Getting There Faster: Five High-Paying Jobs for Two-Year Degree Holders

Earning a bachelor’s degree usually takes at least twice as long as completing a two-year program; however, studies show that only about 30 percent of U.S. jobs require four-year certification. A growing number of students are opting for shorter programs that offer more immediate access to rapidly expanding—and well-paying—careers. Here are some of the most lucrative jobs available to graduates of two-year programs, based on data collected from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

1. Computer specialist

By 2016, employment in this field is expected to increase by 15 percent as thousands of businesses become more reliant on computer technology. A two-year degree can help you land a great job now while building a foundation for expanding your knowledge as technological advancement calls for it. Median annual salary: $71,510

2. Dental hygienist

Providing invaluable assistance, the health care professionals in this fast-growing industry must possess a strong understanding of clinical procedure and the ability to communicate regularly and comfortably with patients. Median annual salary: $64,740

3. Fashion designer

If you’ve always had an eye for trends but never thought you could make a career out of it, think again. The fashion industry is expected to grow substantially over the next decade, so there has never been a better time to commit to a two-year fashion design program. Median annual salary: $62,810

4. Registered nurse

As thousands of graduates flock to the nursing field—which projects a 23 percent employment increase by 2016—it is clear that the long hours and high stress associated with the profession are offset by the opportunity to earn generous compensation and emotional satisfaction. Median annual salary: $60,010

5. Environmental engineering technician

With the energy crisis at the forefront of almost every agenda these days, the need for environmental expertise has never been greater. In coming years, job opportunities will abound for graduates of two-year programs in environmental studies. Median annual salary: $40,560


This article was written by Hannah Purnell

Hannah Purnell is a staff writer for Hannah writes extensively on the topic of undergraduate studies and the college search process.

1 Comment

  1. Thomas E Hardin

    I typed up information about two year career oportunities in environmental science, and was brought to this site. Listed as one of the top five two year degrees was “Environmental Engineering Technician”. It provied me with that infromation, but there was no link to take me to find more on the subject. A link would have been ideal.

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