Many people believe that a college degree is essential for success in today’s world. However, that is not entirely true.
There are numerous examples of individuals who have achieved great success without completing college or obtaining a degree.
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs, inventors, and innovators did not have a college degree.
So, if you are someone who is considering pursuing a non-traditional path to success, then this guide is for you.
In this guide, we will explore some tips and strategies that can help you achieve success without a college degree. We will discuss the importance of self-education, networking, and developing marketable skills.
We will also examine the mindset and habits that successful individuals possess and how you can adopt them to increase your chances of success.
So, whether you are a high school graduate, a dropout, or someone who never attended college, you can still achieve great success in life by following the tips and strategies outlined in this guide.
What is a College Degree?
A college degree is an academic credential that is typically earned after completing a program of study at a college or university.
College degrees are typically awarded for completing a specific course of study, such as a bachelor’s degree in a particular field of study, such as business, engineering, or psychology.
College degrees can also include graduate degrees, such as master’s or doctoral degrees, which typically require additional years of study beyond a bachelor’s degree.
The specific requirements for earning a college degree can vary depending on the institution and the program of study, but they typically involve completing a set number of courses, maintaining a certain grade point average, and fulfilling other requirements such as internships, research projects, or thesis papers.
College degrees are generally seen as a marker of academic achievement and are often required or preferred by employers in many fields.
Why do People Go To College?
Attending college is an important decision that can have a significant impact on an individual’s personal and professional life.
While college may not be the right choice for everyone, there are many compelling reasons why an individual should consider pursuing a college degree.
1. It leads to better job prospects and higher earnings throughout a career.
College graduates are more likely to find employment and earn higher salaries than those without a college degree.
Additionally, certain careers require a college degree, such as those in medicine, law, education, and engineering.
By pursuing a college degree, individuals can increase their chances of finding a fulfilling and well-paying job in their chosen field.
2. College Provides opportunities for personal and intellectual growth.
College courses cover a wide range of topics and can expose individuals to new ideas and perspectives that they may not have encountered otherwise.
College can also provide opportunities for individuals to develop important skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication, that are valued by employers across many industries.
3. College can also provide individuals with valuable networking opportunities.
By attending college, individuals can connect with peers, professors, and professionals in their chosen fields. These connections can lead to internships, job opportunities, and valuable advice and mentorship.
4. College can provide a unique and enriching life experience.
Living on campus, participating in extracurricular activities, and attending cultural events can all contribute to personal growth and the development of new interests and passions.
5. It Provides a sense of accomplishment and pride.
Earning a college degree is a significant achievement that requires dedication, hard work, and perseverance. By earning a degree, individuals can demonstrate their commitment to their education and their future.
Why People Do Not Go To College?
There are various reasons why people choose not to get a college degree; some are personal, while others result from external factors created by the society such an individual resides. Here are some reasons why many people do not go to college.
1. You became successful.
As I said earlier, you do not need to attend college to become rich in life. Elon Musk once said,
“I think college is basically for fun and to prove you can do your chores, but they’re not for learning.” But, he added, “You can learn anything for free.”
The majority developed their talents, solved a problem, started a business and eventually did not go to college.
One thing that college does not teach you is how to solve real-life problems. People become successful when they solve real-life problems and can build a business around them.
2. You are not privileged.
Not everyone will have $30,000 Per year disposable income to attend college. The majority are not privileged; like I always say, Life happens to people and alters how they ought to live their lives.
If you doubt me, visit low-income countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia and see yourself.
People living in these regions do not have access to quality universities, student loans and scholarships which may eventually stop them from bagging a college degree.
3. You hate the idea behind schooling.
Most people are privileged, have access to funding, living good lives, but do not prioritise getting a college degree. I think it’s just fine; a quiet number of people like being independent. But, like me, most people are going-getters, bound to succeed at what they do.
This does not apply to everyone, but if you think you have the whole world for the taking, you can as well feel free to explore life outside the school environment.
4. To Become an Entrepreneur.
Being in college only teaches you to become a better team member because you are not trained to identify, let alone solve problems.
Being in business or being in a job, what is better? Does the company need a college degree? It’s a NO.
So many people love to do a job, and some like to do their own business. But, of course, it would help if you had a bachelor’s degree to work in an established company, whereas a business degree is not required to start a business.
You can start your business in which you are interested. However, this era is the prime time to get into your startups.
You become that person who can hire others. You hold all their rights to work for you. But, importantly, you have their resignation and salaries.
5. Fewer Chances of getting a Job.
Please take a second look at the labour market and see how messed up it is to see people who spent more than four years acquiring a degree without hopes of getting a job. According to a survey done by Career Builder, 32% of college students, the people working, reported that they never found a job related to their subjects studied at their college level.
People who graduated are unemployed and don’t get their dream job. After wasting that much time and money, too, you feel more stress, anxiety, and other family pressure.
6. College Education is Outdated.
Most colleges don’t teach anything relevant to the current scenario. They don’t offer practical training and help build the required skills, leaving their curriculums with mostly filled theories.
Most people conclude that becoming a graduate of college is worthless. In reality, when HR managers start recruitment, it becomes challenging to find qualified, skilled, and talented applicants who are recent graduates from the colleges because these entire freshers don’t have any skills, and their knowledge can’t be applied directly to the market.
Most companies go ahead to provide them with training that costs a little to the company, making this practice unbearable for most startups.
7. Student Loan Debt.
High-Income countries provide students with loans to study, If you cannot secure a scholarship, there will be high-interest rates when repaying those loans.
According to Forbes, America holds $1.56 trillion in student loan debt. Over 75% of this loan was collected from 2003 to 2011.
If you take its total, the four-year college education costs you around $100,000-$160,000. Most people would not want to begin a career with tons of debts on their backs, so they shouldn’t try getting an education in the first place.
How Can I Become Succesful Without Going To College?
Many people believe that a college degree is necessary to achieve success in life, but that is not always the case.
There are numerous examples of individuals who have achieved great success without completing college or obtaining a degree.
Whether you are a high school graduate, a dropout, or someone who never attended college, there are ways to achieve success without a college degree. Here are some tips on how to do so:
In today’s digital age, there are countless resources available to those who want to learn. From online courses to free tutorials, the internet has made it easier than ever to acquire new skills and knowledge.
Take advantage of these resources and invest time in self-education. Reading books, watching online courses, and attending seminars are all great ways to develop new skills and knowledge.
Building a strong network of professional contacts is crucial to success in many industries.
Attend events and conferences related to your field of interest, join online groups and forums, and seek out mentorship opportunities. A strong network can provide valuable advice, referrals, and opportunities.
3. Develop Marketable Skills.
Identify the skills that are in high demand in your industry of interest and develop them. For example, if you are interested in the tech industry, learning how to code or becoming proficient in a specific programming language can be highly valuable. Focus on developing skills that are transferable and in high demand.
4. Start Small.
Starting small is key to building momentum and achieving success. Begin by taking on small projects or tasks, building your portfolio or resume, and gradually taking on more challenging and rewarding opportunities.
5. Embrace Failure.
Failure is a natural part of the learning process, and it is essential to success. Embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Use feedback to improve and refine your skills and approach.
6. Cultivate a Growth Mindset.
Cultivate a growth mindset, which is the belief that intelligence and abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work.
Embrace challenges and view them as opportunities to learn and grow. Stay curious, persistent, and open to new ideas and perspectives.
7. Invest in yourself.
The best way to get started in life without getting a college degree is to invest in yourself, and one way to do this is to acquire soft skills that can be monetised.
Nowadays, things have become more accessible because technology has become more viable than ever; fields in IT such as Web development, and Digital marketing, have become high in demand with attractive compensations attached to them.
The good news is that you don’t need a college degree to get started; just anyone with the right state of mind accompanied by dedicated self-tutoring and mentorship can kickstart a career in tech.
Another option available is content creation; we have seen various individuals who built a massive following on social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram and can monetise them by creating content.
8. Try out careers that don’t require degrees.
When attempting to succeed without a college degree, you often get offers for menial jobs that require no qualification; sometimes, these jobs are often derogatory and offer you a small paycheck.
Are you seeking a high-paying job but don’t want to invest in a four-year or graduate degree? You don’t need to have a college degree to get a good job.
A new kind of job emphasises skills over education and work experience. These jobs are known as middle-skill jobs because they do not necessarily require a four-year college degree (or an extensive work history).
Often, anyone can get the skills they need for the job through vocational training, a certificate program, an apprenticeship, or a two-year degree program.
Anyone can get started with this career and get paid well; all you need is to prove that you know the job.
9. Learn how to sell and negotiate.
Like I always tell people, the world is a marketplace, and it’s either you are sold to, or you sell to others.
Like a football pitch, there are two kinds of people, the spectator and the performers; one gets value, while the other gets entertained.
You have to decide where you want to be; those who become celebrated in life are sales-oriented and have been able to convince many people to buy from them. Learning to be a good salesperson is essential because it improves your listening skills.
You become a much better communicator who is critical in all aspects of life. It’s not just about selling a product for your job or company.
When you’re in a sales role, every person you speak with will be different. So as you have those conversations, you’ll learn about your communication style and see where you need to improve and learn to communicate with various people.
Selling is a skill that everyone should learn; sales are everything; as said earlier, it’s either you are selling or sold to.
There are various ways to acquire skills in sales; it all starts with understanding human psychology and is accompanied by the use of technology such as social media, search engine optimisation and many more.
I wrote a comprehensive guide on how to get started with digital marketing; click the link to the article to get started.
10. Expand your network.
Starting life without a degree causes so many things to happen to you, one of which involves the kind of connection you already have. You did not go to school for one reason or the other; bear in mind that it will impact your existing network.
The secret to networking is not to attend a networking event and pass out as many business cards as possible.
It’s not meeting as many people as possible in hopes something will work out. Instead, you need to concentrate on the people you know will be able to make a difference in your career.
It would help if you built relationships with people in the same industry as you. Also, you don’t always have to gain something in a networking relationship.
In networking situations, people expect you to ask them for help. If you turn that around and offer some support, your networking partner will be grateful and want to return the favour. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are tools that you can use to connect personally to different people in your industry.
11. Find a mentor.
To be successful in life, you need to link up with someone who has done what you intend to do now.
A mentor acts as an advisor and support person for someone less experienced. Traditionally, the association is between an older team member and a younger one for career and business development.
When trying to figure things out on your own, you tend to make lots of mistakes, and without feedback, you become frustrated.
For that reason, having a mentor who’s both an objective third party and an advocate for your growth and development is crucial.
Mentorships can develop leadership skills such as listening, compassion and giving and receiving feedback. Participants develop these skills by using them in the relationship. These soft skills are essential for career success.
Without goals, a mentee has no direction and no plan to get where they want to go. A mentor helps keep them on track and responsible for reaching their goals. In addition, it provides the motivation needed for mentees to work at attaining their goals.
Along with developing leadership skills, having a mentor to advise and guide you can increase your confidence and help develop problem-solving skills.
12. Read, read and become well-read.
You have to figure out when you want to be successful; even after acquiring a college degree, you still have to figure out those things yourself. There is no other way to figure out these things without becoming an addicted reader of books.
One of the most obvious benefits of reading every day is learning. Since the beginning of civilisation, we have grown and developed mentally.
The importance of reading books is now more than ever since. But unfortunately, not everything is available in digitalised form.
If you are not convinced about why reading books is essential, this might interest you. When you develop the habit of reading, you enhance your vocabulary. Reading any book can improve your speech to an impressive extent.
Having excellent command over the language is known to help many in their professional and academic life.
Moreover, with better vocabulary knowledge, you get to fill yourself with self-confidence when sitting in a group with a knowledgeable audience.
And unlike a YouTube video or podcast, books provide access to in-depth knowledge.
Success-driven books such as Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Think and Grow Rich (Napoleon Hills).
13. Leverage the power of the internet.
The internet holds a wealth of information and unending opportunities for everyone to access; you can be in an underdeveloped country and still have access to such opportunities.
The evolution of the internet was dramatic and continues to evolve, with more people spending more time on the internet every year.
Levering the internet for your business and career is no longer an inexpensive option to reach a highly targeted customer base but a necessity for businesses of all sizes and market niches.
With the combination of traditional marketing efforts with newer digital marketing options in the rt way, any business optimises performance.
A website can also serve as a great marketing tool. It gives you a platform to showcase knowledge in your niche, allowing you to become an expert and an advantage over the competition.
A website will also allow you to educate your visitors on your products and services and build a reputation for your business.
There are various opportunities available to you on the internet, one of which I wrote comprehensively in the article below.
14. Get a certification.
Certificate programs are short-term training programs that often take less time than a degree; you can earn some certificates in as little time as a couple of weeks or a month.
They also tend to cost less money; some even come for free. Certificate programs can help you develop the skills and experiences necessary for a particular job.
Certifications provide people with the proper knowledge and skills to land a job. As a result, employers increasingly demand professional accreditation and a degree from college graduates.
Also, more certified professionals with only a high school diploma are entering the job market and successfully filling the need for skilled labour in high-income industries like IT and other industries that require skilled labour.
Most certifications are in-depth and niche-specific. All of the attention is on one field, and so is what you learn; this makes certification more effective than getting an actual college degree.
While attending college is not the right choice for everyone, it can provide numerous benefits and opportunities for personal and professional growth.
By pursuing a college degree, individuals can improve their job prospects, develop important skills, build valuable connections, and enjoy a unique and enriching life experience.
Finally, achieving success without a college degree is possible with dedication, hard work, and a willingness to learn and grow.
Focus on developing marketable skills, building a strong network, embracing failure, and cultivating a growth mindset.
Remember that success is not always a straight path, and setbacks and failures are a natural part of the journey. Stay persistent, and success will follow.
Are you seeking a great place to start exploring success? I recommend you do so on the internet, as it has more than 4 billion people currently living on it.
I wrote a comprehensive guide on this blog on the best online business to start and make money.
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