You Don’t Need a College Degree to Have a Great Career

Do you think that those with “careers” (those types of professional occupations with high salaries and the prestige that can go with them) are just for those with a college degree? This is so untrue, it’s laughable!

Take a look below for the reasons why you don’t need a college degree (not even a two-year associate’s degree) to have a great career, as well a few types you may want to consider.

College is expensive. By 2012 the cost of going to college had risen 12 fold from 1978 (and has continued to increase in the last six years) while the average hourly wage had increased by just under 400 percent between 1978 and 2012 and consumer prices increased a bit more than 400 percent in that time frame.Los Angeles careers

The average college student graduated in 2016 with $37,172 in student debt, a six percent increase from 2015. And that’s just the average! Stories such as the woman with $152,000 in student debt (includes a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees) aren’t uncommon, either.

In addition, not everyone wants to go to college or would be a good fit for college.

If that’s you, there are terrific alternatives to college, alternatives that pay well and can bring you and your family a terrific way of life.

Self-employment/Business Ownership

Some people with “just” a high school diploma start businesses. Perhaps they take their mowing and yard work skills (honed by working summers for a landscaping company in high school and then later working for a landscaping firm in their 20s) and start their own landscaping business. (Which eventually allowed them to retire early.) Perhaps they take the money their parents saved for college tuition and open a bakery*.

The point is that entrepreneurship can be the ticket to financial and career success. In fact, “can be” isn’t enough: entrepreneurship is the ticket to a fine future for many non-college grads. (There are a few things you do need, however.)

Sales

Sales professionals can make a terrific income: how does $150,000 a year sound? You don’t need anything beyond a high school diploma (and perhaps not even that). You do need to be able to approach and talk to people easily and, most importantly, listen to them closely. You also need the proverbial “thick skin,” as you’ll hear no far more than you’ll hear yes.

You also may want to take a few business/marketing classes and even sales trainings, -possibly through your employer (they often will pay for sales training).

Another great thing about working in sales: when companies need to lay people off, the sales folks usually are the last to go. After all, they are the ones that bring income to a company.

Real Estate

Sell homes and commercial buildings and you can make an extremely great living for yourself, so long as you work in the high end/luxury arm of the industry. Most full-time (working 60-plus hours a week) real estate agents made $87,000 (article written in 2014).

Yet it’s definitely possible to make $100,000-plus in a few years of persistent hustle. You will need to spend a few hundred dollars up front on certification and licensing, and you’ll also have to spend money on marketing your services before you ever see a commission check.

But so long as you continually study real estate, study your market, hone your people and sales skills, learn how to market yourself and properties like the extremely hard worker you are, there’s absolutely no need to worry about going to college.

Working in Staffing (Internal Staff Member)

While the staffing industry likes to see some post-secondary coursework in its recruiters and sales professionals, it’s not absolutely necessary.  Instead we prefer to see compassion, some talent in sales, an extremely high work ethic, the ability to juggle several job priorities at once, and the ability and desire to learn all there is to know about this exciting industry.

As you move up in management you may be encouraged to obtain a bachelor’s degree (at minimum), but it’s not necessary. For example, we know of at least one individual* who works for an international staffing firm as a vice president and she has had no formal college coursework at all! (She does have an exceptional natural business sense, however.)

Here’s an idea of the different salaries for staffing professionals in different staffing/recruiting companies and niches.

Helpmates is hiring internally! We’re always looking or terrific people who have an interest in helping our clients find great workers/candidates find great opportunities. If you’re at all interested in learning more about working in staffing with us, contact our corporate office and let us know why you think you’d be a great candidate.

*Personal friend.

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