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Studies Show the Value of a Technical Education

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For many years, colleges have been ranked by national organizations and scrutinized by potential students using a standard set of metrics, such as SAT scores and acceptance rates. Other quantifiable measurements, along with a school’s culture, have long been the norm for describing and comparing institutions of higher education. In recent years, though, there has been an increasing use of an entirely new metric. Evaluating a school’s ROI, or return on investment, allows prospective students to think critically about which school will provide them with the best value of education: that is, how much will your degree earn you over the duration of your career, as compared to the amount of your investment (the cost of your degree). By this metric, the results may surprise. Schools like Asher College, offering vocational training programs that lead to technical careers, are surging to the front of the field as more and more people realize the value of occupational training.

A Georgetown University study recently looked at this issue in-depth, comparing schools in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey specifically, and evaluating which schools provided the proverbial “best bang for the buck.” Looking particularly at the cost of a degree as compared to the mid- and long-term career earnings of the degree holder, the results of the study were surprising to many. The study found a degree from a technical, or occupational school, such as the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., is more valuable on average over a 40-year career than a degree from a prestigious Ivy League school, such as Princeton University, $1.8 million compared with $1.6 million. Martin Van Der Werf, an associate director at Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce, which produced the study, summed it up by saying, “You can’t always go by the biggest brand name. You may think the biggest brand will have a higher return [for graduates]. But what the data tells me is that a place that specializes in occupations in industries can be better.”

The Georgetown study pointed to the importance of training today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs in the healthcare and STEM industries specifically. The majority of job openings in the future will be in technical industries such as these, and will not necessarily require a 4-year university degree. Technical, occupational, and vocational schools and community colleges provide the training and educational programs to accommodate this job growth. The Georgetown study found that schools such as these, those offering certificate programs and Associate degrees, offer better values for graduates with low cost of tuition and programs that lead to potentially high-earning careers. “With an Associate degree, you get into your profession faster than with a Bachelor’s and you get the higher earnings faster,” study contributor Van Der Werf said. Even he expressed surprise at the value of a two-year occupational education: “I had no idea that it would turn out to be that lucrative.”

A two-year training program that prepares you for a technical, in-demand career is a safe bet for tomorrow’s economy. But, just in case you were still thinking about a liberal arts degree – Douglas Webber, associate economics professor at Temple University, says that based on his research, a graduate who paid the full cost of a private college and majored in the arts and humanities “has a 50/50 chance of earning more than the typical high school graduate.” You wouldn’t want to invest a lot of money into a degree that isn’t going to pay for itself over the long run, would you? With Asher College, you will get a quality education at a price you can afford. And Asher’s programs will prepare you for a career that has the potential to earn you satisfying income over the duration of your career. 

Asher College has three locations: Sacramento, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Dallas, Texas, and offers Associate of Applied Science degrees and certificate programs for careers in information technology, administrative health services, pharmacy technology, and business administration. Founded in 1998, Asher College is accredited through ACCET, the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training. Ready to learn more about Asher College? Ready to get started on your path to a new career? Call 888- 211- 8829 today!