Online Learning Update

February 10, 2018

How to boost the earnings power of associate of arts degrees

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

by Jeremy House, Education Dive
An American Enterprise Institute study recommends a number of changes to boost the earnings power of the typical associate of arts degree offered at community colleges because graduates with these degrees earn less than those with associate degrees in more technical fields. Generally, community college studies are oriented around general education course, suitable for transferring to four-year colleges. Of the the 670,000 awarded associate degrees in 2015, 40% were in a single field of study: liberal arts, general studies and humanities. Another 100,000 associate degrees were awarded in related transfer-oriented programs. Because most community college enrollees never obtain bachelor’s degrees, many are in the job market with a general education degree that provides limited work skills and earnings power. With a few additional skills, the study’s authors argue, community college graduates would be more competitive for jobs earning at least $40,000. Looking at jobs data, the authors suggested enhancing the traditional associate of arts degree with more marketable skills like Photoshop, website design or project management.

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