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Study: 2-year degrees may make more than bachelor's degree

LA CROSSE, WI -  Freshman Grant Wills chose Western Technical College for its programs and its price.

"It's really good for the program that I'm in, for fire protection," Wills said of the technical college. "It's a lot cheaper, that was another big factor."

He also considered future wage earnings. According to a new study, those future earnings might be brighter than ever before.

The report by CollegeMeasures.org found graduates of two-year colleges earned just as much - and in some cases, more - than graduates with a bachelor's degree. However, individuals with a four-year degree ultimately earned more over the span of their career.


The study wasn't based off numbers from Wisconsin schools, but when you take a look at starting wages for students fresh out of Western Tech's doors, they're pretty impressive.

"We've got some pretty good, pretty good salary numbers to share," said President Lee Rasch.

People with a Western degree in web software development made a median salary of $35,000 in 2012, with the top earner reaching nearly $55,000 annually.

Supervisory management majors made almost $50,000 on average, with a top salary of $52,000.

Those with an associate's degree in nursing made about $48,000 a year right out of school, and the top earner made more than $60,000. 

Immediate earnings aren't the only numbers Western Tech can boast about – the college also has a 92 percent job placement rate for students who've been out of school for six months.

When it comes to recruiting future freshmen to follow in the footsteps of students like Wills, who's hoping to make nearly $50,000 upon graduation, Western Tech points to their earnings track record.

"If you're thinking about finding a career opportunity that has good wage potential, we've got good options here," Rasch said.

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