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Study: A class or two at your local community college can bump up your paycheck

Allan Hancock College

New research from the California Community Colleges finds even students who don’t complete certificates or transfer to four-year colleges can benefit economically.

The colleges looked at 86,000 students who took at least one class, in order to improve their career skills. The study found the average student salary increased by $4300 the year after taking courses.

"For years, community colleges really had no way to capture data for students who kept their skills current or advanced their careers, but finally we do," said Andrew Masuda, a spokesperson for Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria. "Now we can prove these students experience pretty major rewards."

Specific salary numbers at Hancock show the students that took classes related to fire fighting, electrical, automotive technology, and emergency medical services saw the largest bumps in their paychecks.

NOTE: See a spreadsheet showing salary changes from students at Cuesta, Alan Hancock, Santa Barbara Community and Hartnell Colleges.