What Can You Do With An Associates Degree In Accounting – For some students, the decision to enroll in community college is easy. A two-year school provides the education they need at a much lower cost than a university, and the income they earn after graduation is equal to — or better than — what they make after a four-year school.
But with fields in other countries requiring specific certificates or degrees, it is not always clear to students which higher education path they should follow. And as Jeffrey Selingo recently wrote
What Can You Do With An Associates Degree In Accounting
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Based on graduates’ first-year salaries (one of the metrics included on CollegeMeasures.org for state unemployment insurance programs), Selingo shows that some community college degrees have stronger early returns than bachelor’s degrees.
Think a community college degree costs less than a four-year college degree? In Tennessee, the average first-year salary for students with a two-year degree is $1,000 more than for those with a bachelor’s degree. Students with a professional degree at a community college often earn more freshman year than those studying the same field of study at a four-year university. Get a degree in health at Dyersburg State Community College. Not only did they graduate two years earlier than their peers at the University of Tennessee at Texasville, they earned an average of $5,300 more in their first year of graduation.
This is by no means new information. In 2011, the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce released its well-publicized “College Affordability” report, a client of EMSI. Anthony Carnevale and his colleagues found that lifetime earnings—the main difference in Cilingo’s sources—were 28.2 percent for associate’s degree holders with bachelor’s degrees at all levels of education. This is one example of what Georgetown calls “revenue accumulation” (see chart below).
The Georgetown report provides clear evidence that degree quality matters when it comes to lifetime earnings. But another important part is the right job one chooses.
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There are many fields – healthcare, engineering, technology, manufacturing, etc. – where associate’s degree graduates can earn as much or more than bachelor’s degrees. But what special things are we talking about? Let’s take a look using the Georgetown study and EMSI data.
To understand the highest-paying jobs where the majority of workers have an associate’s degree, we looked at educational attainment with detailed work from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey via the EMSI Analyst. This information is only available at the national level; The latest numbers are from 2009 (see here).
The following occupations comprise the largest percentage of workers with an associate’s degree (or an associate’s degree and some college). Note that educational attainment varies across occupations (eg, most CEOs have a bachelor’s degree, some have a master’s, and a few have a high school diploma). Also, the educational requirements of some jobs change over time. For registered nurses, the most common education required for entry, according to the BLS, is an associate’s degree—although 43% of all nurses have a four-year degree. For this reason, we did not include RNs in our analysis. (We also excluded air traffic controllers because only 14% had an associate’s degree).
Associate degree holders make up 42% of these health care jobs, slightly higher than bachelor’s degrees (38%). At both degree levels, workers in this field earn $2.1 million over their lifetime, according to Georgetown. And the work ethic is strong. Since 2001, radiation therapist jobs have increased 14% nationally, and the female-dominated profession is expected to grow another 6% from 2012-2015.
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The majority of cleaners (57%) have associate’s degrees, followed by bachelor’s degrees (30%). Georgetown ranks these workers against other health care professionals and technology jobs, but lifetime earnings remain the same — $2.1 million for those with a two-year degree. $2.2 million for four-year students.
By far the largest proportion of workers in this field have associate’s degrees (45%). Although nuclear medicine specialists were not included in the Georgetown report, among the largest employers, diagnosticians and technicians earned $2.2 million over their lifetime, while those with a bachelor’s degree earned $2.4 million.
The first non-medical field on our list, these practitioners should not be confused with nuclear medicine specialists. About 45% of these workers have an associate’s degree or some college, 24% have a bachelor’s degree, and 23% have a high school diploma or equivalent. (Note: Georgetown does not report biennial lifetime earnings for nuclear technicians).
More than one-third of the less than 9,000 nuclear technicians in the U.S. they operate in two specific industries – electric power distribution and fuel-fired power generation.
Highest Paying Careers With An Associate Degree
Similar to number 3 on our list, nuclear medicine technology, 45% of workers in this field have associate degrees.
This sector has accounted for 63% of jobs since 2001, from 34,752 to 56,514. And it is estimated to grow another 12% from 2012-2015.
Only 23% of these workers have an associate’s degree, and another 33% have no college/degree, so the most common education to enter this profession (as classified by the BLS) is an associate’s degree.
Unlike the previous jobs on this list, the aerospace technology job market isn’t exactly bleak. Employment in this sector fell by 16 percent from 2001-2012 (combined with similar job losses from 2001-2003 and 2008-2010). It is expected to decrease by 2% from 2012-2015.
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Like aerospace professionals, more than half (56%) of these workers do not have a bachelor’s or college degree. But unlike the jobs mentioned above, this sector is growing: employment increased by 5% from 2001-2012 and is expected to increase by 4% from 2012-2015.
The highest number of 56% of respiratory therapists have an associate’s degree, followed by 24% with a bachelor’s degree. Lifetime earnings are about the same for radiation oncologists, according to Georgetown: $2.1 million for both degree levels.
This is one of the strongest associate degree jobs. In 2012, the US had 28% more respiratory therapists than in 2001, and the field is expected to grow by 8% in 2015.
Note: This list does not include the many high-paying jobs available in technical education. Plumbers, electricians, welders – and other skilled trades – often offer better salaries than fields that require a bachelor’s degree. Read more about the Aging Skilled Workforce here.
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Joshua Wright is an editor at EMSI, an Idaho-based economics firm that provides information and analysis to labor boards, economic development agencies, higher education institutions and the private sector. He runs the EMSI blog and is a freelance journalist. Find it here. Let’s take a look at the top questions a student should ask before (and after) getting an accounting associate:
Students majoring in accounting are seeking entry-level positions in accounting and bookkeeping. After getting a job, the earning potential increases. Many candidates obtain a bachelor’s degree to improve their career prospects. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accounting professionals with a bachelor’s degree earn about $71,550.
Students pursuing a degree in accounting are generally eligible for financial aid. You may be able to get a scholarship to the college or university of your choice. It is also helpful to search online for scholarship opportunities to help reduce student debt and pay for school.
Although students can get a job in accounting after earning an AA or AS in accounting, it’s a good idea to get a bachelor’s degree to find high-paying jobs in this field. Common jobs for people with associate degrees in accounting include accounting clerk, accounting assistant, and bookkeeper.
How An Associate Degree In Business Can Help You
There are two main areas of accounting for accounting systems and bookkeeping. See the difference between ACBSP and AACSB.
Access to schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Business Schools (AACSB) or the Accrediting Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) helps students ensure the quality of their chosen university.
Founded in 1916, AACSB recognizes schools with business programs that seek to connect with local communities and focus on business ideas. Schools must also ensure that they have quality teachers and create quality employment opportunities for graduates. AACSB schools have business and accounting programs with courses at the baccalaureate and graduate levels.
Schools seeking this accreditation must undergo rigorous self-assessment and peer review. Only 5% of business schools offer this certification. Graduates from these schools can find work anywhere in the world. Typically, major business programs qualify for this accreditation, and some companies offer tuition reimbursement at AACSB-accredited schools. Of course, ivy league business schools often have this gold standard accreditation.
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Established in 1989, ACBSP requires accredited schools to engage with local communities. There are more than 3,000 programs approved by this organization. These schools must go through a peer review process. Accredited schools receive individual assessments