5 career paths you can follow if you don’t want to go to college

Perhaps you experience the parental and social pressure of choosing a college even though you lack the desire to pursue this traditional career path. Or you want to skip spending years in school because you are eager to start living on your own, haven’t had enough time for introspection, take a gap year for your self-discovery or want to learn something different. For some students, assignments or tests are an impossible burden to bear. But these days you can get help or McGraw Hill homework answers simply by using the Internet so you can combine self-study with the study.

They say that the higher-paid jobs are the ones you invest in the most. But not everybody is cut for college, and that is alright. There is not only “one way” to set yourself up for success. Some students graduate and have no idea what to do next because they lack practical skills or don’t feel like they find themselves in the chosen option. Know that there are different ways to enter the workforce and get a well-paid job, and keep reading to take a grasp on five realistic alternatives to college.

Apply for an apprenticeship and start earning right now

Both college and apprenticeship help you launch in the workforce sooner or later. While college helps you earn soft skills and broaden your career opportunities, apprenticeships speed the process up. The downside is that they are more restrictive. 

Attending such paid career-training programs will allow you to enter the workforce immediately, gaining valuable practical experience instead of attending theoretical classrooms. You will start by earning around $15 an hour at the beginning of the full-time job with raises as you develop your aptitudes. Employers seek to nurture in their long-term committed students practical skills that are only needed in their organization for a specific industry or role, which can be pretty restrictive. 

This practice is widespread in Europe, and it’s also gaining traction in America. Courses typically run from 1 to 9 years and result in a nationally recognized industry certification.

You can get trained in more than just manual trades such as construction and manufacturing and head for industries like health care, transportation, finance and telecommunications.

Trade school or vocational programs          

Technical, career or vocational schools train students to carry out daily duties of a particular domain. They last one to two years or less and result in a certificate. Private schools and community colleges sponsored by  for-profit companies or private nonprofit organizations provide such programs. 

They cover welding, HVAC and auto mechanics, and  can get you a job in manufacturing, healthcare support, construction, administrative training and personal services. Attending a top trade school gives you access to a wide range of career-focused programs such as aviation technology and beauty schools. 

The top trade schools may provide a wide range of career-focused programs or specialize in a particular field, such as aviation technology, where you manage hardware and maintain powerplant systems. Check their costs, graduation rates and the average salary you can earn, so you don’t take on too much debt. 

Volunteer for a cause you care about

Volunteerism or community service is appraised in the United States and encourages anyone who wants to give a helping hand unpaid. There’s nothing wrong with not knowing what career to pursue or wishing to have a break and enjoy life for a moment. 

If you care about a cause, maybe you should try volunteering and see if such an experience can help you discover your path in life. What is certain is that the skills you gain will look good on your resume, help your community, enable you to make friends and develop leadership and communication skills. 

If you believe this human-shaped world doesn’t care enough for souls that cannot talk but only ask for our compassion, learn that the USA is home to plenty of organizations that contribute to animals’ salvation and welfare. Emergency Animal Rescue Service, Guide Dogs of America, and Elephant Sanctuary are just some organizations where you can gain animal care qualifications.   

Likewise, if you know that change starts with yourself, you share empathy and want to help people in need, then know that the most real-life savers and heroes work in the medical and healthcare system. And yes, we know you want to skip college for your reasons, but don’t jump to conclusions! 

You can volunteer to work in a hospital to determine if you’d like to become a healthcare specialist. Suppose you find emergency medicine interesting you can later enroll in emergency medical training. Many community colleges, trade and technical schools and emergency care training centers that provide such programs for free. An EMT training course can last from two intensive weeks to a whole semester. You must be 18 years old, have a reasonable physical and mental health condition, and have a GED diploma.

EMT volunteers partake in the same stressful and overwhelming activities as full-time employed EMTs, so they also need skills like agility, good physical condition, composure, stress resistance and empathy. You will care for injured patients in the ambulance or hospital as an EMT volunteer. In case you start to feel enthusiasm towards this field, the good news is that you can search for EMT classes near me on Google and enroll in a free national training program that will allow you to get the necessary diploma in order to pursue a career in EMT. 

Coding bootcamps

Coding school is short-term and usually takes less than four months of online or in-person intensive training before you take your exams and get your coding certificate. This alternative to college has been gaining ground in the USA. It is trendy among those who want to pursue a career in web and mobile development, data science, design, cybersecurity, coding and programming. 

Among the top coding bootcamps in the USA are The Tech Academy, Hack Reactor, General Assembly and many more, but the more popular they are, the higher their fees. Unfortunately, code school students don’t enjoy traditional college students’ financial aid. You have to research to find the most convenient one because they belong to private companies that coach you for a charge and can cost anywhere between $1,300 and $30,000


College is not the only way to do things. Before considering what career suits you the most:

  1. Find your passions, evaluate your lifestyle, top strengths, skills and weaknesses, and set your goals in life
  2. Talk to friends and try to find people in positions you would like to be in that could give you some pieces of advice
  3. Follow your dreams, and don’t let anybody get in your way and tell you what you “should do”.