Are community college degrees a better investment?

When I was applying for my post-secondary education school of choice, I thought attending my local community college was a bad idea – a four-year university was where I was “supposed” to go. High school counselors and TV sitcoms had fueled this mindset constantly.

Well the joke’s on me, because community college graduates and long-term certificate recipients from some industries have higher earning potential than some four-year college degrees.

While many associate’s degrees are seen as a launching pad for a four-year university program, students with community college credentials in health care, technology and skilled labor have the earning potential to immediately start with salaries above $50,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor. There’s one more advantage community colleges have to four-year universities: they are less expensive. In an age when post-secondary education costs continue to skyrocket, the price tag on a degree is a huge motivating factor.

High school counselors still push the “go to a university” message but earning a bachelor’s degree is not a guaranteed ticket to career fulfillment, and it’s not always a financially wise decision.

This is an excellent opportunity for the boating industry. Not only is boating more fun than any other industry out there – after writing for the legal industry, I feel confident making this claim ­– it provides an opportunity for a valuable career with a low monetary investment in the training. If there is a down side to working in the marine industry, I’m having a hard time finding it.

If you’re working with your local high schools to advocate for careers in the boating industry, make sure to highlight the monetary benefits of earning an associate’s degree or long-term certificate in a trade versus attending a four-year university. On top of the message that boating brings joy into people’s lives, it will accurately portray boating appear as a very attractive career choice.

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