College Degrees, Certificates Pay Dividends City of Walnut

By Mike Taylor

WALNUT––Earning a community college degree or certificate continues to deliver a remarkable return on investment, according to a report from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

Based on information gleamed from the Chancellor’s Office Salary ,students who earn an associate’s degree more than double their annual pre-degree wages after two years and nearly triple pre-degree wages after five years.

The data show that 48 percent of students who receive an associate degree earned $56,000 or more annually within five years of graduation. Meanwhile, 44 percent of students who receive a certificate from a community college earned $56,000 or more after five years.

“This proves once again that earning a degree or certificate from a California community college can lead students to a well-paying career,” California Community College Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley said in the report.

Degree programs with the highest median incomes five years after graduation include radiation therapy technician $98,185 annually, electrical systems and power transmission $110,829 per year, and physician assistant $112,127 annually.

Available online, the Chancellor’s Office Salary Surfer estimates potential wages based on the aggregated earnings of community college graduates from a variety of programs and provides information on which colleges offer specific disciplines.

The California Community College system is largest system of higher education in the nation with 72 districts and 113 colleges serving 2.1 million students.