When it comes to education, the question of “What’s the best way to get ahead?” always comes up. But when you’re looking at your financial future, you need to ask yourself: “What is going to give me the biggest return on my investment (ROI)?”
In other words, what educational level will pay off financially? The answer isn’t as simple as it sounds. It all depends on your career path and how much time you’re willing to invest in higher education. Let’s take a look at which degrees have proven themselves as good investments for their students over time:
Return On Investment (ROI) for Adult Learners
Return on investment (ROI) is the ratio of the amount of money you make to the amount of money you spend. It’s usually expressed as a percentage. If you invest $100 in something and get $200 back, your ROI is 200%.
High ROI means that you get a lot more money for not much time or effort. Low ROI means that it takes more time and effort for less money. The higher your education level, the more likely it is that your income will be high enough to give you a high ROI
Return On Investment for Associate’s Degree Graduates
By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll know that the return on investment for an associate’s degree is far greater than any other level of education.
Associate’s degree graduates earn more than high school graduates. They earn more than Bachelor’s degree graduates and Master’s degree graduates, too. In fact, they earn more than Doctorate degree holders across all industries!
In addition to higher earnings potential, associate’s degree students have a very high employment rate as well (95% vs. 85% for Bachelor’s degrees).
Return On Investment for Bachelor’s Degree Graduates
The best thing about having a bachelor’s degree is that you’re likely to earn more money over the course of your lifetime. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for people with a bachelor’s degree is $1.2 million dollars, while those with only a high school diploma can expect to make $1 million dollars.
Bachelor’s degree graduates also earn higher wages than those who have completed some college courses but not received their associate’s degrees or higher (also known as “some college”).
Bachelor’s degree holders are more likely than others to be promoted within their companies or organizations because many employers believe that they possess the skills necessary for leadership roles. Additionally, these professionals are more likely to be hired by prospective employers than applicants without any college education at all.
Finally, accordingto Gallup research conducted in 2017 and 2018–and echoed by other studies–Bachelor’s Degree holders feel more confident in their knowledge and skills than workers who only have Associate Degrees or Higher from Community Colleges; so even if your field isn’t one where you need advanced training (e.g., engineering), it still pays off!
Return On Investment for Master’s Degree Graduates
Master’s degree graduates earn the highest median income, but they also pay the most in tuition and fees. When we look at all education levels, master’s degree holders have the highest median income of all education levels at $90,758.
Bachelor’s degree holders come in second with a median income of $66,744; associate’s degrees bring in a median income of $62,826; and high school graduates earn a median income of only $33,190 per year.
The average debt after graduation is significantly lower for bachelor’s degree graduates than it is for associate’s or master’s degree holders ($15k vs $19k). However, the ROI on an associate’s degree is higher than that of a bachelor’s degree ($169k vs $145k), which may make it worth considering if you’re interested in working in fields like healthcare or manufacturing where jobs are available now—and projected to grow over time—at this level of education alone (i.e., without needing additional training).
An Associate’s degree is the lowest amount of time and money you can invest in your future while creating long-term success.
The associate’s degree is the best return on investment, and it’s a good investment of time and money.
If you’re looking to get educated, consider an associate’s degree in engineering. This type of degree will provide the most valuable return on investment (ROI) by maximizing your career potential while minimizing the amount of time and money you invest.
In fact, according to a report published by Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce (CEW), students who earned an associate’s degree in science or engineering were among those with higher employment rates after graduation with more than 90% employment following completion versus only 50% for those without any postsecondary credentials at all.
The point of this article is not to discourage you from going to college or getting a degree. In fact, we hope it motivates you to explore your options and make the best decision for yourself. Whether that means going straight into the workforce with an Associates Degree or taking time off before starting your Bachelor’s Degree program, both are great ways to get started on your career path.
As long as you have a clear idea about what type of work environment might suit your needs best when making this important decision!