Highest Paying 2-Year Degrees

Want to find out how much you can earn with a two-year degree? PayScale has the top associate degree majors ranked by salary potential.

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Degree Type
Early Career Pay
Median salary for alumni w/degrees in this subject; 0-5 years work experience
Mid-Career Pay
Median salary for alumni w/degrees in this subject; 10+ years work experience
% High Meaning
% alumni who say their work makes the world a better place
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PayScale’s College Salary Report features data about the earning potential of associate degrees from community colleges. If you are considering going back to school to earn an AA, choosing the right major will have a huge impact on your future salary. An associate degree is a great way to kick off a high-paying career, especially in the Technology, Engineering and Healthcare fields. This list can help you find the best associate degrees by salary potential.

Best 2-Year Degrees In 2018

Software Engineering – Mid-Career Salary: $102,100

Students who enroll in software engineering programs learn how to develop new ways for software to function. Classes include coding and mathematical courses to help students pursue this major. Common employers of software engineers include Microsoft, Google, Intel, Amazon, and other enterprise-level tech companies.

Networks & Telecommunications – Mid-Career Salary: $97,300

This type of degree program requires you to be very technical. Those who enroll in network and telecom related courses will learn how to provide support to end users and do maintenance on devices like routers and complex telephone systems. People who go into this type of work end up working at technical places like Cisco and T-Mobile.

Electrical & Computer Engineering – Mid-Career Salary: $80,800

This kind of program will show you the basics of computer and electrical engineering within two years. Students can either go directly into the workforce or go on to get a four-year degree with the basic knowledge they have gained. Typical employers of this type of engineering include Intel, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin to name a few.

Technology Majors Have the Highest Salary Potential

Historically, healthcare has been the most lucrative associate degree option that was guaranteed to earn you a good wage. However, these rankings show that technology-focused majors are actually a better option now in terms of salary earnings. Health-related subjects have a higher than average percentage of alumni who say that their work is very meaningful.

Of course, not all associate degrees lead to high salaries. An early childhood education program usually leads to low salary potential, but most graduates do say that their jobs make the world a better place.

So if you are short on time, want to get your career started quickly or just don’t think a four-year school is right for you, one of the associate degree options on this list may be a smart choice.

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