Best Community Colleges in Illinois by Salary Potential

Thinking about going for that associate degree? Check out Illinois’ top community colleges based on graduate earning potential.

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RankSchool NameSchool SectorEarly Career Pay
Mid-Career Pay
% High Meaning
% STEM Degrees
Rank:51School Name:Illinois Valley Community CollegeSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$38,200Mid-Career Pay:$53,900% High Meaning:50%% STEM Degrees:2%
Rank:52School Name:City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington CollegeSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$35,800Mid-Career Pay:$53,400% High Meaning:56%% STEM Degrees:2%
Rank:53School Name:City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King CollegeSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$36,200Mid-Career Pay:$53,000% High Meaning:61%% STEM Degrees:1%
Rank:54School Name:Lincoln CollegeSchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$34,800Mid-Career Pay:$52,400% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:55School Name:Spoon River CollegeSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$34,800Mid-Career Pay:$50,900% High Meaning:53%% STEM Degrees:11%

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College Student

An associate degree can kickstart your career with a smaller time and money investment than attending four-year college. If you are looking for a school to pursue an associate degree in Illinois, make sure to look at how much alumni from that college earn as you consider your decision.

Of the 2-year colleges in the PayScale database, the College of DuPage is the largest. Two colleges have under 5,000 undergraduates: Robert Morris University and Danville Area Community College. Only one college has a strong STEM focus, DeVry University, which grants about 58 percent STEM degrees. The next highest in STEM degrees is Robert Morris University, with only about 10 percent. Interestingly, both Jim Belushi and Paul Spicer graduated from the College of DuPage.

With the largest concentration of land, air and water transportation facilities in the world, Illinois acts as a national hub. Top job industries include machinery, food processing, electric equipment, chemical products and coal and transportation equipment.