Some jobs are impossible to obtain without pursuing a degree. In other career fields, having a degree could make you overqualified. When chasing your dream career, it’s worth considering whether higher education is necessary. This guide could help you to decide.
The Pros and Cons of Higher Education
In most cases, having a degree puts you in a better position than candidates without a degree, even if it’s not an essential requirement to get into your career field. On average, those with a degree earn more than those without one.
Higher education is however very expensive. Most people end up having to take out a student loan to pay for their studies. While you could earn more in the future, you’ll also be carrying more debts.
Not everyone goes to college for better economic opportunities of course and it can be a great opportunity to simply further your knowledge in a subject that you’re passionate about, as well as learning life skills along the way.
On the flipside, some people may not enjoy learning and may prefer to simply dive into the full-time working world.
The Careers That Need a Degree
Some career fields are practically impossible to get into without a degree. These include:
You don’t always have to take the longest and most conventional route. If you want to work in healthcare but don’t want to study six years to become a doctor, there are other avenues. An alternative health degree at a college of health sciences for instance might allow you to access roles such as an occupational therapist or physical therapist. There are also accelerated subjects in some cases that take two years instead of the three year average.
Some marketing and finance jobs meanwhile ask for a degree, but don’t require the degree to be in any specific field. In fact, it’s possible to get a marketing job with a science degree or a finance job with a history degree. This could give you more flexibility when choosing a degree.
The Careers That Don’t Need a Degree
Many high-flying jobs in sales, security and transport don’t require a degree. In fact, you can even land jobs in finance, tech and marketing without a degree. If you want more than a minimum wage job, there are plenty of options. You’ll likely have to work from the bottom or show enough of a passion that employers will hire you. Then of course there’s the option of becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business for which you need no qualifications.
Alternatives to a College Education
While you may not think college education is for you, there are still other forms of education that can be worth looking into. Apprenticeships can often allow you to study and work at the same time without being quite as serious as a degree. There are also coding boot camps and trade schools that help you get your foot into specific industries, while being a lot quicker than a three year college degree. Such routes are also often cheaper than taking a degree, preventing you from having to take on debt.