According to The New York Times, a college degree is becoming the new high school diploma in the U.S. Across industries and geographic areas, positions that didn’t require degrees, such as dental hygienists, cargo agents, clerks and claims adjusters, increasingly require one today. Some jobs, like those in supply chain management and logistics, are more technical and require more advanced skills than they did previously. But more broadly, because so many people are going to college, those without degrees may be viewed as less capable.
However, you don’t need a four-year degree to embark on a successful career. Two-year associate degrees continue to open doors for millions of Americans in search of advanced study or careers in some of the fastest-growing jobs in the economy. And getting that degree can pay off immediately and in the long run. According to research done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an associate degree can mean up to an extra $100 to $200 in salary each week for many, which can be more than $200,000 to $420,000 over a full career. Associate degree programs typically are very flexible, both in what you can study and how you study and learn…including taking an associate degree program online. Many online college graduates are successful entering or advancing in the workforce because they’re trained in the skill areas employers are demanding to fill open positions.