4- and 2-year collegesIn the United States, college students are able to choose between attending a 2-year postsecondary program and a 4-year postsecondary program. Generally, attending a 2-year program results in an Associate’s Degree, and 4-year programs result in a Bachelor’s Degree.
Many 2-year programs are designed so that attendees can transfer to a college or university offering a 4-year program upon completing their Associate’s. Completion of a 4-year program is the generally accepted standard for entry-level positions when looking for a job.
Earnings after collegeFactors such as gender, degree achieved, and the level of postsecondary education can have an impact on employment and earnings later in life. Some Bachelor’s degrees continue to attract more male students than female, particularly in STEM fields, while liberal arts degrees such as education, languages and literatures, and communication tend to see higher female attendance.
All of these factors have an impact on earnings after college, and despite nearly the same rate of attendance within the American population between males and females, men with a Bachelor’s Degree continue to have higher weekly earnings on average than their female counterparts.