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Old March 5th, 2018, 09:44 PM   #1
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Associate Degree vs. Bachelor Degree

Is it wiser to pursue an Associate Degree program(s) rather than Bachelor Degree?
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Old March 6th, 2018, 01:38 AM   #2
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I guess it is up to whatever the student is looking for. I have a BA but no AA, and now working on an MS, which i need for my career. Personally, i never saw the reason for an AA. i even knew that when i got my BA i still had to do a few more years before i could enter the workforce with my MS.
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Old March 6th, 2018, 02:36 AM   #3
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Consider, my local Community College costs only $1,500 per semester, and there are about 15 or so Associates Degrees (2 year programs) which will qualify a person for $40,000-$70,000 jobs--that is one hell of an input-output ratio compared to the 'traditional'/conformist advice given to the kids. Also, the credits apply equally in all areas, so once one gets an Associates Degree in one area, it is much easier/shorter route to get another in a related area. Then, a young adult could build up several such degrees while still very young (i.e. low twenties) at which point it would become nearly inconceivable they would not always have a solid paying job to fall back on for the rest of their lives--all without paying the absurd 4 year cost directly out of High School (btw, it is generally not '4 years' anymore, but often well more than 4). Furthermore, the A.S. degrees set up if they ever did want to pursue more advanced degrees, then they have a good chunk of the B.A./B.S. completed already without the first half cost; then, they could make that decision when they are closer to mid twenties range and actually able to think clearly about making such a significant life decision (of taking out a lot of money in loans for a B.A./B.S. and possibly higher i.e. M.A./M.S., PhD).

Now, it depends on the specific areas one is studying/earned a degree in. For instance, my Bachelors will be in Mathematics and History. Now, for many students I know that are solely History majors, they will be worse off in the job market after graduation than a person who attained an associates in Engineering, Nursing, Radiology, Dental Hygiene, ect.--all of which average salaries are between $50,000-&75,000 per year, while the History major will struggle to find work for $40,000 (and will likely get a job in the $30,000-39,000 range).

Now, as for Mathematics, many Math majors actually will have the same success or even more difficulty in finding a job in the $50,000-75,000 range than if they went to Community College for a much less technically rigorous subject for a fraction of the years, and hardly even a fraction of the cost (that is, many Math majors take easily 5+ years to finish while paying full-time tuition, while the same person could (almost definitely) easily get an Associates in a number of areas in 1.5 years time--ultimately producing the same salary or higher)

That is why I intend to get Associates degrees in Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, & likely CS next year, as it will only take 1 year of courses at a very limited cost (since there is significant overlap in the subjects) and coupled with a Mathematics BS, will credential me for all kinds of solid paying jobs that a Math BS alone really does fails to. From there, I have a 'safety net' to fall back on and will not have to be concerned to take out a sizeable loan/investment when going to Graduate School the following year.

Consider, in order to get these Associates at this point (considering the Math BS), would require only:

Engineering: 4 classes
Chemistry: 2 classes
Physics: 1 class
Computer Science: 3 classes

Total cost: less than $3,000

Qualifies one for a variety of jobs in the $50,000-$60,000 range in jobs that are in increasingly high demand. That is quite a compelling input-output ratio (in my view)
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Old March 6th, 2018, 02:42 AM   #4
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Note: Entry-level Engineering positions with a Bachelors average $60,000. Compare that to some Associate degree programs; Dental Hygienist is over $70,000, Registered Nurse (RN) $60,000-65,000, Engineering Technician-$50,000-60,000, Radiology Technician-$50,000-$55,000, Software Developer/Engineer-$60,000, ect. ect.
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Old March 6th, 2018, 10:03 AM   #5
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Is it wiser to pursue an Associate Degree program(s) rather than Bachelor Degree?
A four year college degree is required to get hired for a management position at large corporations. If you love to do paperwork then get a Bachelor Degree. If you love to do hands on technical work then get an Associate Degree.
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Old March 6th, 2018, 10:29 AM   #6
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Consider, my local Community College costs only $1,500 per semester, and there are about 15 or so Associates Degrees (2 year programs) which will qualify a person for $40,000-$70,000 jobs--that is one hell of an input-output ratio compared to the 'traditional'/conformist advice given to the kids. Also, the credits apply equally in all areas, so once one gets an Associates Degree in one area, it is much easier/shorter route to get another in a related area. Then, a young adult could build up several such degrees while still very young (i.e. low twenties) at which point it would become nearly inconceivable they would not always have a solid paying job to fall back on for the rest of their lives--all without paying the absurd 4 year cost directly out of High School (btw, it is generally not '4 years' anymore, but often well more than 4). Furthermore, the A.S. degrees set up if they ever did want to pursue more advanced degrees, then they have a good chunk of the B.A./B.S. completed already without the first half cost; then, they could make that decision when they are closer to mid twenties range and actually able to think clearly about making such a significant life decision (of taking out a lot of money in loans for a B.A./B.S. and possibly higher i.e. M.A./M.S., PhD).

Now, it depends on the specific areas one is studying/earned a degree in. For instance, my Bachelors will be in Mathematics and History. Now, for many students I know that are solely History majors, they will be worse off in the job market after graduation than a person who attained an associates in Engineering, Nursing, Radiology, Dental Hygiene, ect.--all of which average salaries are between $50,000-&75,000 per year, while the History major will struggle to find work for $40,000 (and will likely get a job in the $30,000-39,000 range).

Now, as for Mathematics, many Math majors actually will have the same success or even more difficulty in finding a job in the $50,000-75,000 range than if they went to Community College for a much less technically rigorous subject for a fraction of the years, and hardly even a fraction of the cost (that is, many Math majors take easily 5+ years to finish while paying full-time tuition, while the same person could (almost definitely) easily get an Associates in a number of areas in 1.5 years time--ultimately producing the same salary or higher)

That is why I intend to get Associates degrees in Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, & likely CS next year, as it will only take 1 year of courses at a very limited cost (since there is significant overlap in the subjects) and coupled with a Mathematics BS, will credential me for all kinds of solid paying jobs that a Math BS alone really does fails to. From there, I have a 'safety net' to fall back on and will not have to be concerned to take out a sizeable loan/investment when going to Graduate School the following year.

Consider, in order to get these Associates at this point (considering the Math BS), would require only:

Engineering: 4 classes
Chemistry: 2 classes
Physics: 1 class
Computer Science: 3 classes

Total cost: less than $3,000

Qualifies one for a variety of jobs in the $50,000-$60,000 range in jobs that are in increasingly high demand. That is quite a compelling input-output ratio (in my view)
Licensed electricians in the field make that, with just a trade school certificate, and 5 years experience.

Electrical engineers with an associates degree, who take mechanical drawing classes, earn north of $60K. If you learn to estimate jobs, senior estimators make north of $100K.

If I had it to do all over again, I would have continued my education, and became a senior estimator. If your math skills are that good, you could go straight into drawing the day you leave school, and into estimating a year or two after that. Both of which are in high demand.
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Old March 6th, 2018, 11:03 AM   #7
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I dont know about some of those salaries. I know my mom was a CCRN with a bachelors in nursing and lots of experience and she only makes what you are saying is for a RN with an associates.
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Old March 6th, 2018, 11:10 AM   #8
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Licensed electricians in the field make that, with just a trade school certificate, and 5 years experience.

Electrical engineers with an associates degree, who take mechanical drawing classes, earn north of $60K. If you learn to estimate jobs, senior estimators make north of $100K.

If I had it to do all over again, I would have continued my education, and became a senior estimator. If your math skills are that good, you could go straight into drawing the day you leave school, and into estimating a year or two after that. Both of which are in high demand.
Yup, all kinds of options are available to those who have the ability. No ability and no options. Call me a jack leg electrician and you will not offend me.
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Old March 6th, 2018, 02:20 PM   #9
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Yup, all kinds of options are available to those who have the ability. No ability and no options. Call me a jack leg electrician and you will not offend me.
$48-52K is minimum wage pay to licensed electricians. In license states the average is $70-90K. A licensed apprentice doing solar work in Minnesota makes $60K, and that's a 20 year old kid that doesn't know the front end of a screwdriver from the back end of one. And that's working 8 months out of the year, if they work every hour they can.

If you have an engineering degree at any level, you can freelance $100K. Companies will pay estimators a percentage of every job they estimate and win on that bid. Most estimators will get 10% of what they bid, so if you are estimating $1 million a year or more and there are estimators doing $10 million or more, you can see the earnings potential. There are guys that do that for 5-10 years and retire.
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Old March 6th, 2018, 02:44 PM   #10
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I've been contract for many years. The parent company's attitude has for most of those years been, if you don't have a four year degree, don't even apply. Though oddly they'll gladly pay a contractor without a degree. A few years ago they decided they wanted their sales force to be more technical. They started trying to hire people that had both the technical back ground and a four year degree. What they quickly discovered, at least in my field, is such people are only slightly less rare than unicorns and hen's teeth.

They started a reorg about 18 months ago. For the first time in my almost 30 years associated with them they are asking for 4 year degree or EQUIVALENT experience. I have an interview coming up. Ironically my boss on the contracting company side has both the technical skills and an MBA, but he has alienated so many people he can't even get an interview.
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