Business is a versatile educational field that can prepare you for a job in business administration, management, advertising or marketing. If you have chosen business as your focus, you must now decide whether you want to pursue a 2-year or 4-year route. You will find several advantages and disadvantages of each and you must decide what works for best for your goals and current situation.


Income is one of the biggest factors that people consider when they are weighing the pros and cons of their educational path. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average high school graduate makes $29,900 a year, while an associate degree holder makes $37,000 yearly and $45,000 for an individual with a bachelor’s degree. lists the business associate degree income range as $29,800 to $49,800, so there is plenty of income potential with this type of degree. The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor and Statistics, lists the median income for a business bachelor's degree holder as going as high as $78,000. Starting off with a 2-year degree will most likely step you up to a higher income bracket, although this is not always the case.


A 2-year degree is generally a more affordable education alternative and thus keeps the tuition costs down. The National Center for Education Statistics states that the average public 2-year institution plus room and board costs just over $8,000 annually and a private 2-year institution runs about $24,000 a year. This is compared to a public 4-year education with room and board at $16,000 a year and a private institution at $32,600 a year.


If you are comparing 2-year and 4-year business degrees, consider the time element. Choosing the 2-year route will allow you to enter the workforce sooner and start earning more money than you were before you obtained your business degree. However, if you hold off on entering the work force full time and obtain a 4-year business degree, the time you spend will usually result in a more competitive hirability status and a higher income when you do get job. Another viable option to consider is to obtain a 2-year degree and get a business-related job while you continue your education to obtain your 4-year degree. For instance, you can get a administrative assistant, sales, real estate, accounting or human resources job while you transfer to a 4-year institution.

Core Concepts and Experience

A good 2-year degree will provide you with the core concepts needed for this field, but a 4-year business degree will be more comprehensive and involved. Often a 4-year degree will allow you to gain experience and knowledge through internships and apprenticeships. Two-year degrees may not have this option, although some do.

Transferring Credits

You can obtain your 2-year business degree and transfer to a 4-year institution. This can be a viable option, however, you need to consider that not all of your credits will transfer. Some of your courses may need to be retaken or supplemented with other courses. This can increase your overall time in college and your tuition costs. If you plan to transfer and you know where you will be applying, obtain a list of transferable courses and choose your classes according to this list when you can.

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