When Is It A Good Idea To Skip College
In todays economic environment, there has never been a bigger push by parents and institutions for kids to attend college. At the same time, there have never been fewer job opportunities for qualified graduates.
This conundrum means that some potential students should look at avoiding frat parties and classrooms, and head out into the workforce after high school instead. Students that have no clear direction of their career path should avoid college its surprising how many graduates never end up working in the field of their studies.
Gaining work experience is the most critical step in teaching the next generation of kids about the value and importance of finding a skill they are good at in life. Instead of spending 4-years at college, only to end up in a job thats unrelated to their field, and with $37,000 in debt, the person could be climbing their way up the employment ladder.
Employment experience is just as valuable in todays economy as a degree, and many jobs offer excellent starting packages for new hires fresh out of high school, with the promise of advancement up the corporate ladder.
Here are 14 examples of high-paying jobs with salaries exceeding $100,000 that dont require a college degree.
Ready To Start Your Journey
Your high school guidance counselor or college academic advisor may tell you to follow your passion, but for a lot of Gen Z students pursuing college degrees during an economic recovery, theres one overriding question wheres the money?
As always, the highest of the highest-paying careers are in medicine, for obvious reasons the healthcare system is in a long period of phenomenal growth, and the barriers to entry are so high that the field is self-selecting quite simply, between the education, the stress, and the responsibility there just arent many people who are cut out to be surgeons, physicians, or nurse midwives. If you can make it, you can make top salaries and gain a high paying job.
Thats the trend in most of the highest-paying careers: in a professional field, a lot of education, a lot of responsibility, or a lot of risk generally equates to a high salary. Petroleum engineers, actuaries, and technical writers all have something in common if you do something that only a few, highly skilled people can do, you should be paid what youre worth.
Materials Science And Engineeering
Average Salary: $64,000 to $109,100
In materials science and engineering occupations, professionals concern themselves with the atomic level makeup of final products and materials used in manufacturing. They study the properties and structures of, as well as interactions between, various substances, including metals, plastics, and composites, in order to solve problems and develop new or improved products which meet certain mechanical, electrical, or chemical requirements. Materials scientists and engineers may specialize in one type of material or substance. Daily tasks typically involve working with a team to complete complex planning, research, laboratory experiments, and composition of written data and reports.
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Wind Turbine Service Technicians
Wind turbine service technician is the fastest-growing occupation in the United States. These professionals inspect, maintain, and repair wind turbines, particularly the nacelle, which holds the gears, brakes, and generator.
Windtechs also service auxiliary components like fiber optic sensors and underground transmission systems. Additionally, they gather turbine data for analysis by personnel at a central office.
Education Requirements:Median Annual Salary :Projected Job Growth :
What Determines Which Majors Are Better Than Others
Is there really such a thing as a best college major?
If you’re defining “best” by how good a major is for you specifically, then which college majors are better will vary depending on your academic interests and passions, your skills and abilities, and your future career goals.
In other words, the best college majors for you will be those that match your personal criteria .
But many students want to know what the best college majors are on a more objective level. To figure this out, most websites take into account all or some of the following three factors:
- How employable the major is
- The median salary of jobs related to the major
- The median base/starting salary of jobs related to the major
What does all of this mean exactly?
Essentially, the higher the employment growth rate and median salaries of a certain major or field are, the better that major is considered to be.
This is the main criteria we used to come up with our list of the 17 best college majors. Read on to see what these majors are!
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The Best Careers After Graduating College
Historically, it’s been said that college graduates earn larger incomes than high school graduates, but how much more?
If you plan to embark on one of the highest paying careers out of college, listed below, you could potentially earn six figures soon after completing your bachelor’s degree. Unsurprisingly, the majority of careers on this list fall under the STEM category. In terms of financial security, engineering majors boast perhaps the brightest future of all, but individuals aspiring toward scientific endeavors and technology careers also appear well-represented. Common attributes of these high-earning professionals include leadership and management skills, advanced mathematical, technical, or engineering knowledge, and high-level researching abilities. While many of the 25 highest paying careers for college graduates allow for entry-level work fresh off of an undergraduate program, some may require graduate or postgraduate education to get your foot in the industry door.
Tuition Assistance Sounds Great Is There A Catch
Jobs that actually cover the costs of college tuition finally! Just recognize the strings that are attached.
For Sandy Baum, a college affordability expert and a fellow at the Urban Institute, its hard to be critical of the idea of free college. But she says to pay careful attention to the fine print of these tuition reimbursement programs and other types of financial aid.
Some of them pay upfront, some of them reimburse you thats a big difference. Some of them say you have to go to the same institutions, some of them have more options, Baum said. There are lots of different possibilities, so compare the different characteristics.
If an assistance program reimburses employees, they have to have the money up front, which can be a challenge for many.
Baum said a lot of these programs are great in theory, but prospective students should keep in mind their own individual needs in the process.
Learning online is difficult for students without strong academic backgrounds. Where possible, take advantage of on-campus classes and resources to stay motivated.
Employees of Walmart and Disney can consult education-benefits advisers through Guild Education, the company that manages both Disney Aspire and Live Better U. These advisers can help manage work-school-life balance and help employees navigate the nuances of choosing and enrolling at a university and the different types of degree programs.
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Which Industries Offer High
.If you want a good-paying job right out of college, look for jobs in lucrative industries. Here are some of the highest-paying industries for college graduates:
Engineering: The engineering field uses science and math to solve a variety of problems. Engineers often design and build structures and machines. Not only do engineers determine how things operate, but they also put scientific findings to practical use.
Medical: The medical or healthcare industry provides goods and services to help a variety of patients with different conditions. They provide a variety of care including preventive and rehabilitative care to patients of all ages.
Computer science: Computer science involves a variety of topics including the study of algorithms, information and computation. It also involves hardware and software development, artificial intelligence and the application of mathematics, engineering and logic.
Finance: The finance industry houses several businesses that manage money. These firms and institutions provide their financial services to a variety of customers.
Jobs You Can Get Without A College Degree
Illustration of three types of businesses in a row.
There are many jobs that do not require a four-year college degree and can still offer very good career prospects. Regardless of your education level, these jobs give you the opportunity to learn as you workthey emphasize skills over experience and education. A college degree is an asset, but it takes several years, plus a significant amount of money for tuition costs.
In this article, we take a look at career paths that dont require a college degree to get started and which you can pursue right after high school.
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When Or Why You Should Consider A Career Change
We all choose the path that seems best straight out of high school, but oftentimes that changes later on. In fact, the average person will change careers 5 to 7 times during their working life.
There are many different reasons people opt to change careers. Some of the most common reasons include:
- Not feeling challenged, or feeling under-utilized
- Changes in the industry
- Need more money
- Want to explore a passion
As you move through different phases of your life you mature and your lifestyle and priorities change, so it makes sense that your career choice may change as well.
A career change at 30 is not uncommon. At this stage, you have entered true adulthood perhaps you have a spouse and children to support and may be starting to realize that your career field doesnt offer the growth or salary you desire.
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A career change at 40 might make you feel like youre throwing years of experience away, but if you cant advance or feel satisfied in your current career then it may be worth considering a change. Best of all, your experience wont be wasted. Those skills will transition into a new field and may even count as credit if you choose to pursue a degree.
Even a career change at 50, when youre so close to retirement, isnt a waste. Those remaining 15 years of employment can either fly by or drag on for an eternity. Its time to invest in your own happiness.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Best College Majors
There is a lot to think about when choosing a college major and we have rounded up the answers to some of the most frequent questions. One factor to keep in mind is that the location of a job has a huge impact on salaries. The Brookings Institute created an interactive tool where you can see how much the same career earns in different states.
Physics majors who go into physics, astronomy and other sciences have an average salary range between $93,138 and $167,402. Pharmacists with a PharmD average pay range is $135,226 and $152,866 after a few years of experience.
A bachelors degree in marketing combined with a few years experience is the most lucrative career. Marketing directors salary range is $100,010 to 192,520, with the median salary at $133,380.
You will need to earn advanced degrees, masters or doctorate, to make top dollar in almost every field.
About a third of college students change their majors at least once, so start off in an area that is of some interest to you. Psychology or communications are good all-around majors that translate into many types of jobs. You can take classes in other areas until you find something that appeals.
Psychology tends to be the most popular major at most college.
Architecture is considered the hardest, with more than 22 hours a week preparing for classes and doing projects. That time doesnt include time spent in classes. Architecture combines engineering, physics, construction knowledge and creativity.
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Information You Can Trust
For over 30 years, My College Guide has been producing an annual magazine chock full of expert advice to aid you in your college selection process. Getting into college isn’t just about who picks you, it’s also about who YOU pick. We can help walk you through factors ranging from cost of education and the strength of various majors to faculty ratio and accreditation.
Firefighter Or Police Officer
If you feel like giving back to your community after high school, then why not sign up to be part of the local fire or police services? These community services offer free training to cadets, and a guaranteed spot on the team if you pass the tests.
While the starting salary for a rookie police officer or firefighter is not outstanding, should you choose to make it your career path and end up in an executive position, you can expect to make more than 6-figures a year.
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Associate Degree Jobs: Finding Your Career
50 years ago, a bachelors degree was a virtual guarantee of a prosperous, rewarding career. Today we live in a world where a large section of the working population has bachelors degrees its now merely a step in the right direction and does not guarantee employment in an ever competitive job market. So how can someone with a two-year degree hope to compete in the world of four-year degree holders? Have no fear! Millions of Americans are turning to associate degrees to jumpstart a new career. The BLS even issued a special report detailing how an associate degree can advance your career.
Start by modifying your job search to include only the companies who are specifically looking for candidates with associates degrees. In many cases, companies will state that a bachelors degree or higher is required for the position, so while it never hurts to dream big, its wise to skip over these jobs and stick to the ones where you have the best chance at landing the position. However, if your chosen career has a much larger growth than the national average, hiring managers that say they are looking for a bachelors graduate may be more flexible to fill their open positions.
Medical And Health Services Manager
Without a doubt, healthcare is the field to be in if you want job security, high salaries, and the ability to help people as well, but not everyone is cut out for nursing or medicine. Fortunately, Medical and Health Services Managers can capitalize on the explosive growth in the healthcare industry, without having to encounter explosive growths in the emergency room . A bachelors or masters degree in management is a good start, and specialized healthcare management degrees have become quite common and are often available online.
Median Salary: $64,702 Education Level: Bachelors/Masters
Plumber Pipefitter Or Steamfitter
In these trades, people focus on installing, adjusting, or repairing pipes and related equipment used for liquid or gas distribution. Most plumbers work in residential or commercial settings. Pipefitters and steamfitters work more often in industrial environments like power plants or manufacturing facilities, but many also perform work in large commercial buildings.
A plumber mostly works on systems that carry water, natural gas, or sewage. A pipefitter typically works on systems that carry more hazardous liquids or gases, including acids or chemicals. A steamfitter focuses on systems that keep gases or liquids flowing at high pressures.
Apprenticeships are the most common training programs for these trades. However, many people complete fundamental coursework at a trade, vocational, or technical school before applying for apprentice positions. Many local and state governments require licensure, especially if you want to work as an independent contractor.
- Job growth: 5%
- Earnings: $56K
Alternative Energy Installers And Technicians
No matter how you may feel about climate change or the continued use of fossil fuels, theres no question that the role of alternative energy in the world is only going to increase. Whether its through the increased application of wind energy, wider use of solar power, or developing new electric cars, alternative and renewable energy are vast fields with virtually limitless untapped potential.
One of the most exciting things about alternative energy jobs is how broad a spectrum of careers there are in the field. Theres a career for you in everything from construction to engineering, installation, and alternative energy research.
In fact, wind turbine technician is the fastest-growing job in America, and employment is expected to grow by an incredible 108 percent by 2024. For this specific position, youll likely need to complete a two-year program at a technical school in addition to a high school diploma.
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Certain Areas Of Software & It
Being in software and technology does not guarantee a stable career, as the job stability is dependent on your specialty, but in general, software and IT is a great place to explore a career. Businesses and individuals need computers, networks, and new programs theyll also need people who know how to set up these technologies and implement them effectively. Again, not all technology jobs are growing , but if you have a technology-related associates degree, you should find a reasonable level of security. Some of the high-growth jobs in technology that require an associates degree or less include:
- Computer Network Specialist: 11%
What Your Personality Type Can Tell You
Lead With Your Strengths
Teamwork or solo work? Fast-paced or slow and steady? Knowing how you work best can help you venture confidently into the ultimate uncharted territoryyour future.
Define Your Direction
Avoid dead ends and U-turns. Using your strengths as compass, you can get a jump start on your future while still in high school and stick to your true North.
Discover New Paths
Whats an adventure without something unexpected? Your personality type can reveal career options you never knew existed. Try a new path and see where it could lead.
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