Community College Programs

If you’re ready to get educated and then get to work, a 2 year associate degree or certification program could be your way forward. There are opportunities and offerings at Oregon’s 17 community colleges that lead to well-paying careers that make a real difference in the world. One of them might just be the key that opens the door to your ideal career.

The Truth About Higher Educational Degrees and Money

Many Community College Graduates Out-Earn Bachelor’s Degree Holders

If you thought that a Bachelor’s degree is the only road to success after graduation, the research might surprise you. According to CNNMoney, a two year associate degree could be more economical both in the cost of the education itself and in how much you can earn after you graduate. By getting into a technical industry, you also could avoid some of the major obstacles preventing recent grads from getting ahead.

Avoid a Mountain of Student Loan Debt

According to the College Board, a two-year community college degree costs about $6,262, at present rates. A Bachelor’s degree from a four-year, private residential university goes for an average of $158,072.

Right now student loan debt is higher than ever. The U.S. Department of Education reports that the overall burden of student debt in the United States is $1.56 trillion, up 2% from last 2019 to 2020. The average American college student will owe $32,731 in loan repayments.

You don’t have to be one of the many graduates paying back a big chunk of your take-home every month. Instead, you can start earning a decent income right out the gate with a career that’s always in demand.

Technical Skills Mean Higher Income

Here are some examples of the kind of money you can make with a 2-year Associate’s Degree according to recent reports from

  • Physician’s Assistants — $98,300,
  • Radiation Therapists— $93,300,
  • Fire Protection Engineer— $83,100,
  • Construction Project Manager— $80,600,
  • Web Developer— $77,200,
  • Dental Hygienist— $75,100.

Programs available at Portland Community College

Don’t see what you’re looking for?

Try another search »