Excused absence: 6 reasons you don’t have to go to college
We hear it all the time: “Going to college isn’t for everyone.” But it’s usually said as consolation, a response to a frustrated parent who can’t understand why their son or daughter doesn’t want to follow in their academic footsteps. But in 2019 and for the foreseeable future, not going to college is far from something deserving of pity. Of course, we’d never knock the importance of critical thinking and exposure to ideas different from your own but those skills and experiences can come from other endeavors, like reading or traveling. Here are six reasons why you don’t have to go to college:
1. You know you
Sitting in a classroom, listening to lectures? Not your thing. Neither is homework, group projects or longwinding discussions with no right or wrong positions. What is for you, though, is hands-on training, the opportunity to learn under a mentor, working outside, working with your hands, making money right away, getting into the family business or a plethora of other reasons you’re not going to enter any hallowed halls any time soon. And most importantly, you’re OK with it.
2. Energy options
If you’re looking for an occupation that’s predicted to increase in need over the next 10 years, consider a job in renewable energy. While the overall increase in jobs may be small in comparison to other industries, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics says the nation’s increased interest in renewable energy will result in increased demands for solar photovoltaic installers, expected to increase 63 percent by 2028, and wind turbine technicians, expected to grow by 57 percent during that same time period.
3. Tech doesn’t judge
In an article for Techcrunch.com, S. Somasegar, managing director at Madrona Venture Group, and Daniel Li, an investor with Madrona Venture Group, wrote that any company — no matter what they produce — can rethink how it does business in a technology-first world by emphasizing technology. And while potential employees with advanced tech degrees carry a lot of weight, so do those nimble, think-onthe-fly, creative upstarts who are too busy working on new apps to even entertain the thought of a college degree. “Talent is the key asset. … Equipment is rentable and servers are plentiful. What isn’t always readily available is talent.”
4. Manufacturing jobs
John Morehouse, director of the Center of Innovation for Manufacturing for the state of Georgia’s Department of Economic Development, says high school graduates would be wise to take a look at jobs in the manufacturing industry, pointing out that there will be careers available to those workers who can operate at a high level using various skills. “As manufacturers streamline production and improve quality, they’ll need people with 21st-century skills which they can use to create a stable, long-lasting career,” Morehouse says.
It’s that “stable, long-lasting” part that Morehouse wants to go viral. “These are well-paying jobs — jobs you can use to build a strong future,” he says.
But long-held perceptions of manufacturing jobs — back-breaking activity, dangerous environments, unstable work — by both high school students and their parents can be the enemy of the industry. “Studies show the need for skilled workers and it’s not going away,” says Morehouse. “We’re talking about rewarding work that doesn’t have to come home with you. And you can earn a good salary — money to buy a house, go on vacation
— if you can see through the old perception and instead look at these jobs for what they actually are — strong, interesting, stable jobs that can provide a person the means for a great life.”
5. Health-care jobs
And relentlessly, we might add. Sure, it would be great to become a doctor but that requires years of school, experience and student-loan payments. But there are numerous jobs in health care, and the large majority of these gigs—including many with long-term stability — require an associate degree or specific certification. And for those who break out in a cold sweat over the thought of entering a classroom, don’t worry. Most of the required classes are usually a far cry from an anxiety-inducing semester of Psychology 101 in a lecture hall.
Instead, they’re usually hands-on experiences that mix learning with practical work, moving students along in ways that maintain their interest and prepare them for their real-world jobs. Some potential health-care jobs include dental assistants, dental hygienists, massage therapists, medical billing and coding specialists, phlebotomists, medical coders, surgical technologists, ultrasound technicians and medical lab technicians.
6. Power up
Opportunities are available in various fields for both men and women but those high school graduates looking to become electricians especially may find themselves on a steady, thorough path to job security. The demand for installing, maintaining and repairing electrical systems in residential and commercial structures continues to be in demand.
Increased interest in renewable energy will result in demand for solar photovoltaic installers, expected to increase 63 percent by 2028.