What to Do When College Isn’t For You

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Going to college can be a great experience, but it isn’t the right choice for everyone. Although a college degree is a requirement for some professions, a significant number of graduates find themselves in roles which don’t require a traditional degree at all.

Furthermore, the industries and job roles which are predicted to grow in upcoming years do not require you to have completed a standard 4-year degree program. In fact, there are a variety of other ways you can kick-start your career.

If you’re not sure whether college is for you, why not consider one these of great alternatives…

1. Learn a trade

Taking a vocational course or learning a trade can be a fast-track to earning big bucks. Depending on the specific program you choose, you can complete trade-related courses in as little as a year or continue studying to complete more intensive programs. If you choose to, you can even complete a related associate’s degree at a community college.

Without the cost associated with 4-year degrees, trade school can be a great option for individuals who enjoy physical work and those who are keen to develop their practical schools. Being a certified tradesperson can be financially rewarding in itself, and it’s a great springboard for developing a career in engineering, management or architecture.

2. Start a business

Entrepreneurship has become a buzzword in recent years, and the rise of many successful, well-known entrepreneurs have paved the way for others. If you have a budding business idea, why not take the plunge and start out on your own?

Whether it’s a technological invention, new product or original service, launching your own business can be rewarding, exhilarating and life-affirming. Of course, starting a company or becoming an entrepreneur isn’t easy. Fortunately, there are plenty of courses, programs and groups designed to assist you.

Take part in offline seminars, join local business owners groups and scour the internet for advice and information. Learning about the legal obligations of running a business, as well as the financial, marketing and accounting requirements, will stand you in good stead for the future and give you a great foundation in business management.

3. Take online classes

Just because you’re not going to a 4-year college, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on learning altogether. Enrolling in online classes is a fantastic way to continue your professional development alongside any other commitments you may have.

If the financial aspect of attending college is holding you back, for example, taking online classes can be far more cost-effective. With many courses offering recognized and reputable programs with certification, employers are welcoming applicants who have completed online programs.

Whether you undertake an online MBA, an online FNP program or an online software engineering qualification, you can further almost any career with online learning. There’s something out there for everyone.

4. Get a job

Getting a job gives you vital work experience, but it also provides you with a much-needed income. Regardless of whether you intend to live at home with family, rent a place with friends or step out on your own, you’ll need to ensure you have some form of income every month.

Remember – your first full-time job doesn’t have to be your dream employment opportunity. All job roles provide learning opportunities, so take what you can get and continue looking for an alternative position if you want to move into another industry.

5. Volunteer your time

Volunteering is a great way to give back, and it allows you to broaden your own horizons too. With plenty of opportunities to choose from, you can spend a few hours a week volunteering in your local area or commit to a longer-term project.

If funds allow, you could even enroll in an overseas volunteering program. These often run for months, so you’ll need to be able to commit to the project, but it’s a great way to see the world, meet new people and do something positive.

Choosing an alternative to college

With so many viable alternatives out there, you don’t need to enroll in college because you don’t know what else to do or because you think it’s expected. Take time to really consider what you’ll get out of college and whether it’s worth the financial investment involved.

Whilst you can always enroll in college at a later date if you choose to, the above alternatives give you the opportunity to travel the world, launch your own business and kick-start a career without the need for a 4-year degree.