Doesn’t it feel like society is pressuring us to get a 4 year degree? It’s as if there is no other choice. Graduate high school, go to a university, get you or your parents massively in debt (about $127,000), and maybe just maybe you graduate with a bachelors degree (40% drop out without ever getting a bachelors). After that comes the struggle of finding a job with no real job experience and a whole lot of debt. There has to be other ways to make a living after high school besides college and debt or a minimum wage job, right? Actually, yes there are other jobs you can do. Not all of us know what we want to do after high school. Heck, I thought I wanted to be a cop till I was 22 when God told me His plan for me. These are 4 alternatives to college (in alphabetical order).
Do you want job experience, get paid, travel, and have college fully paid for? Then the military might be for you. While it certainly is not for everyone, it is a valid path whether you want to just do 4 years or 20 and retire. The main thing I recommend is that you talk to current or recently retired service members to pick the right job for you. Pick your rate, pick your fate as they always say.
Start A Business/Self Employed
Maybe you already have a skill. Can you design websites? Are you proficient as an artist? Heck, maybe you are an aspiring author who just needs a publisher to notice your work. While this path is the riskiest, it can also pay off big time. Why not use a skill you already have and love? Maybe you just need to start your own new website idea like Twitter, or paint your own The Last Supper, or even write a best selling novel such as Left Behind. You can also start a cupcake shop or run a hair salon. The options are endless.
Tech (Vocational) School
Want to learn a real life skill that translates to a job? For fairly cheap and usually in a years time, you can learn a career job that could lead you to even starting your own business. Some trades you can learn are Aviation Mechanic, Electrician, Plumber, Auto Mechanic, Construction Manager, or HVAC (heating and air conditioner) are just some options.
Wait, volunteering doesn’t pay money! No it doesn’t. But guess what? It is work experience and it does not put you into any debt. Americorps is a legit option that accepts anyone 17 and older. You can volunteer full time or even part time. They do community initiative like work in environment, services for the homeless, and youth programs.
Is there anything I missed? Let me know in the comments.