look at it, colleges that offer two-year degrees in applied sciences, have students making more mone, especially with North Dakota's economic boom.

"I know that we have so many employers knocking down our faculty's door saying, 'We need more. We need more students. We need to hire more of your graduates.' So, it's really hard to nail down one because there's so many technical degrees," says Karen Erickson.

Bismarck State College admissions staff suggest students come to college with a plan on how they want to invest in their education, whether it be a two-year or four-year degree. If students are unsure, the program manager at the National Energy Center of Excellence says students can be guided in the right direction.

"They'll be in a field that's mechanic type or they'll be hands-on technition type, which is trouble shooting and hands-on. Or maybe they'll be an operator, which they'll lean how to operate tons of equipment and process various parts of facilites," says Ryan Caya.

Students should still keep in mind that although graduates of two-year degrees initially make more mone, graduates with bachelor degrees end up making more money over the span of their careers.

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