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Could I be financially stable if I get my associates degree

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Sunny’s Answer

Hi Aowynn,

I think there is a chance that you could be financially stable with an associate's degree. But it depends on what subject you major and which occupation you choose. Some high-paying associate degree jobs would be dental hygienist, computer programmer, air traffic controller, radiation therapist, etc., so there is a way to earn more income than average.

But I think the more important thing is to find what you like to do everyday, since that will get you a long way.

I hope this helps!
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Jennifer L.’s Answer

Hi, Aowynn,

I echo Oliver's answer in that, "yes", you can be financially stable, with an associate's degree, depending upon what stability means for you. My question for you is: "What do you want out of life"? Is it to be financially stable or to find a career you love and are passionate about?

If you are concerned about continuing on to a bachelor's degree, what is holding you back? I waited 14 years between getting my bachelor's degree and my master's, and it was the best decision for me.

If school is not for you, I suggest making sure you find what you love to do and weigh the benefits of whether or not to continue with an additional degree.

Jennifer L. recommends the following next steps:

Understand what you want most out of life, career.
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Tom’s Answer

It depends on the cost of living, but overall you would need at least $60K salary or better.


$80K salary in most part of the country to afford a townhome or condo($300K to $400k with $40K downpayment).

$60K salary If you want to live independently(rent 1 bedroom/studio), and set aside 10% for your retirement account.

Most associate program will provide you jobs from $40K to $50K depending on your major. Pick a major with technical skills for high demand jobs.
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Cathy’s Answer

Yes you can but I echo everyone else that it depends on the field. My spouse is in the niche area in healthcare so his role is in high demand so he does make a great living with only an associates degree. Although he is doing really well, he still wishes went for his bachelors so it could open up more opportunities for him. Lots of roles in management require a 4 year degree so it might be worth going for it to set you up with success and more options in the future.
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Oliver’s Answer

Aowynn,

Great question! The short answer is "probably", HOWEVER, the longer answer is "it depends", with an elaboration below:

First, you must ask yourself what it means TO YOU to be financially stable. Does this mean being debt free? Does it mean saving for retirement? Does it mean saving for your kids' college education? Maybe it simply means earning more cash then you spend each month!

After you decide what this means, think about how much financial stability will cost you. If it means earning more than you spend... how much do you spend per month? For example, if you spend $1,500 per month (think about things like food, rent, auto payments/ insurance, shopping/ entertainment, etc.).

Now simply multiply by 12, and voila! That's how much you need to make in a year to be "financially stable" under that definition. Take that number, and google around to see if there are any careers that an associates degree would give you that earn the salary you're looking for.

Alternatively, you could think about this the other way as well. For example, find your dream job that your associates degree would get you, and find the average salary (websites like Glassdoor help here). Now, divide the salary by 12, and think to yourself "could I achieve my monthly financial goals with that? What lifestyle would I have?" If you found that it would give you $3,000 per month, and you want to save $500 per month for retirement (or a house, or your kids, [insert savings goal here]), spend $1,000 on rent and $300 on food... that leaves you $1200 for ALL OTHER EXPENSES. Think about entertainment, unexpected medical expenses, maintenance on house/ cars, etc. Is that enough for you?

Only you can decide, but hopefully this provided some useful guidance on how to think about it. Good luck!
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J’s Answer

Yes, it is very possible to be financially stable with only an Associate's Degree. In fact, I'm a well paid professional working for 20+ years without any college education. College is not necessarily the only path to career success but hard work is. :) Good luck!
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