Impressive Career Alternatives to the Traditional Four-Year College Degree

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College isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay, especially if you look at several studies revealing that less than half of American workers are working jobs in their collegiate major… That’s a lot of hardworking people being in debt for no reason.

According to Next Gen Personal Finance, a mere 27% of college graduates are working in the field of their major! That’s not saying that going to college is pointless, but if a college or university wasn’t the path you wanted to take, would you be interested in taking up a different form of continuing education?

If you would be, that’s great news because getting your bachelor’s degree isn’t the only way to have a successful and fulfilling career. Check out these impressive alternative career options that go beyond the traditional four-year college degree.

Start Your Own Business

Starting your own business doesn’t require a college degree. In fact, depending on the type of business you want to start, you can run it in the comforts of your own home! For instance, if you wanted to sell handmade products, the simple purchase of a domain name can buy you your own online store. 

If you look at some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world today, you’ll see that many of them never went to college, some are college dropouts, and some just stumbled upon success without even realizing it. Starting your own business is how you’re going to create your own future for success. It will come with naysayers and people who won’t believe in you but just keep pushing as you hit certain roadblocks.

Join the Military

Joining the military used to be a mandatory requirement for men a few decades ago but now, it’s a choice that’s completely up to the individual. Some people join because they come from a military family; Others join because they want to serve their country, nonetheless, this is a career option that extends beyond the traditional four-year degree.

By joining the military, here are the perks you can potentially have:

  • Free healthcare
  • Minimal living costs (if any at all)
  • Competitive salary
  • Free college tuition while serving (if you decide to go to college)
  • Retirement package after serving 20 years or more

The military isn’t for everybody either but it most certainly is a rewarding career path outside of going to a four-year college or university.

Learn a Skilled Trade

Whether you want to become an electrician, plumber, or HVAC technician, the educational requirements are nothing like that of a four-year college or university. Typically, in learning a skilled trade, you’re going to need to go to a technical college. It’s there that you’ll get the proper industry-specific training and hands-on experience you need to learn a particular trade. With a traditional university, you’d be taking a full semester of classes you don’t need and may never use in your career.

So if you want to start your own contracting business, you still don’t necessarily need a four-year degree but you will need to gain experience in your respected field and obtain your industry-specific trade license. Once you have that, you can start your business and take on projects. This will indeed help you do better in your career

As you can see, earning a degree from a four-year college or university is indeed a huge accomplishment but it’s not a requirement for a successful career. There’s really no exact recipe for success, either. The true way to success is to find something you enjoy doing or something you’re good at, and figure out how you can profit from it.

Sometimes that requires going to school, sometimes it requires creating your own path, and sometimes it requires starting from rock bottom and clawing your way to the top. However you go about reaching success, the main thing is to just do it. The hardest part is getting started.


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