Bypassing The Four-Year Degree: Pursuing A Career Without College

It is a myth that a Bachelor's Degree is needed for a rewarding career. Even without a four-year college degree, it is very much possible to have the rewarding career you have always dreamed of.

Many exciting career paths require special training or certification that is less than a Bachelor's Degree. With the high cost of college tuition, plus room and board, more and more students are graduating from college with huge student loan debts, then facing challenges such as high unemployment rates, modest starting salaries, and poor job offers. Those who choose trades or certificate programs often receive on the job paid training, higher than average starting salaries, and stronger offers of employment. They have the luxury of graduating from job training programs with little to no student loan debt.

An increasing number of students are choosing to pursue programs at trade schools and community colleges. A large number of employers work with these students to provide apprenticeships and internships while students are still learning. They graduate with job experience and open doors. For those wondering what career paths they can pursue without a Bachelor's Degree, the possibilities are numerous. Choices include carpentry, administrative jobs, IT positions, dental hygienist, and electrician jobs. Many other positions also exist for those who choose not to obtain a Bachelor's Degree.

Some of the best high paying jobs require more than a high school diploma, however, less than a traditional four-year degree. This is good news, considering how college is not for everyone. Many people learn better with on the job training rather than classroom education. Other people simply don't have the resources required to invest in a college education. Vocational and certification programs provide more specific training and job skills than many college degrees. There are many Bachelor's Degree programs that are broad, leaving the graduate to pursue even further training before an employer will make an appropriate job offer. 

The number of jobs not requiring a Bachelor's Degree is increasing annually. High School students who are considering their career path, but are not sure they want to apply to a Bachelor's Degree program, may want to consider some of the professions discussed below. 

Those who do not have a Bachelor's Degree may want to consider a career as a Realtor. Although requirements vary by state, becoming a real estate agent requires a candidate to take 60-90 hours of classroom education, and pass the licensing exam. Training is typically provided on the job. Overall, it takes less than six months to enter the profession.

An administrative assistant is a career choice for someone who has an associates degree. These professionals are needed in practically any field, and training is minimal, done on the job. The average pay for an administrative assistant is approximately $30,000 per year and many companies provide benefits.

Electricians have many job prospects, and the job pays well. Many aspiring electricians attend vocational schools, so they are in an educational setting for much less than four years. 

A paralegal career is a choice for someone interested in the field of law, but who do not wish to pursue a Bachelor's Degree and an additional three years of law school. A paralegal certification can be earned in approximately six months. The job outlook for this career choice is expected to grow in the next few years. Median salary is above average. With training and certification, someone who would like to be in the medical profession can pursue a career in respiratory therapy. This is a rewarding career that provides on the job training, benefits and an above average salary. It is also a field that is expected to grow in upcoming years.

There are many reasons why someone may choose not to pursue a four-year college degree. It may be that the job candidate does not want to graduate with a huge student loan balance, or perhaps they don't enjoy the traditional classroom setting. Whatever the reason is, there are endless career choices that one can explore without a Bachelor's Degree. Vocational schools, certificate programs, and on the job training can lead to a rewarding career in many fields and can offer many job prospects. Students should take the time to figure out what field of work they'd like to be in, and explore their opportunities accordingly.