Associate degree jobs that pay well
In certain fields, experience and self-education trump formal degrees.
According to Tyson J. Spring, vice president and senior consultant for Elever Professional, an executive recruitment firm in Los Angeles, graphic designers will impress future bosses more with an impressive portfolio than a fancy degree.
"Some of the most exciting creative design roles that we've worked on require no four-year degree," says Spring. "With the swift transition from print to digital that the marketing and ad world is experiencing, everyone is scrambling for talented technical designers."
Graphic design students can opt for a four-year degree, but they can also learn the technical aspects of the trade in a two-year degree or certificate program and then intern to pick up the artistic side. The BLS reports that graphic designers draw in a median salary of $42,400; freelance and contract designers bring in $57,000. Design directors and those with owner or partnership interests in their firm earn a median salary of $95,000.