Survey Shows Technical Degrees Have Same ROI as Bachelor’s

As technology advances, students are given more options for furthering their education than ever before. So, how do they decide what is right for them and how “alternative” should their decision be?

In a recent Mind/Shift article, Tina Barseghian says the value of a college degree is being questioned by students looking for an alternative, most likely a cheaper one. Nontraditional learning is spreading through online environments in the shape of digital badges and free, high-quality lessons.

Not only are students handed the option of deciding traditional or nontraditional schooling, students might also face having to choose between a technical degree and bachelor’s, and a new report showing the best return of investment might be surprising.

A technical degree is worth as much as a bachelor’s degree, according to the Hechinger Report article, “To Avoid Default, Try Technical College.” The return on investment in the U.S. economy can be better for a two-year technical or community college degree than a four-year degree and three years of law school. Earning a technical degree at a public school allows for students to earn a low-cost degree that pays relatively high wages.

“We’re in a skills based economy and what we need is more computer programmers, more [nurses],” he said. “It’s less glamorous but it’s what we need,” says hedge fund manager Daniel Ades of Kawa Capital Management.

According to the community marketplace Thumbtack, there data shows:

“Tens of thousands of local service professionals on Thumbstack have attained either a technical college degree or an undergraduate degree — and their average hourly rates are exactly the same.”

Many Americans still equate a higher education with better wages, but emerging studies show this thought might be expiring. Did you decide to pursue a two-year degree instead of a four-year degree? Do you still equate a higher level of education with a higher return on investment rate?




“What Colleges Must Do to Stay Relevant,” by Tina Barseghian.” 28 November 2011. Mind/Shift. Accessed on 28 November 2011.

“To Avoid Default, Try Technical College,” by Joanne Jacobs. 28 November 2011. Hechinger Report. Accessed on 28 November 2011.

“New data shows undergraduate degree likely worth no more than a technical college degree.” 14 November 2011. Thumbtack. Accessed on 28 November 2011.

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