3 Things You Can Do if College Is Not For You

For many people, college may seem overrated. After all, in the present scenario, even after you go to college after having spent an arm and a leg to get there, you may end up among the whopping 11 percent graduates that are unemployed.

And there may actually be something that you love doing that doesn’t need a college degree, or a dream that you have such as owning your own business, that you can achieve even without a college education. If that’s the case, then bypassing college could be a smart move right now.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that of the 10 fastest growing jobs in the service industry, 8 don’t need a college degree! And it projects that the 63 percent of all the new jobs that will be created between 2010 and 2020 will not need a college degree (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

And college clearly isn’t for everyone, or else there wouldn’t be a 46 percent dropout rate (Politic 365) among college graduates!

Just keep in mind that the only difference is that when you bypass college, your search for a job becomes your own personal mission, so you have to be pretty focused and dedicated. For those of you that already know what you want to do, you just need to go ahead and do it. And for those who don’t, here are some jobs you can do if you decide to not go to college.

1. Registered Nurses

Registered nurses have median annual earnings of around $65,950 (Forbes). All that you usually need for this position is an associate’s degree in nursing. In order to become a registered nurse, you will need to be compassionate, acquire clinical knowledge and hone your problem solving and critical thinking skills.

With such a degree you can work in the healthcare and social assistance industry, which is projected to create about 28 percent of all new jobs in the US (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Within the profession you can expect to work in private and public hospitals, residential care and nursing facilities, family and individual services. The industry is expected to create a whopping 5.7 million jobs by 2020.

On a related note, personal care aides earn $19,640 annual median salaries, and this is a profession that tops the BLS’s list of fastest growing professions (Bureau of Labor Statistics). You don’t need a high school diploma for the job and you’ll need brief on-the-job training.

3 Things You Can Do if College Isn't For You

2. Construction and Extraction Workers’ Supervisors

All that you need to grow to a position of supervisor for the construction and extraction industry is a high school diploma or equivalent. This is a job which will need you to supervise workers building new homes. Median annual earnings for a supervisor in this field are a reasonably good $59,150 (Forbes).

Jobs in this industry are estimated to grow by about 23.5%. And between 2010 and 2020, there is expected to be an addition of 1.8 million new jobs in the industry (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Things are clearly promising for those who join this industry.

3 Things You Can Do if College Isn't For You

3. Dental Hygienists

You need to have an associate’s degree in order to be a dental hygienist. The professionals in this industry have median annual earnings of $69,280. The healthcare industry is one that is growing at a fast pace. The number of dental hygienist jobs is expected to grow by a whopping 38 % by 2020 (BLS).

Dental hygienists are concerned with oral health and clean teeth, check for oral diseases and educate people on how to maintain good oral hygiene.

3 Things You Can Do if College Isn't For You

You will note that two of the occupations listed above require associate’s degrees. These are special professional degrees that are way less expensive than college degrees. All associate’s degrees need at least 2 years for completion beyond high school, but not more than 4 years.

The opportunities for jobs even without college degrees are endless. If you’re happy to settle for just a good job, then there are plenty of options. And if you’re more ambitious – even though they are very rare there plenty of college dropouts who end up becoming millionaires. At the end of the day, how well you do is really about doing what you’re good at or passionate about, isn’t it?


  1. CNN recently had a headline that talked about how web programmers were making nearly $60K per year without a college degree. If I were in high school all over again and not going to go to college, I think this would be one area I would strongly look into. This whole digital thing seems like it is here to stay.


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