Careers without College: Finding Your Own Path

Lesson 1: Finding Your Own Path

Finding your own path

It’s not uncommon for someone’s career to take surprising twists and turns. Maybe you went to school to study one thing, then ended up doing something else—or you’ve been debating about whether or not college is right for you. 

It usually takes four years to get a bachelor’s degree. And while it works out for some, it does take time and money. These days, a lot of people are wondering: Do I even need a college degree?

The answer is—it depends. While it’s required for some professions, it isn’t for others. A surprising number of nontraditional occupations pay well and offer excellent job security

For example, there’s a demand in new-collar work, which requires certain technical skills, but not necessarily a college degree. 

So whether you’re about to graduate high school—or you’ve been in one field for many years and debating about making a switch—it’s worth exploring the alternatives.

This tutorial highlights some interesting careers without college. As you read through the lessons, you might want to reflect on a few things:

  • What are your priorities in life?
  • What are your strengths
  • Which of these jobs might be a good fit?

Many of these positions do require training, certification, or a one-/two-year degree from a community college or technical school. In some cases, you only need a GED or high school diploma to get started.

If you want to know how much a job roughly pays in your location, you can use one of the tools on the Additional Resources page, like the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

While each lesson outlines several professions worth looking into, keep in mind that there are many, many more out there! And doing some more research will help you to make the right decision.