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Labour Market Value of Short Degree Programmes

VU International News and Reviews No. 105 January 29 2018

January 2018

The American Enterprise Institute has published a study “Saving the Associate of Arts Degree” which may also interest those in European higher education who believe in the value of short HE degree programmes in the first cycle.

The report starts with the observation that the American AA degree – designed as a low threshold stepping stone to the Bachelor’s degree – actually for many is the end of their HE career. Sadly enough, students with no more than an AA degree, actually suffer a wage penalty from their short degree cycle, unless they have high-value marketable skills. They discuss mechanisms through which colleges can help AA degree holders to the value of their degree, i.a. through transfer pathways to Bachelor’s degrees, embedding marketable skills into the AA programmes, and strengthening ties with employers.

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