The higher your degree, the higher your pay? Not necessarily.
According to the USA Today College partner network, the ticket to a number of lucrative and stable jobs – especially in the high-demand health care and technology sectors – is an associate degree, not a bachelor’s degree.
If you’re looking for a high paying job that doesn’t demand that you devote four (or more) years to earning a college degree, this news is for you. These five jobs highlighted by OnlineDegrees.com offer high pay and strong job growth, but only require an associate degree:
1. Computer network support specialist (mean annual wage of $66,140, as of May 2014)
With employment in this field expected to grow by 17% from 2012 to 2022, “becoming a computer network support specialist is not only a solid job in and of itself, but it’s often a starter position for climbing up the tech ladder,” according to OnlineDegrees.com.
2. Dental hygienist ($71,970)
This in-demand position requires you to earn an associate degree in dental hygiene and meet state licensing requirements. But with a “whopping 33% projected job growth through 2022, this career will make you want to open up and say ‘ahhh,’” OnlineDegrees.com said.
3. Paralegal ($51,840)
If you’re interested in a career in law, but don’t want to devote nearly a decade to earning a law degree, becoming a legal assistant or paralegal may be a good alternative. Paralegals not only earn a good wage, but they’re in high demand, with a 17% projected job growth predicted for the 10 years ending in 2022.
4. Cardiovascular technologist or technician ($55,210)
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, cardiovascular techs are in hot demand, with a 30% growth in employment opportunities predicted between 2012 and 2022, so this position offers both excellent pay and employment security.
5. Registered nurse ($69,790)
Although some prospective nurses opt to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing, known as a BSN, you can become a registered nurse (RN) after completing an associate degree in nursing and meeting national and state licensing requirements. With a 19% job growth predicted through 2022, nursing also offers job security.
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