If you’re aiming for a high-paying career, college isn’t the only available option. In fact, college might set you back instead of helping you out. Almost 50 percent of college graduates have jobs that don’t need a degree, and getting a job that fits your education is getting harder and harder.
Learn a Trade
If you’re not the bookish type, you like to work with your hands, and you prefer learning by experience, a trade school is a much better choice for you. Skilled labor jobs are currently on the rise, and blue-collar workers are highly in demand. A trade school will give you all the knowledge and skills you need to start your career in your chosen field. You learn through hands-on training and actual work experience. Unlike college, trade school will not cost you an arm and a leg. You learn only what you need and concentrate on your trade and nothing else—no unrelated subjects, no waste of time. You can finish trade school in two years, which will allow you to start building the foundations of your career at a much earlier time. You won’t be competing with a multitude of people for a limited number of positions. Instead, you will be entering a workforce that is in dire need of new blood.
Skilled Work Pays Big
College graduates are said to earn an average of $46,900 per year, while non-college graduates earn $30,000. That may be true, but that statistic is irrelevant. With just a one-year certification from a trade school, you can expect to earn an average salary of $54,000 within 10 years. The average job that requires a degree pays a little bit more in the same span, but only slightly at $55,000. However, certain industries pay a premium for blue-collar workers. Construction, manufacturing, and trucking industries all pay higher wages for skilled labor. Wages can go up to $60,000 or more, especially since these industries are facing a shortage of workers. Factor in the cost of college education, the debt, and the extra two years of studying, you’ll be earning more than the average college graduate.
When to Choose College
If you are keen on learning and plan to pursue higher education, by all means, go to university. College is also good if you are aiming for a career in a field that requires a particular degree and you believe you can compete with your peers, especially in the social sciences where positions are very limited. Careers in medicine, law, science and technology, and engineering strictly require college education or even higher levels of learning. Forty percent of college students never actually finish college, so make sure that you have the necessary mind-set and funds to pursue your education.
College doesn’t necessarily mean success. The majority of college students work in jobs totally unrelated to their field of study. If you believe that college might not be a good fit for you, then learning a trade can give you the opportunity to get a fulfilling and high-paying career.