20 Associate Degree Programs that can lead to successful careers

20 Associate Degree Programs that can lead to successful careers

Not all people need to have a 4 year college education to have a successful career.  There are plenty of 2 year programs that are worth the investment.  And you don’t need to gamble on the Jackpot Capital Bonus in order to pay for it.

Check out these 20 choices that may be your ticket to a success career.

Community colleges offer 3 different options:

  1. Associate Degree Programs
  2. Associate Technology Programs
  3. Certificate Programs

1. Cheaper first 2 years of college

Maybe you really do want a  four year degree, but you don’t have to go into life long debt to accomplish it.  Community colleges can allow you to get all of those standard “everyone needs to take” requirements out of the way at an affordable cost.  Yes, you will still have to live with mom and dad, but wouldn’t it be financially better to live with mom and dad for two extra years during college if it can lead to NOT having to return to mom and dad’s house after college?  I think so.

2. Small Business Management and Entrepreneurial Studies

Our world revolves around money.  Nobody can get around that.  And a majority of our economy is based on small businesses.  Even if you have no intention of opening your own business, the skills that you can learn with this major can help you move from “regular worker” to a managerial position (the one who creates the budget) in any career.

3. Automotive Technology

Do you like working with cars?  Get some formal training in this area, and enjoy a successful career as a auto mechanic.  Combine this major with the Entrepreneurial Studies major and start your path to either owning or managing a successful auto mechanic shop.

4. Computer Aided Drafting

If you want to produce anything or patent anything, you need to create CAD drawings, computer aided drafting drawings.  With this career, you can run a success consulting business selling your skills to other businesses.

5. Dental Hygiene

People are always going to need their teeth professionally cleaned, especially in today’s day and age.  It is solid work.

6. Radiography

The technicians who do x-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds — those are just some of the jobs that a person can do with this degree option.

7. Nursing

An associate degree in nursing will allow you to get an entry level job in nursing.  If you are interested in a nursing management position or speciality nursing degree, you will need a BS level degree.  If you want to manage the nursing staff at a hospital, nursing home, or other organization, it usually requires a master’s level degree.

8. Baking and pastry

Learn to become a baker.

9. Culinary Arts – Chef

Learn to become a chef.

10. Dietetic Technology

Handle diet creations for hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and general health.

11. Hospitality Management

“Graduates may be employed as an assistant restaurant manager, hotel/motel assistant manager, front office manager, dining room manager, cafeteria production manager in a variety of areas such as hotel, restaurants, resorts, cruise lines, catering centers, and health care facilities. Graduates are eligible for certification in several course areas by the American Hotel and Lodging Association and the National Restaurant Association. Students plan and manage luncheons catered by students in the HCD programs. This provides opportunities to apply principles of menu planning, food cost controls, sanitation, food production, employee supervision, marketing and guest service.”

12. Correction Administration

Graduates go on to work in federal, state and county prisons, probation, law, research design, human services, and other rewarding fields.

13. Criminal Justice – Police Science

Prepares students for a career as law enforcement officials, defense and prosecution lawyers, or others looking to advance their careers within the criminal justice system. Graduates go on to work in law enforcement, probation, law, and private security.

14. Fire Science Technology

Prepares a person for careers in fire service whether as a volunteer, industrial or career firefighter.

15. Homeland Security

Prepaes students for a career in border security, airports, waterways and seaports; prepare for and respond to natural and man-made disasters; provide counter-terrorism and law enforcement intelligence support; and employ the latest security technology.

16. Aviation Maintenance Technology

Learn how to become an airplane mechanic.

17. Digital Forensics

Learn how to collect digital evidence.

18. Energy Utility Technology

Prepare for a career as a maintenance person for the electric company.

19. Paralegal

Prepare for a job in a law firm.

20. Building Inspector and Plans Examiner

Prepare for a job doing building inspections and review building plans.


There are a lot of career opportunities for people who want a satisfactory career that do not require a four year degree.  The examples above are just some of the options.  Check out your local community college (as well as others in your state) to see what options are available to you.


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