2 Year Degrees That Can Make You The Most Money | Smart change: personal finance

It’s no secret that the cost of a college education in America is skyrocketing. In 2018, Forbes published a mini-study examining how much costs had actually changed over the past 30 years. They reported that in 1989, the average cost for all four-year institutions was $ 26,902 for the entire program (or $ 52,892 when adjusted for inflation). In 2016, that same average cost was $ 26,120 per year or $ 104,480 for the full four years. Essentially, the cost of higher education had doubled.

These numbers make it easy to understand why a four-year college degree is simply out of the question for many Americans. High school graduates are unwilling to take on the lifetime of debt their graduation would entail, or lack the resources to attend public or private universities without taking out loans.

Fortunately, a four-year degree is not the only higher education option. Many colleges offer two-year programs at a much more affordable rate. While associate’s degrees don’t improve earnings prospects as much as bachelor’s degrees, they still offer an increase in job stability and wages.

In the following slides, Stacker has compiled a list of the associate degrees that make the most money, using data from PayScale. Degrees are classified by mid-career salary (from 2021). So before committing to a four-year program, read on to find out about your other, cheaper options.

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