Friday, April 21, 2017

How Many People Get Associate’s Degrees in Oregon?

Nationwide more than a million students obtained an associate’s degree from 3,197 schools in the 2014-2015 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. In Oregon, 13,681 students graduated with an associate’s degree from 39 schools during the same academic year. Women accounted for 58 percent of graduates and men for 42 percent.

Over a 10-year period the number of associate’s degree graduates increased 61 percent. Before the recession (in the 2006-2007 school year) only 8,130 students obtained an associate’s degree. During the recession and early part of the recovery, many unemployed workers went back to school to learn new skills and earn a degree. This increased the number of associate’s graduates to a peak of 14,251 in the 2012-2013 school year. As the economy improved, the number of graduates has decreased in the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years. 

In the 2014-2015 school year the top two programs of study accounted for 57 percent of the associate’s degrees awarded in the state – and they are general programs geared toward student transfers to four-year institutions. Liberal arts and sciences/liberal studies graduates summed to almost 5,000 in 2015. Another 2,700 students graduated with an associate’s degree in general studies. 

For more information, read the full article "The Value of an Associate’s Degree" written by Economists Felicia Bechtoldt and Jessica Nelson.

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