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WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE IF YOU'RE NOT GOING TO COLLEGE OTHER THAN WORKING IN A SMALL RETAIL BUSINESS?

I mainly see people work in retail, and that's good but just not for me. I've been thinking about if college is right for me, and it's still undecided. But when I come to a decision, if I decide to NOT go to college what to do ? A job of course, but is there anything other than retail that'll allow someone like me to work for them?

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Subject: Career question for you

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John’s Answer

Shyann most people think they need a college degree to get into a good career. Even though college is a great option for some, it's not for everyone. So if you're looking for a job that doesn't require a degree, there are a lot of options out there.

ALTERNATIVES TO A COLLEGE DEGREE
TRADE SCHOOLS • Trade schools have tons of options for certification across different trade industries, including common trades like construction, manufacturing, and health care. You can also finish a certification program much faster than a 4-year degree program. Since you can finish trade school and get certified in a year or less, this career track makes an excellent alternative to a college degree. Another advantage of choosing a trade certification is tuition is usually cheaper. A lot of colleges have higher tuition rates than trade schools, so if you're looking to save some money, a certification course is worth looking at. Getting into a trade or vocation can also give you opportunities to join a worker or trade union, which also has special benefits for members.

INTERNSHIPS • Another option is to do an internship. Internships are programs where you can gain real-world skills and experiences. These programs often model actual careers. An engineering intern, for example, will usually work alongside a supervising engineer, learning the skills and techniques of the profession. Some internships are even paid and can also lead to a job offer down the road.

APPRENTICESHIP • Apprenticeships are similar to internships, where you learn what it's like to work in a specific job. Apprenticeships usually involve shadowing a professional, which is how you learn about the career. An electrician might take on an apprentice, and many labor trades have apprenticeships for new professionals. If you're interested in one of the trades, like plumbing, electrical engineering, or automotive mechanics, working as an apprentice might even be a requirement for advancing.

Hope this was helpful Shyann
Thank you comment icon Thank You Lilly. Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. John Frick
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Lilly’s Answer

Yes! There is so much more out there than you think. Sometimes you're working jobs with people who have a college degree and they really didn't need it for the job. Retail, small business, administrative work, food industry... I know other posts mention trade schools too. I like calling it technical college. It isn't traditional like a 4-year university and you jump into your classes faster. So this is good for something like nursing, hotel management, computer related work... Lots of opportunities! People nowadays are also self taught and can get jobs at large companies. Keep your head up! College isn't everything. Follow your heart.

Lilly recommends the following next steps:

Research local job boards for potential opportunities.
Look at local community/technical colleges and trade schools for any jobs you might be interested in.
Reach out to some professionals in a field you like and ask them what they did to get there and what advice they would have for someone going into that job.
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Mauro’s Answer

Great question! There are a lot of great alternatives to college that can be just as, if not, more rewarding than college. Not knowing what you want to do is natural but a great place to explore your interest in an affordable way is looking into trades schools, community college or online certifications that will equip you to learn the necessary skills to land an entry level job. For example, people interested in technology could look at resources like Google's Career Certifications below.

I would also look at interning at different companies that peak your interest (although these may be unpaid).

https://grow.google/certificates/?utm_source=gDigital&utm_medium=paidha&utm_campaign=sem-bk-gen-exa-glp-br&utm_term=google%20certification%20courses&gclid=Cj0KCQjwvZCZBhCiARIsAPXbajtMj-2tmmPFjCdiaVNeZ1nUCqSZEVp7bk5y7JHzLvm9d_5T6xIf0HMaAmuPEALw_wcB#?modal_active=none

Hope this helps!
Thank you comment icon Thank you a lot, Mr. Serrano! I will use this advice as I prepare for my career, I appreciate it! Shyann
Thank you comment icon Glad I could help! Feel free to add any follow-up questions! Mauro Serrano
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Sikawayi’s Answer

Hello Shyann, thank you for your question. There are other alternatives other than college. You can go to a trade school or check and apprenticeship for working in the medical field. There are also classes available online in case you find yourself financially challenged. I would suggest you research the subject a little, find what seems to interest you most and take it from there. Best of luck
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H’s Answer

College is not for everyone. There are many trade schools if you want to go into something besides retail. If there are factories near you that can be a great choice as well that would not require any college classes. Also, the postal service might be an option.
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Kess’s Answer

As mentioned above, going from high school and jumping straight into college is absolutely not for everyone. I took the military route.

Consider traveling! Trade school, internships, labor, military, post office, writer.... there are a lot of options out there. And maybe school will be appropriate for you later on. But maybe not. AND THAT IS OK!!!!! Give yourself some time, you've got plenty. And also, if you get into something and don't like it.... you're not a tree! You can move!




Kess recommends the following next steps:

Consider taking an aptitude or career quiz online. This may give you some ideas on what you like, or just as importantly, what you don't.
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Michael’s Answer

I saw this question, and the answers are very very thorough. But I did want to actually take a moment to say... maybe don't be too dismissive or retail completely. Maybe a seasonal toe-dip would be worth trying etc

The reason I say this is I worked in retail during my university years and looking back I learned so many soft skills that I use constantly today.
How to talk professionally. How to manage expectations. How to manage and plan my own work so as to get everything done etc.

When I'm looking at candidates for my team, one thing I specifically look for is some kind of retail/customer facing experience. Like I said, if you can harness the essence of why you're there, who you're trying to help, SO much of that experience will translate to other careers you might be looking into.

Good luck!
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