Each year, roughly 2 million college graduates earn bachelor’s degrees in the U.S., and for good reason.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Americans with a bachelor’s degree have median weekly earnings of $1,173, compared to just $712 a week for those who have a high school diploma.
And while the number of students earning bachelor’s degrees has steadily increased over the past several decades, so has the number of students earning professional certificates and associate’s degrees.
In fact, according to new report titled “The Overlooked Value of Certificates and Associate’s Degrees: What Students Need to Know Before They Go to College” from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, just as many students are earning an associates degree or professional certificate as those who are earning a traditional bachelor’s degree.
Around 50% of undergraduate students nationwide are enrolled in certificate and associate’s degree programs, and 47% are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs.
Courtesy of The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
That said, not all associate’s degrees and professional certificates set up students for professional success, and a bachelor’s degree remains the “gold standard” for stable employment and lifetime earnings, say researchers.
The researchers who wrote Georgetown’s report stress that there is a wide range of earnings among those with associate’s degrees and professional certificates.
“Field of study matters most when it comes to certificates and associate’s degrees,” says Dr. Anthony P. Carnevale, lead author and CEW director.
For instance, Carnevale and his team found earning a certificate in engineering technologies, which can lead to a job as a technician on a construction, manufacturing or engineering team, can lead to median earnings between $75,001 and $150,000, while workers with certificates in cosmetology and education report median earnings closer to $20,000.
For the original article click here: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/28/50percent-of-undergrads-arent-earning-a-bachelorswhat-theyre-studying.html
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