At a very young age, many of us are encouraged to go to college, get an education so that we will have the earning potential needed to be successful in our life and be self-sufficient. As someone who went to college, I agree that college can help you be successful in your career, but it’s more of a tool used to assist you.
Now there are certain fields like Medicine or Law and even engineering that require a degree because of the complexities of what you would be learning and doing.
In those situations I would say you definitely would need a college education because to enter those fields you need to proper licensures and training, but what if you can’t afford college or you have no interest in spending all day going to school.
Choosing a Path That Fit’s You
We are all different in that sense, not every individual wants to go to college and realistically that’s ok, there are other ways to learn, which is what I would detail to you.
As someone who went to college and received both Bachelors in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Business, I can say over the course of my life, a degree has helped but feels now there are other resources that also have benefited me now. These outside sources are ways you can self-learn and see be successful in whatever you do.
So you may be saying to yourself, well I have always been told an education is a key to my happiness in my life, and it’s true that from a young age we are told that, but there are things we are not told and that could be that those gave us advice just used the same advice their parents gave them.
I have been in my career for over twenty years, which includes my college education because that is part of your career. From a young adult, I have always wanted to learn so college was a natural fit for me because I just happen to like the structure of school and sitting in a classroom, but everyone does.
Until recently within the last few years, I have really opened my eyes to see that many of the most successful people today did not go to college or have a formal education. That’s not to say they didn’t work hard for where they are today, they just took a different route. Some of those non-traditional routes include the following:
Start a Business
Why Not? , Starting your own business is a great way to learn skills on your own terms, even if you are not the most business savvy, but have an interest in having your own business; this would be a good option. You may be saying to yourself, Well I don’t have money to start a business and honestly, you really don’t need a lot to start one.
The most effective type of business is what’s called a sole proprietorship, but there are other business structures like partnerships which are basically you running the business by yourself or with a partner, which can can be done completely online with a few simple steps.
- Choose what type of business you would be interested in.
- Research places to place your New Website, I personally use WordPress
- Choose a great Theme, which is a structure to how your business website will look; there are literally thousands of themes and templates out there to choose from without having to build your own.
- Create a marketplace on your new website with what’s called Plugin’s that all you to take payments on your website.
- If you have the financial resources, you could have someone build you a website from scratch, which can cost anywhere from $1000 to $10,000 dollars, yeah you read that right $10,000.
- The web has plenty of resources to help you do this, which will make it simple to understand and keep you on a budget.
Taking Courses Online
Yup, you can do that, but you probably knew that already. What I am referring to is yes you can go to a college or university and take actual courses online, but there are other sources like:
- Offers hundreds and maybe even thousands of different topics to learn from Web Design, Business Management, Creative writing, it has a topic for almost most interests.
- Variety of subjects to learn such as web design if you have an interest in building websites and programming. In addition, there are courses like creative writing, business programs like excel, word, and powerpoint and much more.
- Courses are very reasonable in price anywhere from $10.00 to 30.00, some a little higher taught by professionals who either work in certain fields and teach because they have a love for the subject.
- You can even get a certificate of completion to add to your resume.
- A different type of learning that is more traditional as this website offers courses from Universities around the world where you can learn specific topics of interest. For example, you may want to learn about computer programming, you will have college professors teach you online.
- In comparison to Udemy, those are not always college professors but professionals in the field like you and me. I have taken courses here, the difference in these courses is that much of the course is FREE, that’s right free, but if you want the certificate of completion you will have to pay, which varies in price ranging from $40.00 and up.
- These courses are incredibly valuable giving you the ability to take courses with actual students and with the ability to interact all online. Just like Udemy.com, there are literally hundreds of courses of interest.
- Similar to Coursera, you have the ability to choose from hundreds and even thousands of courses taught by universities, even allowing you to earn a degree for a price. This service I have also used as a free resource, but I would review it to see if there are programs, courses, and degrees you may be interested in.
Trade School or Technical College
Another great and affordable option that allows you to in a classroom setting but for a shorter period of time allowing to go to school for a year or less and earn a certificate training you for only what you need to get a job. Some of the benefits of a trade school include:
The Benefits of a Trade School
- Time – Courses and Training as long as one year to complete and start your career.
- High Demand – Learning what is in demand only such as learning electrical or plumbing, but a blue-collar and white-collar fields are available
- Money – Programs cost thousands less than traditional colleges, many times Financial aid available to those in need.
- Smaller – Small classrooms more focus on you the student.
- Job Experience – Start gaining job experience sooner, waiting months and not years to begin your career
- No waiting – Shorter times to get started in your program, instead of waiting months or years to get into a certain course or program.
- Career Services – Available to help you find work quickly
- Good Placement Rates – Solid programs and advice to help you choose a career with good placement rates to find jobs quickly in your field of study.
Be a Consultant
This option may be one most don’t consider, not really knowing what a consultant is, basically is someone who hires you to provide advice in exchange for money. Consultants can be really anyone and you don’t necessarily need years and years of experience to be one.
Many organizations need consultants to advise them on areas such as Social Media, Marketing, Computers, the lists goes on, but to do this there are few beginning steps to review first you would look into companies online that can provide you guidance on where to begin, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, companies are in great need of those with certain knowledge who have reasonable prices.
Get a Job
This may be the option many end up taking at first, but I am someone who knows the power of being educated whether it’s in the traditional sense of self-learning, there are ways for you to succeed and still be passionate about doing something fantastic with your life. Getting a job can allow you to transition into great roles giving you access to learning new skills, meeting new people and networking for better positions.
There is nothing wrong with getting a job to learn some basic experience especially if you are starting out in life, most of us had too, personally I have worked for a student bookstore, I was a delivery driver assistant delivering Televisions, I have worked in Fast food, all of these positions allowed me to learn something that has helped my career.
Where to Go From Here
Where to go from here – All of these are options that will allow you to take a non-traditional route to your career, but all equally viable to your success and would look at ways if you are on a Budget and if traditional college is not an option right now.
In life we all need options, our lives are not cookie cutters and you have a choice, choose what is best for you, on your budget, success is around the corner no matter what route you take, so make a choice.