NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “Good Paying Jobs with no Bachelor’s Degree”


Mary:  I’m Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at good paying jobs with no bachelor’s degree.  Mike, it’s well known that an increasing number of jobs today require a four-year college degree.   But I’m wondering if someone who is hard working but doesn’t want to attend a four-year college or university can still find a job that pays reasonably well?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. A recent study attempted to answer this question
  2. Defined a “good paying” job as one paying over $35,000 for a young worker, $45,000 for a middle aged worker, and $55,000 for an older worker
  3. Using this definition, found that good-paying jobs without a BA degree comprised about 25% of all jobs and 40% of jobs not requiring a BA degree
  4. Examples include many in construction, such as carpenters, electricians, an plumbers, many in healthcare like nurses, as well as computer technicians and restaurant managers
  5. Although these jobs don’t require a 4-year college degree, about half need a 2-year community or technical college degree or at least some years in college without receiving a degree
  6. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for N C State Extension