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Less than zero

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29 million middle-class jobs that don’t require a B.A.

Jeff Tyler Sep 18, 2012
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Jeremy Hobson: Well many economists will tell you that a college degree is about as good a ticket to the middle class as you can find. But a study out this morning says there are 29 million jobs that offer middle class pay but don’t require a bachelor’s degree.

Marketplace’s Jeff Tyler has the story.


Jeff Tyler: Researchers were surprised to find so many jobs that pay between $35,000 and $72,000, but don’t require a university degree.

Tony Carnevale is director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

Tony Carnevale: It tells us there are still rungs in the ladder, after high school, before you get to a four-year college degree. And that you can climb those rungs.

Consider Jeremy Montoya. While still in high school, he worked with an organization called Skills USA, and learned to coordinate events involving thousands of students. After that, Montoya skipped college, and went straight to work at Apple. He now makes between $40,000 and $50,000 a year.

Jeremy Montoya: I think I’m in a good place, starting off at the age of 22.

Other well-paid jobs may require a training certificate. According to the study, people with a certificate in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning can earn more than 25 percent of university graduates.

I’m Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

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