Community College: Two Year Degree Programs

Community College: Two Year Degree Programs
In just two years, you can be trained to become a video game developer, aviation mechanic, or even emergency dispatcher. Be inspired by 10 of the most interesting and unusual fields now open to community college graduates.

Community colleges offer a plethora of program options today, ensuring everyone who enrolls in one of these two-year schools can embark on the career of their dreams. For some, community college is a stepping stone into higher education that allows them to transfer to a college or university and pursue a four-year degree. For others, community college is the whole ball of wax – the training necessary to launch an exciting career path. For those who fall into the latter category, here is a list of 10 exciting fields you can enter with only a two-year degree under your belt.

Hospitality Manager

Hospitality managers can work anywhere there is a restaurant, hotel, or cruise ship – which means just about anywhere in the world. While many work their way up the hospitality hierarchy without formal training, an associate degree and on-the-job experience will get you where you want to go much faster. According to a report by Fox Business, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates the average salary for a food-service manager to be $46,320, while a hotel manager averages $45,800 annually.

Graphic Designer

Let your creativity shine with a position as a graphic designer. This professional works with a wide range of mediums, from print publications to film and the web. Graphic designers consider the vision of each individual client while weighing the needs of the target market to create messages that are attractive and effective. A two-year degree program is often sufficient for entering this industry, which boasts an annual average salary of around $42,400. Those who work their way into director positions easily double that figure.

This video describes what's involved with a graphics design career.

Gaming Surveillance Officer

Many casinos hire on-site security personnel to keep their venues safe and sound. The job of a gaming surveillance officer often begins with a certificate program at the local community college, which covers legal aspects of the industry, as well as the basics of law enforcement required for monitoring these establishments. Gaming surveillance officers make an average annual salary of $30,000, according to Go College, and the need for such professionals expects to remain high in upcoming years.

Skin Care Specialist

If the field of cosmetology sounds interesting to you, this specialized position in the industry is sure to be a hit. As the baby boomer population continues to age, skin care specialists that know how to keep complexions in top condition will continue to be in demand. Skincare specialists might work at salons or spas, offering clients the latest cosmetic science for treating a range of skin issues. Go College estimates this field will grow by 35 percent over the next few years, with estheticians enjoying the biggest job growth.

Landscape Designer

If you love working in the great outdoors, the job of a landscape designer might be just the ticket. According to Education Portal, a degree program in landscape design offers students a solid foundation in soil analysis, plant identification and health, pest control, and ornamental horticulture. As technology moves into this field, degree programs also cover landscape architecture and computer-aided landscape design. Use your training to go to work for a landscape company – or start your own business.


If cooking is your passion, there are many five-star associate degree programs in culinary arts from which to choose. This field gives you the opportunity to work in the fast-paced environment of popular restaurants, cruise ships, or hotels. You can even start up your own business with the skills you receive at a community college. According to Degree Directory, the BLS predicts that opportunities will continue to be available in this field through 2018, with chefs and head cooks earning an annual average salary of $50,000 during 2017.

This video describes the stages involved in becoming a chef.

Interior Designer

Interior design is another creative career that often requires a two-year degree to enter. Those who work in this field create beautiful indoor spaces for people to live, work, and play. Professionals in this field combine art with function, creating beautiful spaces with the specific purpose of the space in mind. Interior designers might work out of an office, but they also spend a significant amount of time in the homes and offices of their clients, as well as working with various suppliers to create their finished products.

Aviation Mechanic

If you dream of working in the airline industry, a degree program in aviation mechanics may launch your high-flying career. These degree programs must be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure graduates find employment right out of school. Programs teach valuable courses in fuel and flight control systems, aerodynamics, and engine overhaul.

Video Game Developer

Many successful employees in the video game industry today launched their careers with a two-year degree program in video game design and development. This program offers a wealth of instruction in java programming, animation, script writing, game development, and game texture mapping. Those who graduate from a program may find work as a technical artist, junior designer, or game tester.

Emergency Dispatcher

If you have a cool head under pressure, a position as an emergency dispatcher might be the right choice for you. These professionals are the first to answer 911 calls and dispatch the correct emergency personnel to the location. Dispatchers also monitor the scene after crews arrive. This position requires certification in most states – something many community colleges offer along with training programs in emergency dispatch. Due to the high turnover in the industry, the website for Arapahoe Community College predicts demands for professionals will remain high.

This video describes what's involved in becoming an emergency dispatcher.

These are just 10 of the many interesting and unusual jobs that can be had with just a two-year degree from a community college.

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