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2 Year College vs. 4 Year College

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 644
  • Category: College

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            As the world we live in becomes more technologically advanced, and the pace of business and industry grows ever faster, the competition to earn a living is greater than it has ever been, and of course, the key to a rewarding career may include a college degree.  With this in mind, the options for college education are mind boggling, one of the biggest decisions being whether to choose a 2 year or 4 year college.  There are key factors to consider in making this decision, which this essay will discuss in an effort to demystify the process as much as possible.

First, we must dispel a common myth that 2 year colleges somehow provide a lower quality education than the traditional 4 year institutions, or that the Associates level degree will be less beneficial to the learner than the Bachelors level degree.  Admittedly, this may be the case in some areas of study, but in others, the 2 year degree will provide the same academic, and professional benefits than a longer course of study.  For an example, many people are pursuing 2 year degrees to learn marketable skills in a somewhat rapid period of time, as in the case of massage therapy, medical office assistant, pharmaceutical technician, as well as many areas of criminal justice and information systems technology.  In these instances, the 2 year degree provides an entrée into a given field of profession, and from there, the individual can gain valuable on the job training or additional professional certifications that can increase knowledge while working, leading to promotions and salary increases.

Cost is also important for some people when they are weighing the decision to attend a 2 year college.  Many times, adult learners are attending college part-time while they continue in their current occupations, or they are learning new skills to “re-tool” when downsized from a position or something along those lines.  Therefore, it makes sense from a time and money management viewpoint to attend a 2 year college, for many of the same reasons that those who are new to the job market would do the same.

Finally, the right 2 year college could provide the opportunity to transfer to a 4 year college with the credits already earned; while this varies with both the 2 year college attended and the 4 year college being considered, this is something into which the student should look if they are thinking ultimately of 4 year college via the 2 year course of study.

Many of the advantages of a 4 year college mirror those of the 2 year college, but on a larger scale; for example, there are professions that only a Bachelor degree can facilitate, such as a certified public accountant, practical nurse, and so forth.  Moreover, those wishing to attend law or medical school as a long term goal will need to earn a Bachelor level degree before doing so.

Prestige is also an important factor for some students, and a 4 year college typically provides much more prestige than a 2 year institution, especially in the area of Ivy League colleges and the like.  Obviously, the cost factor does not weigh as heavily for the typical Ivy League student, so this may not be a completely valid comparison, but it does have a certain ring of truth in it.

In closing, perhaps the most accurate statement that could be made in regard to the valid comparison of 2 year and 4 year colleges is that each of them has its benefits and drawbacks depending upon the needs, goals, and budget of the prospective student.  A wise piece of advice to conclude this essay is to take the time to research what is available in light of your requirements, because after all, isn’t your future worth it?

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