you arenít sure college is for you, consider this: You
donít have to get a four-year degree to make a good
to the common belief that everyone must go to college, a
new study from Georgetown University comes up with a
surprising finding: There are still 30 million good jobs
that donít require a college bachelorís degree, and
people in them earn an average of $55,000 a year.
is no question that some of the best jobs of the last
generation have slipped away. Even after the recovery
from the recession, there are still about 1 million
fewer manufacturing jobs than there were in 2007 and
about 1.6 million fewer in construction, according to
researchers from the Georgetown University Center on
Education and the Workforce.
despite the fact that blue-collar employment has
declined 30 percent since 1991, there are still solid
jobs that donít require a college degree and offer pay
that supports a middle-class lifestyle.
the 30 million good jobs for people without a bachelorís
degree, over half ó 16 million ó pay over $55,000,
according to the Georgetown researchers. About 24
million pay over $45,000 annually.
researchers consider a good job one that pays people 45
and older at least $45,000, or $22 an hour. For younger
people, $35,000 is considered good as long as people
advance and make $45,000 when they are more experienced
in middle age.
be sure, there are more good jobs for those who earned
bachelorís degrees than for those who didnít ó 36
million compared with 30 million, according to the
the four-year degree doesnít guarantee top pay.
Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown center,
has found that 28 percent of people who get associate
degrees from community colleges end up with better jobs
than those with bachelorís degrees.
although college graduation is considered the ticket for
prosperity, certain degrees lag when it comes to pay.
Among them: communications, art and psychology. In
previous research, the Georgetown researchers found that
preschool teachers would be lucky to make $31,000 even
though they earn bachelorís degrees. People with jobs
in psychology and social work were also at the $31,000
degrees can sometimes take people further, provided the
degree isnít general in nature and focuses on
particular skills that are in high demand, such as
nursing, computer specialists or mechanical technicians.
1991, the number of good jobs suitable for people with
only high school diplomas has dropped by more than 1
million positions. Yet workers who had two-year
associate degrees were positioned for 3 million net new
jobs during the same period, the researchers found.
computer support technicians make $60,000 without a
college degree. Thatís similar to financial managers,
sales representatives and engineering technicians, which
are all good jobs that donít require bachelorís
degrees, according to the research. The researchers
identify good jobs in blue-collar categories ranging
from welders, plumbers, heating mechanics, electricians
and carpenters to skilled services such as bookkeepers,
food service managers, security guards and industrial
find good jobs in skilled services industries, such as
health care, finance and information technology,"
the researchers said. "These new good jobs have
steadily been replacing good jobs lost in traditional