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College degree doesn’t always mean more money

Antonio Wycklendt, Staff Writer

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Going to college has its perks when it comes to the competitive job market of today’s world. However, that’s not to say that you cannot get a decent job without a degree.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “In October 2015, 69.2 percent of high school graduates were enrolled in colleges or universities.” According to the report, those who did not enroll in college were “about twice as likely as enrolled graduates to be working or looking for work.”

So, what kind of job differences exist between graduates and non-graduates? Can a non-graduate still get a job that pays a decent amount of money?

Well, Business Insider has compiled data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics into three separate lists regarding the highest paying jobs for those who have a high school education or the equivalent, the highest paying jobs for those holding a bachelor’s degree, and the highest paying jobs for those who have either a master’s or Ph.D.

The following is a list of the top 10 highest paying jobs with the median annual wages of 2012 for those without a college degree, as reported by the data assembled by Business Insider:

10. Power-plant operator, $66,130
9. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers, $69,300
8. First-line supervisors of nonretail-sales workers, $70,060
7. Power distributors and dispatchers, $71,690
6. Commercial pilots, $73,280
5. Detectives and criminal investigators, $74,300
4. Nuclear-power-reactor operators, $74,990
3. Elevator installers and repairers, $76,650
2. First-line supervisors of police and detectives, $78,270
1.Transportation, storage, and distribution managers, $81,830

It is clear that even without a college degree, it is still possible to make a substantial amount of money and live a comfortable life. The same applies for the military, which is a common route for many high school graduates.

Science Department chair Kandi Wojtysiak, a former Air Force service member, said, “You can go in with a high school diploma and do well in the military. My oldest brother learned how to program and maintain satellites and was able to get a great job after six years in the Air Force. My nephew was on a nuclear submarine in the Navy. They sent him to college for two years to get a degree. He got out and got a great job.”

Deacon Carmene Carbone says that his son got his education from the service as well. “He is now working for Boeing as a sheet metal tech and makes pretty good money.”

But what if you wanted to put in four years and get a bachelor’s degree? How do the top 10 highest paying job wages compare?

Once again, the following list is derived from the data collected by Business Insider with the median annual wages from 2015:

10. Computer hardware engineers, $111,730
9. Sales managers, $113,860
8. Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers, $117,290
7. Financial managers, $117,990
6. Natural sciences managers, $120,160
5. Marketing managers, $128,750
4. Petroleum engineers, $129,990
3. Computer and information systems managers, $131,600
2. Architectural and engineering managers, $132,800
1.Chief executives*, $175,110

*The annual wage of chief executives vary from company to company, so a chief executive with only a bachelor’s degree at a run-of-the-mill company won’t make as much as a chief executive with a master’s degree at a high-end company.

As seen by this list, the wage differences are quite noticeable. However, the top 10 list of the highest paying jobs in America right now that require either a master’s degree or Ph.D. are the jobs that pay the most.

The following is the list from Business Insider with the mean annual wages:

10. Chief Executives, $180,700
9. Psychiatrists, $182,700
8. Family and General Practitioners, $186,320
7. Physicians and Surgeons (all other), $189,760
6. General Internists, $190,530
5. Orthodontists, $201,030
4. Obstetricians and Gynecologists, $214,750
3. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, $219,600
2. Surgeons, $240,440
1.Anesthesiologists, $246,320

As demonstrated by these lists, the annual wages directly correlate with the amount of higher education that a person holds. Sure, it’s possible to make a comfortable living without a degree. Social studies teacher Shannon Guscetti says her father “only got a two-year degree. Now he owns his own business.”

However, if you want to make the “big bucks” going the traditional route, then you are going to need quite a bit of higher education. It’s just the facts.

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College degree doesn’t always mean more money