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Earning a Degree Makes a Difference

Winter 2010 | Archives

More and more, completing an associate degree holds a lot of value. Full-time workers with an associate degree made an average $3,200 more per year than their counterparts with some college experience but no degree, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. An associate degree also opens doors to more job opportunities—jobs requiring at least an associate degree are predicted to grow twice as fast as jobs that don't require college. Those same jobs are growing faster than jobs requiring a bachelor's degree or more.

MCC is working to encourage more students to earn their associate degree—even if they plan to transfer to a four-year university. The college is also reaching out to students who may have left MCC just shy of a degree.

"We want students to view the associate degree as a milestone with real, immediate benefits for themselves and their families," said Heath Mello, Coordinator of Community Affairs and Outreach. "Our economy hinges on an educated, skilled workforce. To grow Nebraska, we need to help more students achieve a degree."

For students at MCC who plan to transfer, an associate degree has value even as the student pursues a bachelor's degree. For some 60 percent of Nebraska college students, a bachelor's degree takes six years to complete, according to the nonprofit Complete College America. An associate degree promises more job opportunities and marketability while the student continues to study.

Boosting the number of students with degrees in Nebraska is something everyone should care about. The more college graduates in the community, the more quality employers will be drawn to Nebraska to create jobs and grow the economy. President Obama challenged the U.S. to regain the world lead in college degrees by 2020, requiring about double the degree holders the U.S. currently has. Without an educated workforce, the U.S. will fall behind more educated counterparts globally.

By the end of the decade, more than 60 percent of jobs will require college education. Earning an associate degree ensures students are ready to compete in a global economy that requires higher education and specialized training.


Coming Back to School

If you have been away from MCC for awhile but would like to come back to finish your degree, we are here to help you move forward. Outreach specialists can help you determine how close you are graduation and the best way to complete your degree and advance your academic and career goals. Call (402) 457-2377 for information or email outreach@mccneb.edu.

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