GCC Offers Programs in Five of the Top 10 Best-Paying Jobs for Community College Graduates

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A question on many college students’ minds these days is: Will I find a job when I graduate? A typical follow-up: How much will it pay? For Gateway Community College (GCC) students, the answers are strikingly positive. A recent study revealed the top ten best-paying jobs for community college graduates; GCC offers associate’s degrees in five of those areas.

A recent NBC News story "Top Ten Best Paying Jobs for Community College Graduates" found that many jobs requiring associate’s degrees pay more than those that require a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Further, a study done by NerdWallet, a financial literacy website, found that an associate’s degree has an average payback period of two years, making it an exceptional value for students. 

Joseph Audette, NerdWallet’s vice president of financial literacy and education, said his firm studied U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics and forecasts and found not only are the top ten jobs well paying, many are expected to experience a 35 percent growth rate through 2020, as compared to an average job growth rate of 14 percent.

While air traffic controllers are number one with a median salary of $108,000, GCC offers programs that can lead to five of the top 10 best paying jobs for community college graduates. They are:

3. Radiation Therapists -$74,980

4. Nuclear Medicine Technologists - $68,560

7. Registered Nurses - $64,690

9. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers - $64,380

10. Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians - $56,040.

Kellie Byrd Danso, M.Ed., NCC, GCC’s director of Career Services said, “The fact that Gateway offers five of the 10 programs just goes to show how valuable an education at Gateway can be. Those five programs are all outstanding.” Beata I. Gebuza, MS, CNMT, RTN, NCT, associate professor and program coordinator of GCC’s Nuclear Medicine Technology program, noted that four Allied Health professions were in the top ten. GCC’s Nuclear Medicine Technology program was recently awarded Continued Accreditation for the next seven years by the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology, the maximum award given. 

Donald Lostritto, program coordinator of Electrical Engineering, said, “The Electrical Engineering Technology program here at GCC offers a comprehensive program covering both the electronic technology side and the academic side of this popular associates degree program.  Exciting technical career opportunities within this field exist in many industries in Connecticut.”  

With an estimated trillion dollars in current student loan debt, more people are looking closely at community colleges and liking what they see, Audette said. “There are so many sensational stories out there right now about student debt. We wanted to let people know there are great opportunities out there for an affordable education,” he said. “A community college education is a fantastic option.”

For more, check out these links:

NBC News "Top Ten Best Paying Jobs for Community College Graduates"

Huffington Post "Two-Year Degrees Vs. Four-Year Degrees: Sometimes Associate's Beats Bachelor's In Earning Potential"

Nerd Scholar "A New Career For a New Year: Jobs in Demand Study"