5 answers

To succeed in my future career, do I have to go to college?

Asked Lakeland, Florida

5 answers

Angelica’s Answer


It depends. Some careers do not require a degree. Depending on what career you decide on will depend if you need to go to college. If you are not sure of what career you want to obtain in the future, you can begin working in a field that you like. If you eventually don't want to go to college, you can continue in the career path of the job you began working in. For example if you don't mind washing dishes, you can start as a dishwasher. Who knows! You may like the hospitality industry and eventually owning a hotel. Rather you go to college or begin your career working, being a dependable, hard worker will get you far. However, from personal experience, having at least a bachelors degree or a trade certificate will have help you to advance faster.

I hope this encourages you! Many blessings!

Angelica recommends the following next steps:

  • Take time to decide on how you enjoy spending your time. It will help you to determine what career you would like to pursue.

Tom’s Answer

Updated Seattle, Washington

Hello Diamante. Short answer is no. That said, certain careers essentially demand higher education (as examples brain surgeon, nuclear physicist, attorney, professional wrestler, [just kidding about that last one]) but for the most part you will find major success stories in all fields of life from people with little formal education after high school. It is harder to be successful without additional formal education, but not impossible. I know a CPA for instance without a college degree.

If you can afford the time and money to attend college it does increase your chances of success, but doesn't guarantee them. What also increases your chance of success is to have a strong career goal and focus on doing whatever is needed to reach it. For instance if you know you really, really want to own a sporting goods store (a one-time dream of mine) then find out what you need to do and set out to do it. The more you define your career goal the clearer your focus will be, and you will know what you need to do to get there. Might mean a certificate program from some place. On the job training some where. A couple years at a community college. Some online credentials program

Ok, so how do you define a career goal if maybe you aren't dead sure what you want to do?

Good question (...it should be, I wrote it...) :)

I would suggest finding a used copy of a book called What Color is Your Parachute? I've used it for a career change....just as good starting out. It will get you focused.

Once you are focused on a goal tell yourself "Ok, nothing's gonna stop me now!" And if you mean that, it won't! Good luck my friend.

Tom recommends the following next steps:

  • Find the book.

Katie’s Answer

Updated Somerville, Massachusetts

Hi Diamante. Great question! I believe that there is never one right way to do something. Just because more and more people are going to college now, does not mean that it is absolutely necessary to be successful. You need to think deeply about how you want your lifestyle to be as an adult. Look around at your family and friends to figure out what they do, how they live their day to day lives, and what their jobs are that allow them to live like that. If you choose not to go to college, the question is: what will you do instead? If you are feeling highly motivated to seek out opportunities on your own to work for various jobs or start your own business, etc., then I do not think college is necessary. Also, there is no "perfect time" for college, so if you feel the need to take some time between highschool and college that is fine too. Take the time to think what is the best path for you, and try not to compare yourself to others because everyone is different!

Teresa’s Answer


As usual, the answer is "It depends." It depends on which field you choose to pursue. Some fields have educational pre-requisites, for example being an MD or a nurse. Some do not require college.

That said, there is a proven pay difference between college graduates and high school graduates. A 2015 Social Security Administration study found that males with bachelor’s degrees earned $900,000 more in a lifetime than high-school graduates and that males with Ph.D.s earned $1.5 million more. The advantages are less but equally consistent for women. Women with bachelor’s degrees earned $630,000 more than women high-school graduates; those with Ph.D.s earned $1.1 million more.

So it is worth the investment to get more education.

Teresa recommends the following next steps:

  • Read the USA Today study re: pay discrepancies based on educational level: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/01/12/pay-gap-between-college-grads-and-everyone-else-record/96493348/

Ferran’s Answer

Updated Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

It depends, however I think going to collage it's a good think, you'll learn a lot you'll open your boundaries and meet new and interesting people, some careers will demand a lot from you, lot's of hours, but in the end it's totally worth it. It's true though that most of the topics that you'll learn (at least in engineering) are a little bit outdated, however that gives a good foundation for what the current state of the technology is at.