Do You Really Need a Bachelorā€™s Degree to Have a Good Career? Why Trade Programs May Be a Better Path

If youā€™re a member of Generation X, a millennial or Gen Z, youā€™ve probably had the importance of getting a good college education lectured at you since you were learning to walk. When getting a bachelorā€™s degree is no longer a guarantee of securing any job, much less a great career, it may be time to look at other options. Although college is still a good choice for a variety of reasons, recent studies show that the bachelorā€™s may not be the gold standard as it once was. If youā€™re thinking about college, hereā€™s a few reasons that getting your associateā€™s degree might be the better long-term choice.

Lower Student Loans
When the average college graduate leaves a California school with about $35,000 in debt, itā€™s time to consider the return on your investment. Itā€™s true that graduates with a four-year degree tend to earn more than someone who only finished high school, but thereā€™s a wide world of opportunities between the two. By getting an associateā€™s degree, you not only shorten the time to graduation. You also give yourself the chance to get the work done at a community college with a good trade program, which can dramatically cut down on the total costs for your education. Shrinking your loan potential to half or a quarter of what it could be makes it easier for you to find your place in the industry, wherever that may be.

Flexibility to Add Certificate Programs
Any degree is an investment. Itā€™s just that a bachelorā€™s takes more of an investment for a longer period of time. If youā€™re trying to work while studying, like many Californians, you need to maximize the benefits you get from the program. Lots of two-year colleges offer certificate programs along with an associateā€™s that you may be able to work on at the same time. And if youā€™re not committing for several years into the future, it may be easier for you to do just that.

More Time for Apprenticeships or Other Career Development Options
In this industry, you need time to develop your craft. You can get some of it inside the classroom, but that wonā€™t be enough. In order to even take the contractor licensing exam, you usually need years of experience working for another licensed contractor in your field. This is true even if you get a bachelorā€™s degree. With a two-year degree, youā€™ve got more time to devote to finding the right fit, whether that means applying for and participating in apprenticeships or other options for career development. And since apprenticeships are an even more effective way to start on a great career path in the industry, this gives you a better chance of getting the job you want.

Similar Income and Growth Opportunities
Although education is a worthy pursuit in its own right, there are many reasons that you might want to consider what youā€™re getting from the work you put in. Higher income and greater choices for careers draw most people to college, especially the ones who finish their programs. But recent research indicates that an associateā€™s degree might be just as effective for long-term income growth as a bachelorā€™s, especially in industries like construction. Many construction jobs have flexible entry requirements. This often means that an associateā€™s can set you apart almost as readily as a bachelorā€™s, especially if you have certificates or other experience to bring to the table.

Foundation to Continue Education Later
If you decide that you ultimately want to pursue higher-ranking positions like a construction manager or executive of a larger company, you may need to add to your education. But getting your associateā€™s and starting your career from there isnā€™t going to stop you from taking other programs at a later date. In fact, by giving yourself the opportunity to apply your knowledge at first, you may make pursuing a bachelorā€™s or even a masterā€™s more effective later on.

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About CSLS

Contractors State License Service (CSLS) is the largest school in California devoted to the Construction professional. For over 23 years, CSLS has helped its students pass the exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California, licensing more students than any other school. From our main offices in Southern California, CSLS operates over 25 locations with full-service support and classrooms. We have grown to this extent by providing quality, professional services. In comparison, this provides 7 times the number of convenient locations than the second largest contractor school. Contractors State License Services is one of the only contractor schools in the state that is run by educators, not lawyers or people mostly interested in the bonding and insurance business. Contractors State License Services formerly operated under the oversight of the State of California's Bureau for Private Post Secondary and Vocational Education. As of January 1 2010, the new Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) came into existence replacing the BPPVE. CSLS now operates under the provisions of the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (CPPEA), Article 4 Section 94874(f). Our Mission is simple; We can help you pass your California Contractors License Exam. Celebrating our 25th year, CSLS has helped over 120,000 students pass the California contractor licensing exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California. Additionally, we offer complete home study and online contractorā€™s license programs to help you pass your California contractors license exam. CSLS offers licensing classes for all types of contractor licenses, including General Engineering Contractor, General Building Contractor, Specialty Contractor, Insulation and Acoustical Contractor, Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor, Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor, Concrete Contractor, Drywall Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Elevator Contractor, Landscaping Contractor, Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor, and many others. For a complete list of contractor licenses, visit and tuned for more informative posts.