TRADE SCHOOL – Becoming a tradesman or entering a vocational school can be a great alternative to going to a traditional college, especially if you like working with your hands. There are a lot of options that lead to potentially well-paying careers: electrician, plumbing, welding and metal work, masonry, lock smithing, and more. Going to a vocational school or learning a trade as an apprentice, you can start earning money while you're in school. When you graduate, you have the potential to enjoy a career with good wages and job security. For example, if you become an electrician, you can apply at your local power company and start as a basic lineman. It's hard work, but over time, you can work your way up through the ranks and earn a very nice salary.
ONLINE CLASSES – Free online classes are hugely available and can provide valuable resources and teach career-specific skills. Not only do they provide essential education, but because they're free, students can experiment with them to determine what might be the best career fit. Free online classes are offered in nearly any subject that you may be interested in. However, it’s important to do your research first, to ensure you’re getting the most accurate education or training before signing up.
MILITARY – Another great option is to enlist in the military. When it comes to job security, promotional opportunities, and even education, the military is second to none. And it's definitely a career choice that you can be proud of – there is no greater cause than serving your country. While the starting wages for basic enlisted personnel are pretty low, most of your basic living needs are taken care of: housing, food, clothing, insurance... so it ends up being a wash. joining the military is often a great way to learn more about yourself. Joining the military offers you a chance to serve your country, make a career in the service, and/or earn money toward a future college education. You'll also earn valuable work experience that can you can apply to civilian jobs once you get discharged.
These are by no means the only college alternatives Junxi, Hope this is helpful
Some pros and cons for colleges:
College creates a foundation for career success
College provides opportunities for internships and entry-level jobs
A college degree can improve your earning potential
College is time-consuming
A college degree does not guarantee a job in your field after graduation
And some links for you to check out and help you decide:
8 Reasons Why College is A Good Choice
16 Signs Going To College Isn’t For You
42 up-and-coming careers that don’t require a 4-year college degree (and 10 to avoid)
Best Jobs Without a College Degree
80 Jobs That Pay Over $50K and Don’t Require a Degree
One is a trade school for HVAC, welding, electrician, plumber, auto /truck repair and many other trades.
You first need to decide what you would have a passion for and be excited to learn about. If income is important a good welder can make up to $150.00 per hour. There are more factors than I care to go into with this decision. You need to enjoy what you to do the be good at it, and make a career out if it. That would give you a quality of life and income potential. Learning a trade and making a career of it is the best alternative
Good luck in your journey!
I would say that you should think about careers that you are interested in first. Start with jobs that would allow you to use your natural skills and talents. Think about what you do well, such as writing, drawing, or helping people. Then look up jobs that use those skills. Then you can see if college is required to get started in that job. I would say that most jobs do not require a college degree for you to be successful. If you look at college graduation rates, I think that you can see that many people work without a college diploma. For example, I work in an industry where you can do the job successfully without a degree but you have a better advantage at work with one. A college degree allows you to learn a broad amount of information that will help you do your job better and often faster. In that case, a college degree can be a competitive advantage. There are some jobs that require some level of college education - teacher, doctor, engineer. So what you need to consider is what you want to do and at what level. Do the research to determine what level of college degree is needed to get as far as you want in the field.
Good advice here - research the careers and/or industries that you're interested in as this will provide you with a good indication of whether a college degree is needed. There are also organizations and companies that work with individuals in certain fields where a college degree isn't needed. I believe that Salesforce has such a program.
Here is a recent article on jobs that don't require a college degree - https://money.usnews.com/money/careers/slideshow/25-best-jobs-that-dont-require-a-college-degree