As kids, we were all taught the course of a typical life: You are born, you go to school and college, you get married, you have kids and teach them to do the same. It’s become a process everyone knows about and is comfortable with. Once you graduate from high school, you’ll be asked what career you want to pursue and what colleges you are thinking of applying to. We never ask if we need to attend college, because we have to. Don’t we?
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Although there are many ways to pursue a career, you can always opt to go to college. Statistically speaking, an average of one out of three students change their degree at least three times in their pursuit of a diploma. The reason for this often has to do with the fact that Americans are asked to figure out what they want to do for the rest of their lives at age 18. That is a lot to ask of someone who hasn’t experienced a lot of life. Changing your degree can mean more debt and more time in school.
It’s important to note that it’s very possible to be a successful person in spite of not finishing or even enrolling in college. Some people who fit into this category include Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Jobs, and Michael Dell. All three of these men and women were college dropouts who turned their lives around and started businesses that are still flourishing today. That’s because they were dedicated individuals with dreams they wanted to fulfill. They worked hard and long to get where they got, and that is something anyone can do. You may not become Steve Jobs, but you can definitely pursue a well-paying job without attending college.
There are a lot of routes you can take when it comes to building a career without a college education. One of these strategies is to start at the bottom of a businesses and work your way up. Starting at the lowest tier may mean being an administrative assistant for a few years, but you’ll be able to learn the company’s processes well while having the opportunity to grow into bigger roles. You’ll also be privvy to the latest trends in the industry of your choice, unlike some college students who rely on outdated textbooks. You can gain work experience and connections the majority of graduates do not have but all employers desire. This will help you level up in your career. Another way to spend little money, gain lots of experience, and make connections is through internships and apprenticeships. The information you learn from an internship or apprenticeship is often better than that of a college classroom simply because you are getting hands on experience. Most of us learn best from hands-on training, meaning you will glean more from getting taught one-on-one rather than from a professor in a group of fifty or more students.
There are many jobs that do not require a college diploma. Some of these careers include sales, marketing, and manufacturing jobs. You could make an average of $43,000 a year as a salesman. Bare in mind that this number increases based on experience and how good of a salesperson you are. Seasoned salesmen can make six figures at this job. Marketing jobs require some selling tactics as well and pay an average of $31,000 a year. This amount also increases as you gain experience. Manufacturers make anywhere between $35,360-43,680 a year. Working at a manufacturing plant means you may gain enough experience to get a managerial position to make even more money.
If you decide not to go to college, you must realize that it will take hard work. Not going to college does not make a career any more easy to attain. Both roads require great resolve and dedication. You should also consider that some employers put a premium on resumes with college degrees, even if these accolades have nothing to do with the field you are trying to enter. Make sure that when you are applying somewhere, you have a lot of experience and can prove what an asset you could be to the company. It’s a good idea to have portfolios or references so you can show off your abilities and work ethic.
Alizah Acosta is a passionate writer from the cold corner of America, better known as the Northeast. She recently graduated from Clarks Summit University with a bachelors degree. She uses the experiences and skills she has acquired and puts them in her work. Writing is not just a career, but a form of communication and an art. Writing is about showing this art form in a conveying and meaningful way.