Education is essential. It is the most valuable inheritance we’ll ever receive from our parents. But people with less-privileged backgrounds don’t get to seize the same opportunities the middle and upper-class groups do. As such, the chance to finish college may be hard to come by in their lives. In most cases, they’d either complete only primary or secondary education.
All our lives, we’ve been taught that we need to finish college so that we’d land a stable and high-paying job. And if we want to earn higher, we should take a post-graduate degree. Basically, the higher our educational attainment, the higher our earning potential can be. If that’s the case, how come many known self-made millionaires didn’t even go to college?
The truth is, a college degree isn’t necessary for you to reach success. While you shouldn’t take your education for granted, you shouldn’t regard it as your only ticket to wealth, either. Being book smart can only get you so far. When it comes to building an empire, being street-smart usually pays off more.
Skills Can Be Learned Outside the School
“Experience is the best teacher” may be such cliche advice to hear, but it’s undeniably true. If you aren’t convinced enough, ask the people around you who finished college but were unsuccessful in finding a job. Many of them will say that they don’t possess the skills needed for the job they’re seeking.
Though colleges teach necessary life skills, many graduates will still emerge into the corporate world with nothing much under their belts, apart from their diplomas. Often, they needed to take an additional course to gain the skills required for their dream jobs. These courses can be purely online, meaning the students can complete them from home. They can even take it while working.
Reading books or attending workshops and seminars are effective ways to gain additional skills as well. In fact, some educational materials outside the school can outperform a 4-year college degree. According to the author and self-made millionaire James Altucher, more companies are saying that you don’t need a degree. Rather, you need skills.
This doesn’t mean that you should drop of college, though, or skip it. Though skills are more important than educational attainment, some fields still require a diploma, like law, medicine, engineering, architecture, and accounting. But if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, for instance, you can start your first business venture without a degree.
If your dream career requires certifications or diplomas, consider TVL strand courses, which stands for “Technical Vocational Livelihood.” These courses teach you the skills necessary in today’s top industries, such as information technology. Even without a college degree, a vocational course in computer programming, for example, will allow you to land a career related to creating apps or software.
Some High-Paying Jobs Don’t Require a Degree
Not having a degree may thwart your confidence because society is made to believe that graduating from college opens doors to high-paying jobs. People who only finished elementary, high school, or even a vocational course tend to be misjudged or underestimated. Many people who had an overly conservative and traditional upbringing still believe that an incomplete education results in poverty.
But thanks to today’s technology, many jobs were created that are fit for non-degree holders. The highest paying ones are:
- Software Sales Representative: $34,000-94,000 (Ave. bonus: $10,213)
- Senior Executive Assistant: $50,000-$94,000 (Ave. bonus: $4,126)
- Digital Marketing and SEO Manager: $45,000-$98,000 (Ave. bonus: $4,972)
- Real Estate Agent: $24,000-$103,000 (Ave. bonus: $5,128)
- E-commerce Manager: $40,000-$96,000 (Ave. bonus: $4,943)
- Software Developer: $50,000-105,000(Ave. bonus: $3,994)
- Network Engineer: $50,000-$107,000 (Ave. bonus: $4,696)
Those findings don’t even include the average commissions yet, which can amount to tens of thousands of dollars. So break the notion that a college degree equals better job opportunities. You can totally be a high-income earner with a vocational course or an online course.
The Absence of a Degree Doesn’t Change Your Business Opportunities
Regardless of your educational attainment, your business opportunities stay the same. You can be a law graduate, sell cars, or stop graduating from senior high school and start a car wash business. You can even build a clinic without a medical background because you have to hire a doctor.
If you can’t afford to pay salaries, narrow your options to fields within your area of expertise. For example, if you’re skilled at building websites, you can be a web design consultant. The key is to gain a skill that people will pay you for, over and over again. Makeup artistry, hair styling, interior decorating, and pet-grooming are other examples of skills worth paying for.
Once your profits reach a 6-digit figure, you may start exploring investments to grow your wealth further. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket; that’s another lesson that doesn’t require a college degree to be mastered. With your money distributed to the right income-building channels, you can be a self-made millionaire or even a billionaire. And you did that without a college diploma.