Why an Associate Degree is a Smart Investment

Continuing your education is one of the most valuable investments you’ll ever make in yourself; it’s something no one can take away from you. An Associate Degree is a cost-effective way to continue your education without the time and financial constraints of a bachelor’s degree.

Why You Should Get An Associate Degree

Higher Salaries and Overall Lifetime Earnings

Professionals with an Associate Degree earn a median of 17.6% more per year than people with high school diplomas. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those with associate’s degrees earn a median of $836/week, while those with high school diplomas earn $712/week. Annually, this adds up to about a $6,500 difference in salary – and that compounds over time.

If you have an Associate Degree, you will earn, on average, $400,000 more in your life than with just a high school diploma. Can you think of how that can positively impact your family and your future?

Lower Unemployment Rate

Not only can having a degree affect your overall earnings, but it also impacts your likelihood of unemployment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that professionals with associate’s degrees have a 1.2% lower unemployment rate than those with a high school diploma. While 1.2% might not sound like much, those percentage points equate to thousands and thousands of jobs. If a company is interviewing someone with a degree vs without one, they are more likely to choose the person who has shown an interest and ambition in furthering their learning.

An Associate Degree Can Lead to Getting Higher Degrees

Maybe you’d like a degree, but you’re not sure you want to commit to the time and expense of a 4-year degree, or maybe you don’t want to commit to it at this time. Getting an Associate Degree now paves the way for you to get a higher degree later (if you decide it’s the right path for you and your career).

Plus, not only is an associate’s degree more economical now, but it also makes getting a bachelor’s degree less costly later! Since 2-year colleges are less expensive than 4-year schools, you’ll save money by not pursuing an undergraduate degree all at once. And as long as you obtain your associate’s degree from an accredited school, you won’t have to repeat classes you already took when pursuing a bachelor’s.

Increases Your Chances for Better Employment

It should be no surprise that higher education results in getting better jobs. Many of these jobs are with employers who will pay for you to get your bachelor’s degree. Companies such as Verizon, AT&T, Bank of America, Publix, Procter & Gamble, and UPS have tuition reimbursement programs that can help cover most of or the entire cost of finishing an undergraduate education.

An Investment for Your Family

Continuing your education is not just a good investment for you, it’s also an investment for your whole family. Your partner, children, and other family members are positively influenced and impacted by your choice to pursue higher education. Increasing your job prospects, earning potential, and overall knowledge improves your life in ways that are measurable and immeasurable.

Children of parents who got a college degree are more likely to also attend college and get an undergraduate degree. This increases their salary and job potential, continuing the legacy of improvement throughout the family generations. So when you decide to get your associate’s degree, you are not only doing it for yourself but for your family’s future.

If you’re interested in pursuing further education, Brighton College offers a number of associate and certification programs. Visit us at www.brightoncollege.edu to find out more today!

Military Spouse Education and Resources

Military Spouse Education and Career Resources

As a military spouse, you face difficulties that many civilians don’t know about and can’t relate to. Between deployments, PCS moves, and retaining your own identity, your plate is overflowing.

While military spouse life can be hard, your access to continuing education shouldn’t be. And thankfully, it doesn’t have to be! The military offers multiple education and career benefits for military spouses; ones that you should know about so you can take advantage of them. Many military spouses don’t know about the various education benefits they are entitled to, so read our list below to see what you’ve been missing!

Spouse Education and Career Opportunities – SECO

The MySECO site is full of resources specifically for military spouses. It’s a great starting point for exploring your options, and they offer benefits like:

-Free career coaching services

-Virtual Military Spouse Symposiums that include sessions on topics like acing your next interview, finding a job from anywhere in the world, building your dream career, and leveraging your network

-Free LinkedIn Premium when you have a MySECO account

-Interactive tools to build your individual career plan

-A tool to research potential occupations

-A database to help you find scholarship and financial aid opportunities

-Tools to help you build your resume

-MSEP job search

If you’re unaware of your military spouse education benefits, start by making an account on MySECO and exploring the resources they offer. A LinkedIn Premium account is valued at over $300/year, so it’s a great perk!

My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) Scholarship Program

After you’ve spent some time on MySECO and know what career and education path you want to pursue, it’s time for you to see if you qualify for the MyCAA scholarship.

This workforce development program provides up to $4,000 in financial assistance to military spouses pursuing a certification, license, or Associate’s Degree in a portable career. A “portable” career simply refers to an in-demand job in a field that is not reliant on staying in one place.

Examples of accepted portable career fields include business, finance, administration, education, health and human services, information technology, and legal.

For more information on frequently asked questions, eligibility, and anything else you might need to know, click this link.

Transferring GI Bill Education Benefits

While the MyCAA scholarship is a great option, the education you are pursuing might cost more than the $4,000 scholarship covers. In addition to applying for other forms of financial aid, you might want to consider having your enlisted spouse’s GI Bill benefits transferred to you.

Your enlisted spouse might be able to transfer their full or partial GI Bill education benefits to you. Depending on your eligibility based on Department of Defense guidelines, this could be a great option for you and your spouse!

Since the GI Bill covers more financial aid than the MyCAA scholarship program, you and your spouse should discuss your joint education and career goals to see if transferring benefits would be the right option for you.

While you’re deciding what would be best for your family, you can always start out with by using your MyCAA benefits. It’s the least the military can do for you!

To find out more about transferring GI Bill benefits, click this link.


Connect with your military spouse community, get tips, and find out about more resources by joining the Military Spouse Facebook Group and following us on Instagram!