There is no question that obtaining a college degree from a university in the U.S. is a daunting endeavor, though one should never be dissuaded from continuing their academic career. However, when looking at the college experience as a whole there are many hurdles that must be conquered; many of which come before ever even setting foot on campus.
Tuition and fees can be tens of thousands of dollars at the very least, often resulting a large debt following graduation (average annual tuition and fees for an in-state public school for the 2013-2014 year was $8,893 according to College Board). The academic and extracurricular requirements for many institutions may be unrealistic for some. Others may simply not be interested in college and would rather just move right into the workforce, which is also a perfectly acceptable option as well.
However, there is often a belief that without a college degree you can’t find a well paying job. Fortunately that is often a false assumption. Options like trade schools, online training, and organizations like Goodwill of Greater Washington can give individuals that do not attend college the skills they need to find fulfilling and lucrative careers. It is important to note the average weekly pay for someone with a bachelor’s degree is still almost $500 more than the average weekly pay for someone without a degree ($1,108 with versus $651 according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics). But opportunities to compete financially abound.
There have been quite a few articles recently highlighting well-paying professions that do not require a bachelor’s degree. While some of these careers may still require training that can be lengthy and in some cases relatively expensive, the overall investment of time and resources is still far less then what is required to earn a four year college degree. These articles give a sampling of the options that are out there and prove that alternatives do exist. One only needs the focus and determination to succeed. After all, the school of life is almost always more valuable than the school of business.
Here is one recent MSN.com article that has a list of well-paying, non-college degree careers. Is there one that is right for you?