CT: Study shows college degrees don’t guarantee bigger salaries

Link to artcle: Study shows college degrees don’t guarantee bigger salaries | Clay Today (claytodayonline.com)

GradReports says students can earn more money by attending FSCJ

By Wesley LeBlanc wesley@opcfla.com

CLAY COUNTY — College isn’t necessarily the sure-fire way to make a lot of money, and recent studies continue to support that.

GradReports is a national conglomerate organization that talks to real graduates of colleges all over the country to determine how much they’re making with their associates, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Of the colleges and universities close to Clay County – Jacksonville University and Florida State College of Jacksonville are leading the pack.

“We calculated a salary score for each of the Florida State College at Jacksonville’s programs by comparing program-specific median alumni earnings to median alumni earnings for the same program across all schools that provide this data,” according to GradReports. “This way, students can compare the relative salary strength of a specific major at Florida State College at Jacksonville to the same major at other schools. A school’s overall score by level is based on the school’s by-program performance weighted by student enrollment in each program.”

GradReports uses data from the Florida Department of Education to arrive at salary scores for each of the colleges in the state.

As far as associate degrees go, nobody around Clay County tops Florida State College at Jacksonville, which has a score of 60 out of 100. Fortis College in Orange Park has an associate salary score of 28 out of 100, as does St. Johns River State College. What exactly does that translate to? Well, the higher the salary score, the more money the degree earner is likely to earn in a job in that field.

Someone with an associate’s degree in business administration at FSCJ makes a median salary of $32,000. Someone with the same degree from Fortis College makes a median salary of $25,770, and someone with the same degree from SJRSC makes a median salary of $21,700.

That trend continues when looking at other types of associate degrees too, and it extends to bachelor degrees as well. SJRSC doesn’t offer but a handful of bachelor’s degrees so it doesn’t have a bachelor’s degree salary score, and Fortis College doesn’t either because it only offers associates and certifications.

FSCJ’s bachelor’s score is 44 and the University of North Florida’s is 43. When comparing a bachelor’s degree for registered nursing, an extremely popular course of study, FSCJ and SJRSC are right on course with each other as both degrees earned graduates a median salary of $63,010, according to GradReports. UNF graduates made a little less at $58,260.

In terms of certificates, which are becoming more and more popular as people look for other options besides traditional college degrees, FSCJ leads the pack with a salary score of 61. This beats out Fortis College’s score of 45. One of the only certificates both schools offer is a college certificate for Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services. That certificate will earn you an average median salary of $23,460. It earns you a tad more coming from FSCJ as the median salary for those graduates surveyed was $24,730.

On GradReports’ list of the 25 best colleges and universities in Florida, the first one close to Clay County on the list is the University of Florida. Located in Gainesville, it’s still quite far, but it ranks number six in the state based on salary score. Jacksonville University appears next at number 11, with FSCJ behind it at number 14. The University of North Florida appears at number 17, and unfortunately for Clay County, Fortis College and SJRSC don’t rank in the top 25.

If you live in Clay County and want a college degree to make more money, it seems the best bet is FSCJ, according to GradReports.