A new online tool released this week shows that 45 percent of community college students with associate degrees earn the same median wage as bachelor's degree holders in California: $54,000.
Those numbers are for community college students who did not transfer to a four-year school. The data, which was released by the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, represents their earnings five years after graduation.
The numbers can be found on the chancellor's office Salary Surfer website.
The tool also includes helpful information for people interested in careers in the arts. Among the highest earning programs in the arts fields are community college degrees and certificates for commercial music. Students with Associate Degrees in Commercial Music earned a median annual salary of $30,898 five years after graduation.
The top-earning arts degree is commercial art. Students earned a median wage of $34,347 just two years after graduation and $35,014 five years later.
Several programs deliver much higher payouts, according to the data.
Students earned a median wage of $71,817 five years after graduation when they got a degree in computer software development. Another high earning program is for students training to be radiation therapy technicians. Those students earned more than $91,000 five years after graduation.
The data used for the Salary Surfer does not include details from people who are self-employed, employed by the federal government or work out of state.
Do you or your family members have degrees from community colleges? If so, are you satisfied with your employment options and wages?
Let us know in the comments below.