Study finds well-paying jobs that don't require a 4-year degree

Amit Pandya

U. of Michigan Daily

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (U-WIRE) - College is not for everyone.

A University of Michigan study completed June 5 reveals the prevalence of well-paying jobs available to young people without a four-year bachelor's degree.

The report, a joint study between the University Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations and Michigan Future Inc., revealed that a large variety of well-paying options are available to younger workers.

"We did the study in large part to respond to the dichotomy between employers that say they have lots of well-paying jobs for workers with skills and not necessarily a bachelor's degree and the public, who generally does not believe this," said Michigan Future Executive Director Louis Glazer.

After researchers selected 88 fields which have median annual full-time earnings of at least $30,000, 47 fields were found to not specifically call for a four-year degree.

Statistics from the study show that occupations which do not require a bachelor's degree can provide salaries as high as $60,000 a year. Millwrights and electrical equipment repairers top this list of occupations at median earnings of $60,000 and $52,000, respectively.

The study also shows that these jobs, while not requiring a bachelor's degree, will probably call for some additional training.

Senior Assistant Director of Career Planning and Placement Judy Lawson still highly values a bachelor's degree.

"Getting a four-year degree is still a very important thing for beginning, and especially advancing, one's career," Lawson said.

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