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(Marketwatch)   Is an associate's degree economically a better long term investment than a bachelor's degree? Here's the high school math   (marketwatch.com) divider line 56
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2412 clicks; posted to Business » on 03 Aug 2014 at 11:19 AM (51 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-03 09:16:14 AM  
 And, of course, those numbers are compounded by the fact that it typically takes longer to get a degree from a four-year vs. two-year school.

"Typically", four is indeed greater than two.  Sometimes it isn't, but it's usually a safe assumption.
That sounds like something that someone with an associate's degree in business would say.  They don't teach counting until the third year, typically.
 
2014-08-03 10:16:32 AM  

syrynxx: That sounds like something that someone with an associate's degree in business would say


Either that or "Welcome to Wal*Mart!"
.
 
2014-08-03 10:41:01 AM  
You don't need a degree to be a Walmart associate.
 
2014-08-03 11:10:30 AM  

syrynxx: And, of course, those numbers are compounded by the fact that it typically takes longer to get a degree from a four-year vs. two-year school.

"Typically", four is indeed greater than two.  Sometimes it isn't, but it's usually a safe assumption.
That sounds like something that someone with an associate's degree in business would say.  They don't teach counting until the third year, typically.


There are many people who only go to school part-time, usually because they work full-time, and it can take them more than 4 years to finish a 2-year degree. It is quite common.
 
2014-08-03 11:25:05 AM  
Depends on how driven you are. If you are the type that can only operate as a cog in a major corporation, you better go all the way through an MBA so you can get that VP of Whogivesafark position at IBM.
 
2014-08-03 11:26:11 AM  
Pardon me, but that calculation doesn't account for the *wealth of knowledge* gained re: the liberal arts core/corps.

/a significant benefit to both student and society
 
2014-08-03 11:38:40 AM  
Fifteen years ago? Probably  These days? Not so much.

I remember all the CAD schools throwing scholarships at me in high school, but I ended up going the military route instead. That two-year CAD degree wouldn't be worth the paper it's printed on now... hell, I know licensed architects who have taken drafting jobs in the last few years.
 
2014-08-03 11:42:06 AM  
A two year degree in the area you can actually get a job in always trumps a four year degree in Art History.

/just saying
//DRTFA
 
2014-08-03 11:48:33 AM  
I got one and it really helped in getting kicked out of Arizona State. Twice.

The fact it took me 5 years to earn it matters not one bit.
 
2014-08-03 12:15:59 PM  
Funny, I have both. I was able to find a job with my Associates but have had no such luck with my BA or MA.
 
2014-08-03 12:27:24 PM  
No.
 
2014-08-03 12:53:12 PM  

raerae1980: Funny, I have both. I was able to find a job with my Associates but have had no such luck with my BA or MA.


I think I see the problem.
 
2014-08-03 12:54:10 PM  

revrendjim: syrynxx: And, of course, those numbers are compounded by the fact that it typically takes longer to get a degree from a four-year vs. two-year school.

"Typically", four is indeed greater than two.  Sometimes it isn't, but it's usually a safe assumption.
That sounds like something that someone with an associate's degree in business would say.  They don't teach counting until the third year, typically.

There are many people who only go to school part-time, usually because they work full-time, and it can take them more than 4 years to finish a 2-year degree. It is quite common.


And on the flip side, it's possible to graduate with a 4 year degree in 2-3 years if you load up on AP classes in high school and take advantage of winter and summer sessions in college.

Plus, and this may just be anecdotal, but it seems as if there are more scholarship opportunities available at full four year universities than there are at typical two year schools, so even if you don't manage to get a full ride, you can still often significantly reduce the cost of attendance.
 
2014-08-03 01:00:45 PM  
My lame ITT tech degree got me a starting job working IT at a major hospital, and 12 years later I have tripled my salary since starting... really exceeding all expectations I had when I began my career.

I have always been terrified that I wouldnt be able to survive adulthood, And I was a poor student in high school so I knew I had to  work twice as hard as a lot of my peers.  Its not easy, and there are a lot of people who probably make considerably more than me with their higher degrees, but I'm satisfied with what i've become in my early 30's.

You have to have some sort of degree on that resume though, to get your foot in the door anyplace where you would expect to grow.  Its more important to go into it with a hard working mindset and being dedicated to playing the long game with your salary; I know many people who skipped out early in their careers for a bigger payday and were left floundering after a couple years.
 
2014-08-03 01:10:41 PM  

Stone Meadow: raerae1980: Funny, I have both. I was able to find a job with my Associates but have had no such luck with my BA or MA.

Herp, derp.


I think I see your problem.
 
2014-08-03 01:10:49 PM  

Stone Meadow: raerae1980: Funny, I have both. I was able to find a job with my Associates but have had no such luck with my BA or MA.

I think I see the problem.


It is strange how many critical thinkers seem to have such trouble finding good jobs. Especially since they are so quick to point out how their education makes them superior people in virtually every way.
 
2014-08-03 01:48:29 PM  
I have a BS in Engineering, but there's not a whole hell of a lot that I do as a PLC/HMI programmer-Electrical controls designer that I couldn't be doing with only a two year degree. I'd highly recommend this to technically-minded people thinking of starting or changing careers -- Get a 2 year degree with a good grounding in basic engineering physics (electricity, flow, statics/dynamics), motors/VFDs, electrical codes, pneumatics/hydraulics, basic IT skillz and PLC programming, and there's no good reason you couldn't earn six figures within 5-7 years .

There's a shortage of people like us, I guess "PLC Programmer" is a job that's not on a lot of peoples' radar. Maybe that'll change in the future if enough of the Lego robotics kids follow that path but for now the demand's much higher than the supply, at least where I live.
 
2014-08-03 02:12:06 PM  
I wouldn't have my job if I didn't have a Bachelor degree.  It comes down to the employer and what they want.  I'm sure I could find the same job with less requirements, but I live a mile from work and would prefer not to have an hour drive.
 
2014-08-03 02:17:17 PM  

verbaltoxin: Stone Meadow: raerae1980: Funny, I have both. I was able to find a job with my Associates but have had no such luck with my BA or MA.

Herp, derp.

I think I see your problem.


LOL...after more than a decade on Fark you STILL don't recognize a passing reference to the meme of beating up on guys with Arts degrees?

Unpossible!
 
2014-08-03 02:48:02 PM  

gingerjet: A two year degree in the area you can actually get a job in always trumps a four year degree in Art History.

/just saying
//DRTFA


Always? Probably not if the 4-year degree is from Harvard.
 
2014-08-03 02:55:04 PM  
The article was not comparing Associates degrees to bachelor's degrees, but people who did all their studies for their bachelors at a 4-year school vs those who did their general studies at a 2-year college and then then transferred for upper division to a 4-year school.

gingerjet: A two year degree in the area you can actually get a job in always trumps a four year degree in Art History.

/just saying
//DRTFA


This
The university I work at is really into increasing the number of Bachelor's degrees earned by AK natives. If/when they go back home however most bachelor's degrees are useless, Not many jobs available for a physicist, journalist or even engineer in a fishing village. Someone with an associates degree in engine repair or culinary arts however has it made.

/has an advanced degree in physics
//works building databases - a skill picked up on the side.
///It is not the degree that gets the job, it is the skills you have that match the current need
 
2014-08-03 03:02:42 PM  

syrynxx:  And, of course, those numbers are compounded by the fact that it typically takes longer to get a degree from a four-year vs. two-year school.

"Typically", four is indeed greater than two.  Sometimes it isn't, but it's usually a safe assumption.
That sounds like something that someone with an associate's degree in business would say.  They don't teach counting until the third year, typically.


You ever try to get a nursing degree from a two year school? Unless its a shady place like Galen or something that is only accredited by a board that the school probably owns your first year or so is going to be spent taking pre-req's. Once you apply to actually get in the program and hear back, typically, another semester has passed before you're actually taking the real nursing classes. Then, as long as you get decent enough grades, you'll spend two years working your butt off until you graduate. Not only that but it isn't uncommon at all for someone to have to repeat a semester because its so tough.

Not only that but. Just getting into the program is hard enough. You made 2 or 3 B's on your pre-reqs? Chances are you aren't getting in. Even if you make good enough grades, around here 25% or so won't pass the entrance exam. Got good enough grades and pass the entrance exam? Congrats. You have around a 1 in 3 chance of actually being accepted into a program. You make it in and even then most places only have around 80% or so graduation rate.
 
2014-08-03 03:22:56 PM  

phedex: My lame ITT tech degree got me a starting job working IT at a major hospital, and 12 years later I have tripled my salary since starting... really exceeding all expectations I had when I began my career.


This crops up in every career discussion ever. "But my IT job!"

IT is kind of a weird outlier that employers are only starting to figure out how to bring in line. However, I think we're seeing some significant shifts, between H1B growth, "cloud" (ugh), and automation. I expect the sector to contract and wages to stagnate in the next 5 or so years. Traditional in-house IT (and even a lot of MSP work) will be replaced by vendor liasons. Most of the jobs will be on the "Whatever-as-a-Service" provider side, which will leverage efficiencies of scale to keep headcount low.

But anyway Dale in Accounting still won't understand how pivot tables work, so I guess there's some hope yet for us peons.
 
2014-08-03 03:35:31 PM  
I'd like to see society and government push back on employers who require bachelor's for every job and still pay squat. A person should not have to go into 5-6 figure debt just to be a glorified paper pusher. We need to make them accountable for sensible hiring practices. We should also bring back real on the job training.

If we are going to require degrees from everyone, public colleges need to be truly public. Fund them, but make sure the money goes towards the professors and education, not the administration, directors, or athletics. And make sure they are graduating students on time with actual career prospects.
 
2014-08-03 03:57:35 PM  
To some of you: "Bachelor of Arts" degree is NOT a degree in art.
 
2014-08-03 04:22:58 PM  
But then who would we look down on?
 
2014-08-03 04:55:57 PM  
Many two year degrees provide more value than many for year degrees. Many degree-less skilled trades are more profitable than degrees.

But it's all in the details.

// I'll just hang out over here and count my STEM money.
 
2014-08-03 05:17:10 PM  

phaseolus: I have a BS in Engineering, but there's not a whole hell of a lot that I do as a PLC/HMI programmer-Electrical controls designer that I couldn't be doing with only a two year degree. I'd highly recommend this to technically-minded people thinking of starting or changing careers -- Get a 2 year degree with a good grounding in basic engineering physics (electricity, flow, statics/dynamics), motors/VFDs, electrical codes, pneumatics/hydraulics, basic IT skillz and PLC programming, and there's no good reason you couldn't earn six figures within 5-7 years .

There's a shortage of people like us, I guess "PLC Programmer" is a job that's not on a lot of peoples' radar. Maybe that'll change in the future if enough of the Lego robotics kids follow that path but for now the demand's much higher than the supply, at least where I live.


Where I used to work we had electricians who did there own  PLC programming. While these guys worked  rotating 12 hour shifts (with nights and weekends).  They earned 6 figures in Podunk rural Missouri, where you can buy a house on 10 acres for less than $100k
 
2014-08-03 06:01:24 PM  
initially...

but companies are selfish, like to feel warm & fuzzy and like to market their staff

so if you get into a lead, senior or management position, then you'll need the BA/BS at least
to compete vs other higher level players
AND to help justify your higher rate.

Experience is the new push...and proof that you have the voodoo to do what you do.
But the degree is often required too.

So get started...get some years under your belt.
Then continue your education at your discretion...your experience will take over most of the gig criteria later.

**exception, science or education based roles and environs...they are VERY paperwork oriented.
 
2014-08-03 06:26:00 PM  
It might be a better long term investment, but you have to actually work for a living.  F that dog.
 
2014-08-03 06:43:22 PM  

Stone Meadow: raerae1980: Funny, I have both. I was able to find a job with my Associates but have had no such luck with my BA or MA.

I think I see the problem.



Oh look, an engineer with a social disorder.  How rare.
 
2014-08-03 07:10:47 PM  

unmonkey: phedex: My lame ITT tech degree got me a starting job working IT at a major hospital, and 12 years later I have tripled my salary since starting... really exceeding all expectations I had when I began my career.

This crops up in every career discussion ever. "But my IT job!"

IT is kind of a weird outlier that employers are only starting to figure out how to bring in line. However, I think we're seeing some significant shifts, between H1B growth, "cloud" (ugh), and automation. I expect the sector to contract and wages to stagnate in the next 5 or so years. Traditional in-house IT (and even a lot of MSP work) will be replaced by vendor liasons. Most of the jobs will be on the "Whatever-as-a-Service" provider side, which will leverage efficiencies of scale to keep headcount low.

But anyway Dale in Accounting still won't understand how pivot tables work, so I guess there's some hope yet for us peons.


m.minneapolisfed.org
 
2014-08-03 09:04:59 PM  

poot_rootbeer: Stone Meadow: raerae1980: Funny, I have both. I was able to find a job with my Associates but have had no such luck with my BA or MA.

I think I see the problem.

Oh look, an engineer with a social disorder.  How rare.


Pah-leezzze...math major, BS, MS...ABD.

/why yes, I am somewhat agoraphobic...why do you ask?
 
2014-08-03 10:33:36 PM  

phaseolus: I have a BS in Engineering, but there's not a whole hell of a lot that I do as a PLC/HMI programmer-Electrical controls designer that I couldn't be doing with only a two year degree. I'd highly recommend this to technically-minded people thinking of starting or changing careers -- Get a 2 year degree with a good grounding in basic engineering physics (electricity, flow, statics/dynamics), motors/VFDs, electrical codes, pneumatics/hydraulics, basic IT skillz and PLC programming, and there's no good reason you couldn't earn six figures within 5-7 years .

There's a shortage of people like us, I guess "PLC Programmer" is a job that's not on a lot of peoples' radar. Maybe that'll change in the future if enough of the Lego robotics kids follow that path but for now the demand's much higher than the supply, at least where I live.


I doubt there are many people with 4 year degrees who really only use the first few years of basics (or think they do).  My BS in computer engineering helped me start out in electrical controls since it's a lot harder to get experience with hardware than just some computer program you can download.  The last few years of school can also help round you out so you actually understand a lot of the processes you are controlling.  Specifically programming fundamentals that allow you to pick up any platform quickly.

But I agree it is a growing field and you can work almost anywhere.  Any thing you can do to replace people with automation will keep you employed for a long time.
 
2014-08-03 10:36:16 PM  
turtle553:

I doubt there are many people with 4 year degrees who really use more than the first few years of basics (or think they do).

Fixed
 
2014-08-03 10:36:26 PM  

umad: It is strange how many critical thinkers seem to have such trouble finding good jobs. Especially since they are so quick to point out how their education makes them superior people in virtually every way.


That's funny. It's always the Fark Engineers that tend to be the smug assholes that point out they're better than all because of their BS.

T
 
2014-08-03 11:01:20 PM  

Stone Meadow: raerae1980: Funny, I have both. I was able to find a job with my Associates but have had no such luck with my BA or MA.

I think I see the problem.


IIRC, my math degree is a BA. I've done very well with it.
 
2014-08-03 11:28:51 PM  

NotARocketScientist: The article was not comparing Associates degrees to bachelor's degrees, but people who did all their studies for their bachelors at a 4-year school vs those who did their general studies at a 2-year college and then then transferred for upper division to a 4-year school.

gingerjet: A two year degree in the area you can actually get a job in always trumps a four year degree in Art History.

/just saying
//DRTFA

This
The university I work at is really into increasing the number of Bachelor's degrees earned by AK natives. If/when they go back home however most bachelor's degrees are useless, Not many jobs available for a physicist, journalist or even engineer in a fishing village. Someone with an associates degree in engine repair or culinary arts however has it made.

/has an advanced degree in physics
//works building databases - a skill picked up on the side.
///It is not the degree that gets the job, it is the skills you have that match the current need


You obviously didn't read the article. It is very clearly 2 year versus 4 year. No transferring.

The issue with this comparison though is that this sudden growth in aassociate degrees hasn't shown up in the pay data yet. It could raise associate pay if the degree doesn't matter, or it could raise bachelor pay if their increased scarcity adds value.
 
2014-08-04 01:19:13 AM  
Could be.  Girl with a two year nursing degree that has passed the NCLEX will be making decent coin well before the girl who earned a B.S. in communications. Neither will make more than the girl who earned a B.S. in C.S. from a reputable school.
 
2014-08-04 02:29:22 AM  
PLC Programmer - I don't really understand, what's the difference between being a PLC programmer and just simply programmer? From what I understand, PLC are computers with a limited and defined set of possible inputs and outputs, without direct human interaction, without any need for human interface and so on.

In other words, "normal programmer's wet dream". 90% of anything I program spent (wasted?) on building a human interface, making sure that the monkey behind the inputs will not be possibly ever capable of DESTROYING THE WORLD while randomly banging its head on the keyboard, and if at any moment it's tiny brain will suddenly switch its attention from masturbation to actually doing whatever it is supposed to do, no matter what state the program is, it will always provide easily comprehensible by meth-addled pigeon instruction on what the monkey should do next, please, if it would be so very kind.

Hell, I need to look into that PLC programming thing, while I'm still perfectly sane...
 
2014-08-04 06:31:20 AM  
I have a BA that was absolutely worthless, I've never had a job in the field, and the jobs I've gotten (like my current one) were pathetically low paying.  Have a commercial pilot's license that I picked up, and, while living in Alaska, paid me pretty well.  This fall, I'm heading back to school for my welding certification.  The school I'll be going to has a "class to work" program that takes 3 months, get's you certified, and has a 100% placement rate in a field that, if you're willing to travel a bit, will pay solid 6 figures pretty fast.  My wife already knows her next two assignments are going to be ball busters, with late hours and lots of weekends, so I'll be doing 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off with some buddies who are working the oil fields out in west Texas.
 
2014-08-04 06:41:09 AM  

clkeagle: Fifteen years ago? Probably  These days? Not so much.

I remember all the CAD schools throwing scholarships at me in high school, but I ended up going the military route instead. That two-year CAD degree wouldn't be worth the paper it's printed on now... hell, I know licensed architects who have taken drafting jobs in the last few years.


I know a guy was National CAD champion, I mean best in the country.

He's a full time soccer referee now. Wife has a good job, fortunately
 
2014-08-04 11:00:48 AM  
If you stop advancing your skills after school, you are doomed to a flat or risk-of-declining income potential no matter what degree you have.  Then you become the 55-year-old complaining nobody wants to hire you "because of my age."

IMO, what the 2 vs. 4 year numbers show is skewed by the fact a lot of the 2 year degree seekers are looking for a basic level of employment.  "I'm going to study electronics and being a technician" or "I'm going to be a nurse" or "I'm getting a degree in HVAC so i will have a good career.  A lot of those people weren't looking beyond a certain job level in the first place.  Many others know they don't have the money to go to four year institution.  Their parents make too much for them to get significant grant money, but not enough that they can afford to send their kids off to a four year school expenses-paid.  For some people, signing onto a bunch of debt...fark, I
'm late for a meeting...
 
2014-08-04 11:44:15 AM  

Big_Fat_Liar: If you stop advancing your skills after school, you are doomed to a flat or risk-of-declining income potential no matter what degree you have.  Then you become the 55-year-old complaining nobody wants to hire you "because of my age."

IMO, what the 2 vs. 4 year numbers show is skewed by the fact a lot of the 2 year degree seekers are looking for a basic level of employment.  "I'm going to study electronics and being a technician" or "I'm going to be a nurse" or "I'm getting a degree in HVAC so i will have a good career.  A lot of those people weren't looking beyond a certain job level in the first place.  Many others know they don't have the money to go to four year institution.  Their parents make too much for them to get significant grant money, but not enough that they can afford to send their kids off to a four year school expenses-paid.  For some people, signing onto a bunch of debt...fark, I
'm late for a meeting...


For a great many young adults that's still smarter than the "everybody has to get a 4-year degree" nonsense.
 
2014-08-04 12:12:57 PM  
I have a 4 year degree in English, and it's totally useless.

It's a miracle I have a job at all.
 
2014-08-04 12:14:20 PM  

Stone Meadow: raerae1980: Funny, I have both. I was able to find a job with my Associates but have had no such luck with my BA or MA.

I think I see the problem.


You know that doesn't mean much right? My college happened to label my Economics degree as a B.A. That doesn't mean I was an art history major.
 
2014-08-04 12:16:33 PM  

unmonkey: phedex: My lame ITT tech degree got me a starting job working IT at a major hospital, and 12 years later I have tripled my salary since starting... really exceeding all expectations I had when I began my career.

This crops up in every career discussion ever. "But my IT job!"

IT is kind of a weird outlier that employers are only starting to figure out how to bring in line. However, I think we're seeing some significant shifts, between H1B growth, "cloud" (ugh), and automation. I expect the sector to contract and wages to stagnate in the next 5 or so years. Traditional in-house IT (and even a lot of MSP work) will be replaced by vendor liasons. Most of the jobs will be on the "Whatever-as-a-Service" provider side, which will leverage efficiencies of scale to keep headcount low.

But anyway Dale in Accounting still won't understand how pivot tables work, so I guess there's some hope yet for us peons.



Long story short, asshole companies will figure out a way to ruin that career path as well.

but but we can't find workers so we need H1B visas, we promise to pay them "market" wages, wink wink
 
2014-08-04 12:30:56 PM  
No, I can't get an interview with a Associates.
 
2014-08-04 12:31:34 PM  
PROBABLY BECAUSE OF MY GRAMMAR, EH?

/oops, dammit.
 
2014-08-04 01:51:08 PM  

nocturnal001: Stone Meadow: raerae1980: Funny, I have both. I was able to find a job with my Associates but have had no such luck with my BA or MA.

I think I see the problem.

You know that doesn't mean much right? My college happened to label my Economics degree as a B.A. That doesn't mean I was an art history major.


It's a Fark meme for a reason, ya know. ;^)
 
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