Journal is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
I just changed my major for the third and (hopefully) last time. I am still three years away from graduation, meanwhile, I am building a business with a skill that I learned outside of a university. Every day I ask myself, "why am I doing this?" Being the person that I am, I have done a lot of research on the subject of university education. Is it worth it? Or am I wasting my time?
Let's be honest, we've all googled "jobs you can do without a college degree" in our times of panic. I know I've done it many times. I haven't only googled, but I've talked to everyone I know, I've read so many articles, listened to so many podcasts and YouTube videos trying to figure out if what I'm doing is actually worth it. Ultimately, it comes down to this: everyone's career path is different, and truthfully, career paths just aren't the same as they used to be.
In our culture today, while a college degree may elevate you above your competition, it doesn't guarantee a job. Today, people make their own jobs. We see that there is a boom in small business and freelance. Everyone is an entrepreneur because they have to be and the competition out there is fierce. If you want to stand out, you have to have multiple skills within a field and skills within the fields closely related to your field and so on.
Here are just some of the more interesting options when it comes to jobs that don't require a college degree...
Network marketing is a good example of a profitable career path that doesn't require a degree. However, it's only profitable if you work hard and devote yourself to being an expert on your product and an expert on social media. I live in a community that is saturated with people that are so-called network marketers, however, I only know a handful that are actually making a profit. You have the potential to be really successful, but it depends on how much time and effort you are willing to dedicate to building your business.
Freelance graphic design, illustrating, or writing is another way to build a business without a degree. However, you are going to have a hard time getting jobs without the credentials. Business owners will want you to prove what you know. Experience, in many cases, can trump education. But, it's going to take you a longer time to obtain the experience necessary to build a portfolio without an education. A college degree means many years of assignments and free work opportunities that will help you build your portfolio. And in many ways, a formal education is going to be the only way that some people are able to learn the skills they are interested in. Not everyone can learn graphic design from YouTube. (But if you can, you have an advantage: it's free and it's faster).
Real estate is another option that does require taking a test, but it doesn't require a strenuous four-year degree. In fact, you can obtain a real estate license in less than 6 months to a year.
Finally, the cold hard truth is that you can go to a trade school and make more money than many four-year university student do. But, as you may or may not know, most high-paying trade jobs are reserved for men. The most popular alternative for women looking to avoid four-year university education is beauty school, maybe culinary school. As a woman, I can't help but feel a little cynical about the lack of high-paying jobs for women and the lack of choices that we have.
In the end, I know that I pursue my education because it's a goal that I want to complete. You're going to have doubts, but you have to remind yourself of your goals and purpose every day. It's okay to not have the big picture figured out, just focus on right now. And if you feel like college isn't for you, there's no shame in that! And it's not true that you won't find a job without a degree. Like, hello, I work in marketing right now and I was 0% qualified for the job. If I can B.S. my way into the professional world and learn it until I rock it, so can you!
If you are devoted to yourself and to working hard, you'll be able to make your own way. Whatever it is that you're doing, whether it be pursuing an education or taking an alternate route, just kick ass at it and you won't regret it.
And for the record, that little pep-talk was for me, but I hope that someone else out there got something out of it.