Average fourth quarter earnings
2008-09 Florida College System students who left or completer a degree or certificate program and were employed in the fourth quarter of 2009
Average fourth quarter earnings for Florida College System degree and certificate completers were generally higher than those of their counterparts who did not complete a degree or certificate. Students earning advanced technical certificates had average quarterly earnings of $13,000, compared with $5,000 to $11,000 for associate degree completers.
Many students enroll in community colleges to gain new skills so that they can improve their employment prospects. Numerous studies have found that median earnings for individuals with associate degrees are higher than median earnings for high school graduates. Even individuals who attend community college but do not complete a degree have higher earnings than those whose education stops at high school. Fewer studies have examined vocational certificates at the national level, but their results are consistent with the research on associate degrees, with certificate recipients showing a substantial advantage in earnings.