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Is college even for me? What type of things can I apply for that is not college?

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Subject: Career question for you

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John’s Answer

Junxi college isn't for everyone, plain and simple. While there is a stigma attached to not having a college degree, there are solid alternatives to not going to college as well. It's important to remember that college isn't the time to find yourself – the financial burdens of going to college with no purpose can be huge. There are other ways that you can live a proud life without going to college, and still make good money as well.

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
Thank You Darren. Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much. John Frick
Thank You Juan. The best time to do something significant is between yesterday and tomorrow. John Frick
Thank You Jen. What we do today can change all the tomorrow's of our lives. John Frick
Thank You David. The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. John Frick
These are excellent options! An alternative to a true trade school would be doing an apprenticeship with someone in a trade. This could be like a home builder or craftsman of some kind. This can be a great way to break into a high-earning field that does not require a degree. Try talking to people that you know (or people that you don't!) in the field and asking for their advice. David Reese
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Zahid’s Answer

College is not for everyone. Whether you need college or not also depends on what careers you plan to go into. Obvious careers, such as engineering, medicine, researchers, etc., would require a degree. But so many careers out there that pay just as much if not more don't require college. So it really depends on you and your goals and aspirations.

Some pros and cons for colleges:

Pros:
College creates a foundation for career success
College provides opportunities for internships and entry-level jobs
A college degree can improve your earning potential

Cons:
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
https://www.phc.edu/learnphc/081216-8-reasons-why-college-is-a-good-choice

16 Signs Going To College Isn’t For You
https://www.thetalko.com/16-signs-going-to-college-isnt-for-you/

42 up-and-coming careers that don’t require a 4-year college degree (and 10 to avoid)
https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/great-careers-without-college-degree/

Best Jobs Without a College Degree
https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings/best-jobs-without-a-college-degree

80 Jobs That Pay Over $50K and Don’t Require a Degree
https://www.uscareerinstitute.edu/blog/80-Jobs-that-pay-over-50k-without-a-degree

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Job’s Answer

College is not for everyone, and there are alternatives that can be lucrative.
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
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Nick’s Answer

Hey Junxi, apprenticeship is a good option if you don't want to go to college. An apprentice is someone who learns a skilled trade (like gardening or plumbing) while doing the job. You can learn skills that can give you a good job later, but also get paid while you're learning. I see you're in San Francisco, here are a couple links where you can learn more or even sign up:

https://sfdhr.org/apprenticeshipsf-programs

https://www.ccsf.edu/academics/career-education/apprenticeship-preparation

https://www.sfpublicworks.org/apprenticeships

https://www.sfmta.com/about-us/sfmta-career-center/apprenticeship-sfmta
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Natalie’s Answer

There's a lot of pressure on high school students to go to college. I know my high school put a lot of emphasis on the importance of college. But the truth is it's not for everyone and that's completely fine. There are other options out there! There are trade schools. I personally know a few people who have gone to a trade school and had a great experience. There's also a lot of great online learning opportunities out there now. You can get a certificate for completing online courses. And not every job out there requires a college degree so you may find something you like where you don't need one. Best of luck!
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Kim’s Answer

Something else not mentioned in previous answers: Coding boot camps. More and more, technology companies are beginning to look past the need for a full on bachelor's degree.
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Naomi’s Answer

Not all jobs require degrees. You will need to figure out what type of work you'd like to do. Maybe take a personality test or skills assessment to see what would be a good fit if you aren't sure. Then you can look at what is recommended for that job...internship, certification, trade school, etc.

Good luck in your journey!
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neha’s Answer

Online classes that give you certifications! Having hands-on experience with anything is always more impressive than someone who just did four years at a university with no experience. It shows more drive that you went out of your way to get certified and practiced self-discipline during that time.
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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Junxi,

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.

Gloria
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Tess’s Answer

Hi Junxi,

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


Good luck
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