Fixing things is good

Graduates with associate degrees and certificates in certain vocational areas will earn more than liberal arts graduates with bachelor's degrees.  I'm shocked.  Taken from Jill Barshaw, writing in the Hechinger Report.

Many community college grads continue to out-earn B.A. holders a decade after graduation
Two years ago my colleague Jon Marcus wrote about surprising research showing that many community college grads were out-earning bachelor’s degree holders. It was particularly true for those with vocational two-year degrees, in fields such as air-traffic control, dental hygiene or prison management. 
Critics complained it was unfair of researchers to look at outcomes in the first year right after graduation. After all, many liberal arts majors take a while to establish a career path. (And not all students go to college with the goal of gaining a marketable skill.) Some philosophy majors may eventually become high-paid CEOs. Similarly, community college grads with narrow technical skills could quickly become obsolete. Every day, machines eliminate another good factory job. Or a computer programming language goes out of fashion. Perhaps, over time, liberal arts B.A.’s win? 
So Mark Schneider, one of the researchers behind these studies, went back to the data in four states, to examine not only immediate post-graduation employment outcomes, but also five and 10 years later. 
He found that, over the long term, everyone is making more money. The B.A.’s do catch up; their annual salary increases are larger than those of community college grads. “But even 10 years later, there are many students with certificates and associate’s degrees in fields where they make more money than the B.A.’s,” said Schneider, a vice president at the American Institutes for Research and a former commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics. 
“If you know how to fix things or fix people, you win,” said Schneider, “It will get you into the middle class.”


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