the job market is tough these days, especially if you haven't earned a college degree. the time is fast approaching - if it isn't here already - when higher education will be a necessity for anyone wanting to enter the professional job market.already, college graduates with at least a bachelor's degree earn nearly $20,000 more per year than people with only a high school diploma or ged, according to the u.s. department of labor's 2010 report "the condition of education." that gap can only be expected to grow as the job market becomes even more competitive.but for many people, a bachelor's degree is too big of a commitment, especially for those who already work full-time or have a family.sound like you? an associate's degree program - which generally takes about two years to complete - may be the right option for you.*check out these hot associate's degree career options now.