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Carrington College Blog

Positive Salary News For Certificate & Associate Students

July 5, 2013

SalaryA recent report* suggests that students attending a two-year technical program could graduate and initially move into better paid jobs than those graduating with a four-year bachelor’s degree.

The report, presented to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, found that graduates with technical degrees and certificates, such as those offered at Carrington College, often earned significantly more than those with other academic credentials.

What’s more, graduates from regional and less renowned universities typically earned just as much as graduates with similar degrees from the state’s ‘flagship’ schools. While this particular report is specific to Texas, this isn’t just good news for students at our Mesquite campus.

The company behind the study found similar outcomes in Arkansas, Colorado, Tennessee, and Virginia, suggesting the results are not exclusive to The Lone Star State, but could be applicable nationwide.

To be fair, balanced and to look at both sides, there are those that argue that graduates who are more broadly educated, with a four-year bachelor’s degree for example, generally earn more throughout their career. Indeed, the salary that an individual makes one year after graduation doesn’t necessarily reflect their earning potential over their lifetime.

But when it comes to tracking salaries 10 years down the road, the authors’ of the report acknowledge that ‘they don’t know’. However, this study makes the case for looking at the short-term gain.

The Texas study found that one year after graduation those with two-year technical degrees earned more than $50,000 on average, which is about $11,000 more than graduates with bachelor’s degrees. And those with these technical degrees were making about $30,000 more than graduates of two-year colleges who had focused on academic subjects.

The report also indicated that you don’t have to have a degree to do well. Statistics in the report showed that holders of certificates – one of the fastest-growing credentials two-year colleges offer – sometimes earned more than recipients of B.A.’s.

From the study, the median first-year earnings of graduates of some certificate programs, including several in health care, were more than $70,000. That’s $30,000 more than the statewide median salary for bachelor-degree graduates. But certificates don’t always lead to higher-paying jobs. Just ask cosmetology students in the survey, many of whom earn $13,000 or less.

It should go without saying that we are here to help set you up for success, motivate you and set you up for your education and career. We do not guarantee employment or specific salary ranges after graduation. However, we’ll do everything we can to help you get to where you want to be.


*Study report prepared by College Measures. A partnership of the American Institutes for Research and Matrix Knowledge Group. Earnings Data & Information sourced from ‘Tech Training May Provide Fatter Paychecks Than 4-Year Degrees, Study Finds’ – By Katherine Mangan in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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