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Alternatives to University

Is college or university for everyone?  More students, parents and educators are coming to the conclusion that the pursuit of college or university may not be the best fit. 

If you have a crystal clear goal and a compelling reason to get a degree, then it’s probably a very good idea.  If you aren’t sure, you’re only going because it’s the “thing to do” or “everybody does it” then it may be time to pause and consider some alternatives.

Most parents want their children to succeed, make a good living, raise a family, and contribute to society.  There are lots of ways to achieve this, and attending university holds no guarantee of success.

These alternatives to college will help you discover yourself, build skills and make valuable connections.

Go To Work

Find a job in an area that interests you.  There is high demand for entry-level jobs, but your focus should be on building skills in areas that interest you.  You will be investing your time to learn skills. You can earn while you learn.  You will develop new skills and get experience in your chosen field. This “real world” experience is invaluable to future employers.

If you like to build things, get your white card and apply for a construction job.  Whether you choose construction as a career or branch out, knowing how to build, fix and repair things will be invaluable to you as you go through life.

If you are gregarious and enjoy people, consider a career in sales.  If you can sell, you can write your own ticket.  Salesmen are some of the highest-paid and most sought-after people in the world.  It is possible to achieve great success in sales, without a university education.

The military is also a good way to receive skills training and real-world experience.  It’s not for everyone, but it might work for you.

Alternative Education

There are a great many educational alternatives to the university route.  

Vocational schools, technical colleges and trade schools will give you an education in a specific field and not require you to sit through humanities, history, or other topics that don’t interest you.

Technical schools generally have more classroom focus and are ideal for subjects like nursing, health science, and automotive technician.  Today many technical schools focus exclusively on computers and other aspects of information technology.

Trade schools often focus on practical knowledge and skills in areas like HVAC, electrical, cosmetology, barbering, welding and the like.

If you need financial assistance, check to see if there are scholarships available.  You can also check with HELP, the Higher Education Loan Program.

Start a Business.

Many a millionaire began with their hobby in a garage or spare room and turned their passion into a burgeoning business.

If you have a hobby you enjoy and excel at, ask yourself, if there is a way to turn that into a career? 

A university is a good choice for some students, but it isn’t necessarily the right choice for all.  It’s your life, and only you can make it happen.

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