Employment for Ohio associate degree graduates is expected to grow by 18.8% over the next decade; this is easily the fastest increase among all education and training categories and more than double the 7.3% average projected for all occupations during the period.

Ohio community colleges are strong performers in the production of graduates in the critical STEMĀ² disciplines of science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine or health. Ohio community colleges graduate 67% more students with engineering technology degrees than the national average and 26% more degrees in the health professions and related clinical services.

Community and technical colleges educate the majority of the nation’s “first-responders.” Nearly 60% of all new registered nurses and close to 85% of law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMTs are credentialed by community colleges.

Many associate degree graduates take licensing exams in their fields of study certifying that they are qualified to enter their chosen professions. Students from associate degree nursing programs passed the same 2005 Ohio Registered Nurse Exam at a similar rate (90% vs. 91%) as students from baccalaureate degree programs.

Eighty-seven percent (87%) of 2005 Ohio associate degree graduates were employed within Ohio or attending college within the state six months after their graduation.

The more education attained, the better the pay off over the course of an individual’s career. However, for an immediate return on investment, it is hard to beat the associate degree. The annual average salary for 2005 Ohio associate degree graduates six months after their graduation was $35,648. The comparable salary for bachelor degree graduates of Ohio four-year universities was $33,218. This difference is largely attributable to the greater concentrations of associate degree graduates in high demand, high paying fields such as health and engineering.

Eighty-three percent (83%) of all workers with associate degrees earn the same as workers with bachelor’s degrees.

Ohio community and technical colleges offer families education at significantly more affordable prices than public four-year Ohio universities. Tuition established for the 2006-2007 academic year at Ohio community and technical colleges averaged $3,366. This is compared to an average tuition of $8,888 for new students at Ohio public university main campuses.

Ohio statute provides that most coursework at Ohio community and technical colleges transfers to public and independent four-year Ohio universities. Students who move from Ohio’s two-year colleges to four-year universities are successful academically at campuses across the state, having similar grade point averages as their four-year university peers who began their education at a four-year campus.

Ohio’s community and technical colleges are teaching and learning-centered institutions with a median lecture class size of 19 students. Full-time faculty at these colleges spend on average 71% of their work time on teaching activity. University faculty spend less than half of their time on teaching activities, because of more varied responsibilities to their institutions.

A 2006 public opinion poll by the KnowledgeWorks Foundation indicated that 90% of Ohioans favor high schools where students can receive both high school and college credit.

Ohio’s community and technical colleges enrolled 164,363 students in their credit programs during the fall 2006 academic term. Enrollment has grown during each of the last 10 years and by 20% over the last five of these years. Well over one-half of all undergraduates attending public institutions of higher education in Ohio are enrolled at two-year campuses.

The number of employed persons trained through EnterpriseOhio Network two-year campuses on a noncredit basis totaled 164,805 in FY 2006. More than half of the 4,481 Ohio companies served were small businesses.

A 2005 public opinion poll by the KnowledgeWorks Foundation indicated that 92% of Ohioans think workers need to get additional training and education during their careers to advance in today’s economy; 79% think that the state should help workers to get the training they need to improve their skills.

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