by Callie Malvik
What’s your perception of the “traditional” college student? Probably an 18- to 24-year-old enrolled full time in a four-year college or university, right? Actually, these days less than half of college students fit this mold, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Now, millions of graduating high school students begin their higher education with a two-year community or junior college. But what are the benefits of community college. Here’s some reasons why two-year colleges are the right ticket for so many:
So Why Choose Community College?
1. Fast-Track to Employment.
Associate’s degrees provide focused skill-training to launch students into many in-demand careers in just two years, including: nursing, web development, graphic design, and legal work.
2. Closer to Home.
Some teens aren’t ready for the challenge of living away at college. In fact, one in four freshman won’t return for sophomore year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That’s a hefty dropout rate. In contrast, a nearby community college can give your kids the responsibility of college without the additional responsibility of independent living.
3. Bargain Price.
It’s much easier to pick up the tab for two years of higher education. And, most associate degrees aren’t terminal. Your teenager can immediately or eventually apply to a four-year college to finish her bachelor’s degree. Encourage your teen to choose a major at community college carefully.
“I often recommend liberal arts and sciences as a major because half of bachelor’s degrees will be liberal arts and sciences anyway. If you have a 120-credit bachelor’s degree, roughly 60 or even up to 70 credits will be liberal arts and science in nature. So, it’s best to take those at the two-year college,” explains Thalia Thompson, an advisor at Norwalk Community College in Connecticut and founder of College Admissions Coaching.
The bottom line is that there are different educational options for different people. The best choice is the one that caters to your teen’s personal and professional goals.
5 Popular Associate Degrees
So what can your teen do with an associate’s degree? Check out the following list of the most popular associate degrees and the jobs students can land with them:
- Nursing Science: registered nurse, clinical nurse, home care nurse
- Business Administration: administrative assistant, marketing associate, store manager
- Computer Science: computer programmer, network administrator, software developer
- Engineering: maintenance technician, construction inspector, systems engineer
- Biology: medical lab technician, clinical research associate, veterinary technician
Callie is a mother and career advice blogger at Rasmussen College.