Careers Without College Education

Careers Without College EducationPin

Are There Any Careers Without College Education? 9 Options

I get a lot of e-mails from readers who bought into the idea that every child should have a college education. By the time Johnny graduates, he’s facing about $100,000 in student loans, and is having a hard time finding even a low paying job, let alone in his career field. Starting out your life with little income and very high debt, can be very depressing. There are many good careers without college education.

I’ve been preaching this for many years, “Not every kid is meant to attend college, nor does every kid need to have a college education to get a decent job.” Don’t misunderstand, I’m not against college, and it is most certainly required in certain career fields. But the problem today for those graduating from college, is the shortage of high paying jobs.

The ones that land the better jobs are those with high grades, and often, a degree from one of the Ivy League schools. Yet, in general, most high school teachers and counselors continue to push every student towards college.

I’m sure they have good intentions, but if they knew a particular student had poor grades in high school or was just putting in enough effort to pass, why waste the money on college? Getting a college education is a very good thing for the right person, and under a certain set of circumstances, but careers without college education have high paying jobs available.

Before you push your child to enroll in college , consider carefully the 9 following reasons why maybe college isn’t the answer for your son or daughter.

1. His career choice doesn’t require a college degree

If your child plans to study to become a doctor, lawyer, or an engineer, then getting a college education is a must. But suppose, his plans are to become an electrician, plumber, or a hairdresser? None of those career choices make a college education necessary.

In cases like this, if you compare the costs of a college education vs trade school, trade schools are usually the best choice, and a much lower cost option. Work with your child and listen carefully as to what he wants to do with the rest of his life. Before you commit to astronomical sums of money for college, be sure it’s really necessary.

2. Can he handle the academics?

We all know that some kids just seem to naturally excel in a classroom while others don’t. If you have a child that struggles with everything a high school throws at him, and he gets to the point of hating school, what do you think he would do in college? You’re right, he probably would be skipping a lot of classes and eventually fail.

Why set up a child for failure and maybe cause him to have problems with self esteem? Generally, kids need to be challenged in order to increase their abilities, but if the child simply can’t handle college academic requirements, it might be best to make other plans. There are plenty of careers without college education as a primary requirement.

It’s difficult, even for parents, to know for sure if your son or daughter is a good candidate for college. Even though the parent knows the child’s personality the best, can you be sure he struggles because he’s afraid, or maybe needs some tutoring in certain areas?

Sometimes the child struggles because book learning just isn’t his thing, or maybe he is stubborn and has no interest in even trying. In a case like that, it may be best to not push him towards college, at least for the time being.

3.He doesn’t accept responsibility

Just about every student attending high school, is irresponsible at one time or another, but we’re referring to the child who doesn’t have any interest in school at all. If he just blows off tests or skips class whenever he feels like it, he might be better off choosing a career without college education.

It makes no sense to pay a college $30,000 plus a year and then have your child skip class and fail. Before you spend that kind of money, you need to be sure it won’t be a waste.

4. Can’t attend without a lot of debt

If you’re in a situation where the only way your child can attend college, is to take on many thousands of dollars of debt, then waiting might be a good choice. Maybe it’s not fair to your child, but high debt can ruin his life.

Having your child work for a couple of years and save money for college, is a lot better than saddling him with so much debt, that it may take the rest of his life to repay.

5. Instead of college, what options are there?

Despite what many counsellors and teachers advise, kids who are not going to college right after high school, have a number of options available to them.

6. Spend a year or two working

Even though jobs without college education usually pay less at first, this is a good option for some. It can teach the child financial responsibility, work skills, and how to manage their money properly. Besides those, sometimes an opportunity arises that leads to a better paying job or even a career change.

7. Consider trade school

There are many jobs without college educationPinThere are careers without college education that are available after you graduate from high school. One good option is a trade school. Depending on the career field, a trade school can provide the necessary education for a well paid job. Besides that, learning from a trade school is very different as compared to a traditional classroom.

A trade school might be just what your child needs if he isn’t book smart. Plus, he could land a career that pays well, so don’t count this out.

What you can do instead of attending college.

8. You can learn independently

If you look around, you’ll find a lot of education that is available free or low cost, without attending college. It might not result in a degree, but could provide just what your child needs to enjoy a good living.

If your child is considering owning his own business, he may be able to do online research to learn what he needs to pursue that objective. Another viable option is learning independently if your child is highly motivated and a self starter.

9. Consider enrolling in a gap year program

I have to admit, I was not familiar with this topic and option. Doing research, I learned more about it, and it makes sense now. For those who have the academic know how, but aren’t sure what career path they want to follow, it is a good option. How can a college education benefit you is an important topic to understand.

For those of you who don’t know what a gap program is, this definition may help. It’s actually a semester and sometimes a full year of experimental learning that a person undertakes. After high school graduation and before enrolling in a college, the student takes a break from the academics to study their own interests and desires.

They consider the career and education required to pursue it. Students generally are ready for college after this program, or he may decide that careers without college education are best for him. Whatever the choice, he should know what he wants to pursue and without the high cost of attending a college.

Gap programs are designed to be a much lower cost that attending a traditional college. Plus, your child will learn the important life skills that will benefit him in the future.


As I said at the beginning of this article, every child doesn’t need college, and if your child doesn’t, no need to hit the panic button. There are options available where some kids will excel in and he will enjoy doing.

Some kids simply don’t function well in an academic surrounding, but maybe pursuing a career with trade school training, is just what he needs to be a success in life. And, by success, I don’t mean just money. There is so much more involved, beginning with happiness.

So, if you find that your child isn’t doing well in academics, not to worry. Talk with him, and more importantly, listen to him, and see if any of the other options are applicable. There are careers without college education that can lead him to be successful.

It’s more important that he knows how to use his money responsibly than how much money he makes. One of the most important concepts to understand, is to spend less than you make, and to save. This concept applies to all of us if we want to do well with our lives.

Gust Lenglet
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One response to “Careers Without College Education”

  1. Avatar of Gracie Gracie says:

    Thanks so much for such an informative article. Our son, who is now out on his own, went the trade school route, and is doing very well. Throughout grade school and even high school, he struggled quite a bit just to pass. It wasn’t because he didn’t try, either. We helped him all that we could, but it just wasn’t enough. After high school, he had a lot of interest in repairing appliances, and attended a trade school. He did so well that, he opened his own business last year, and loves what he does. To us, that is SUCCESS!

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