Tennessee: 2-year degree pays off

New graduates with associate degrees may earn more than four-year graduates in Tennessee, reports the Leaf Chronicle.

Two-year graduates averaged $38,948 in earnings in their first year, compared to $37,258 for four-year graduates, according to a study by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and College Measures. Community college graduates in health, construction and technology were high earners in their first year.

The value of a degree varied at different colleges and universities, notes the Chronicle of Higher Education. Health-care graduates of two community colleges — Dyersburg State  ($52,042) and Jackson State ($48,498) — earned more in the first year out of college than University of Tennessee at Knoxville graduates. ($46,770). Roane State business graduates earned more ($39,893) than UT-Martin graduates ($33,964), but less than UT-Knoxville ($39,893).