A Few Alternatives Concerning the Traditional 4-Year College


How do you think, is college supposed to be for everyone? There are a lot of high-school students that might confess: “College isn’t for me.” So, what to do instead of college? To tell you the truth, there is a big number of alternatives to college after school.

Taking into consideration the fact that previously in this series we have managed to clarify whether college is really for everyone, today, we decided to look at solid alternatives to college. What is more, we’ve covered not only the history of higher education but also the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a student at a 4-year university.

Frankly speaking, one-quarter of college graduates are employed in jobs that can easily be got without a degree. Apart from that, among the 30 jobs that are projected to grow very fast in the next decade, there are only 7 that ask for a 4-year degree.

Even though it may not seem plausible enough because this is not what is speculated about in the media, as well as in the general public, you can take advantage of an opportunity to look at the legitimate opportunities not related to the traditional 4-year college.

Ultimately, it is of a great importance to think about what to do instead of college since this concerns your life goals. As a matter of fact, Mary Docken advocates education by saying that students need to pay their attention to their interests, in what way they prefer to learn, what can motivate them, what amount of money they can afford for their education, what type of work is the most suitable for them.

Is College for Everyone

Do you think about not going to college after high school? Below, we’ve written several legitimate options that you ought to think through after high school. Anyway, it would be great if they were considered along with colleges.

  • Starting a business

In fact, there are 14% of Americans that are self-employed. Thanks to initiative, a quality product, and drive, it may be quite real to create your own company. Walt Disney, Michael Dell, Richard Branson, Frank Lloyd Wright, Bill Gates, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, and Milton Hershey are believed to be the most successful men in the last decades.

There is no secret that the barriers with regard to setting up a new business will never be low. However, having an Internet connection and a computer by hand provides you with a lot of business opportunities that you can launch having just $100 sitting at home. Becoming an entrepreneur might be selling goods online, making use of the web as your portfolio, or opening a clothier.

In addition, you could make an attempt to sell any kind of handmade products. Thus, this is one of the easiest ways to start your own business. In order to put this plan into action, you can take advantage of Etsy shop. Furthermore, an eBay account will allow you to become a successful antiques seller and trader. Bear in mind, creativity is the only one criterion that defines your possibilities.

It’s important to mention that these days we can boast of a big amount of information we have with regard to starting a business. To add, free education is believed to be available.

It’s common knowledge that a bigger number of small business failed in comparison to the ones that managed to succeed. However, are you sure that you could find an entrepreneur that didn’t gain priceless experience even thanks to their failures? Can you tell that you have good people skills, as well as zeal for something that you created? If you answered yes, then you’d better not spend four years in college.

  • Attending community college

Despite the fact that this college is not that prestigious as the 4-year university, but it has definitely many benefits. To begin with, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Truly speaking, the average credit hour at university costs 5 times more than at a community college. In addition, there is a high possibility of you living not far from home. Finally, you will have much time for defining and refining your interests.

  • Getting into a trade

Have you ever paid your attention to specific vocational training that trade schools usually offer? They provide students with various opportunities regarding skilled careers. It might mean a year at a technical school or studying for an associate’s degree in a community college. Unfortunately, these careers appear to be carrying some negative stereotypes since people regard them as “blue collar” jobs.

  • Being an artist

Is art your passion? If you realize that you are good at music, sculpting, painting, or something else, you ought to seriously take into consideration not going to a 4-year college. In reality, established artists need a little more than a year to get to the point when they earn $60k a year. If you make up your mind to study at college, in the long run, you will be obliged to pay off your debt.

An option of getting a necessary associate’s degree might be as a back-up plan. However, make sure that you do your best concerning deliberate practice. Apart from that, moving to a city like Austin, Seattle, TX that are considered to be art-friendly ones would be also one of the best pieces of advice. In such cities, you can find mentors and peers. With such people, it would be possible for you to climb the career ladder and receive critique to improve your work.

  • Taking online classes

It’s a well-known fact that numerous online college-level courses appeared in the last few years. YouTube together with a variety of websites offers diverse lectures so that the public can consume them. All of this is for free. EdX and Coursera offer valid certificates of completion.

In spite of the fact that you won’t get any college credit for passing successfully these courses, they are undoubtedly thought to be college-level and quite difficult. As a result, there is a high possibility of you acquiring some practical and very valuable skills that are needed for a number of professions.

  • Taking a job. Any job

Every 18-year-old student ought to consider such an option as simply getting a job and working for a year before making up his mind concerning his college path. Starting at minimum wage is also great and helpful. If you make yourself show up early and stay late, as well as have integrity in the workplace, treat coworkers and customers with respect, this will assist you later because these simple characteristics are believed to be in high demand.

If after a year or two of working you realize that you are eager to go to college, you’ll undoubtedly become more mature. What is more, you will have money that can allow you to pay tuition. Due to the fact that unemployment is higher and wages are lower, a little bit of elbow grease for a person with only a high school degree can be really invaluable.

  • Selling real estate

One of the best options that young men should be interested in is becoming a real estate agent. This is especially concerns those individuals who take their interest in high income potential.

  • Volunteering

The option of volunteering is one of the best ways to do some service, as well as build your own character. A lot of people dream about doing service for a year or living abroad in order to realize as soon as their studying at college ends that tremendous bills show up, many spouses materialize, and babies start coming. Probably, there isn’t any better time than those two years after high school that will allow you to have a little adventure, do some good in the world.

AmeriCorps is thought to be a useful option for many high school graduates, even though you are so to say “limited” to service, namely here in the U.S. In particular, the National Civilian Community Corps program can be a perfect match for those males that are aged 18-24 and who would like to serve for one year.

  • Joining the military

Frankly speaking, a lot of high school students decided to join the military being 18- and 19-year old. Apart from the fact that it is a form of service, there are some practical benefits if you are in the military. They are free health care for your family and you, almost no living costs, travelling the world, a month of vacation per year.

  • Becoming a fellow/apprentice

Peter Thiel is an entrepreneur, investor, and founder of PayPal. He has been also interested in the discussion regarding the necessity of college. What is more, he decided to launch the Thiel Fellowship in 2011. In addition, each year, he picks out 10 young men, as well as women, who are under the age of 20 in order to give them $100,000. As a result, they are entitled of skipping college and realizing their ideas and visions. Peter Thiel says that they’re doing instead of studying. While participants are taking part in this two-year program, they take advantage of an opportunity to work with world’s top researchers, business leaders, and scientists. Frankly speaking, there aren’t any specific definitions concerning how to spend those two years successfully. However, almost all grads of it have managed to start a company or invent something.

  • Attending a work college

It is worth mentioning that this option is considered to be quite close to the traditional 4-year college. Nevertheless, it has one distinctive feature. You are going to have one specific requirement which is about working 10-15 hours per week for helping pay your tuition. Due to this fact, at such a work college, students usually pay considerably less in tuition. To add, there are several cases when you may not pay tuition at all.

In all other regards, this is supposed to be an ordinary college experience, but there is a high possibility of you not being strapped with the debt. Ditching of that debt would be really great since it cripples many students, as well as their families. When it comes to working a job, the valuable experience that you can get thanks to this should also not be taken for granted. Thus, you will kill two birds with one stone by being engrossed in studying and working.

Of course, this institution admits that you will probably have to go the extra mile and work harder in comparison to your peers at other schools. Furthermore, you will be obliged to balance your responsibilities, but eventually, you will celebrate the achievements and become stronger than a lot of your peers.

You’ve read a lot about whether college is for everyone and which other alternatives exist. We tried to discuss the positives and negatives of a 4-year college and summed up that when it comes to making up your mind whether it is good or bad, there isn’t any precise answer with only pros. As a matter of fact, we revealed you a diversity of different options that the graduated high schoolers who would like to become successful ought to take into consideration.

Ultimately, it wasn’t our goal to convince you of only one side of the argument. As you see, there are significant advantages and disadvantages no matter which plan you want to put into action. In any case, you win and you lose simultaneously. College is thought to be one of the most responsible steps in your life, so the cost of mistake might be quite considerable.

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