If you think you need a bachelor’s degree to land a high-demand job, think again.
Associate degrees can provide a faster, less-expensive route to a career and self-sufficiency. The health care field in West Michigan features many high-demand jobs available to those with a two-year degree.
Here’s how and why you might want to consider earning an associate degree.
Benefits of an associate degree
You can earn an associate degree in two years, as opposed to the four years or more to complete a bachelor’s degree program.
According to educationdata.org, in-state tuition at Michigan community colleges is around $3,570 a year, while in-state tuition at four-year institutions is about $12,810.
These figures exclude room and board and other school-related expenses.
Hot jobs in health care
The West Michigan Works 2021 Hot Jobs List features several in-demand, high-growth jobs with an associate degree as the recommended credential.
- Dental hygienists perform patient screenings, cleanings and counsel patients on oral health and preventative care. Median wage: $30.19/hour
- Physical therapist assistants work with patients with injuries or medical conditions, assisting them with exercises and treatments through massage and stretching techniques. Median wage: $25.74/hour
- Computed tomography technologists assist doctors and nurses, scanning patients to help identify internal injuries and diagnose diseases. Median wage: $25.75/hour
- Respiratory therapists help patients who suffer from chronic respiratory diseases and provide emergency care to patients suffering from respiratory emergencies. Median wage: $27.88/hour
- Surgical technologist – Surgical technologists assist doctors by preparing operating rooms and sterilizing and setting up surgical instruments, equipment, and supplies. Median wage: $20.82/hour
If you’re in the market for a new job or career, take time to consider the competitiveness of careers in your area and their growth potential.
Make sure the job is a good fit for you and your career goals. And don’t forget to consider how long it will take to get any needed credentials and how much it will cost.
You may find that an associate degree is the way to go.
— Employment Expertise is provided by West Michigan Works. Learn more about how they can help: visit westmiworks.org or your local Service Center.