Two and four year college degrees offer better job opportunities

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, December 12, 2017

As graduation day nears, many students across Pearl River County will consider continuing their education at Pearl River Community College or a four-year university.

Pearl River Central High School counselor Robin Craft said earning an associate’s degree would help students increase their income, find more job opportunities and give them an opportunity to better support a family.

According to, the annual salary difference between a high school graduate and someone who graduated with a two-year degree is $8,746 in Mississippi. The average difference in the country is $10,313.

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Poplarville School Career Development Center counselor Sarah Shabazz said the job market is becoming more competitive every day and while a high school diploma or a GED will help an individual get a job, having an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s will make the job search a lot easier.

When choosing a college, many students overlook community colleges and instead plan to attend a four-year university. Shabazz said that while four-year universities will provide a great education, community colleges also do a great job at preparing students for a four year university.

“Some of the benefits of attending a community college include its affordability to more students, the class sizes are smaller compared to a four-year university and they have a lot of resources to help you succeed,” Shabazz said.

Shabazz encourages all of her students to at least earn a two-year degree because it will have a big impact on their life down the road.

“Pearl River Community College is a great place to start and they offer a lot of great programs,” Shabazz said. “Earning an associate’s degree will help anyone get more job opportunities than someone with just a high school diploma.”