Five Smart Alternatives To Traditional College Degrees, If you're like a lot of potential college students these days, your goal is to land a good career after graduation - preferably soon after graduation. And one major step toward that goal is choosing a degree that will give you concrete, specific skills that employers want.

In fact, that's one of the most important things you can do in today's tough labor market, says Rick Lockwood, a business professor at California's Coastline Community College.

"Decades ago, you could take a few classes in a subject that's applicable to the job you want and employers would train you. Now, employers don't do that. They want the schools to train people; they don't see it as their place to train workers anymore," he says.

He says one big reason for employers' refusal to train is the oversupply of skilled workers, so employers can cherry pick those with degrees in the specific field they're looking for. That's why he sees more and more students entering school thinking carefully about whether or not their degree will pay off after graduation.

To help you zero in on these marketable skills, we compared five career-focused degrees to their more traditional, and general, counterparts. Keep reading for the specifics on these specific degrees.

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