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10 Ways to Educate Yourself Without Going to College

10 Ways to Educate Yourself Without Going to College

If you listen to any college professor, they would go on about how critical it is to obtain a college degree. Is obtaining a degree worth the time or money it takes to earn or is there an alternative choice? There are quite a few people in the world today that never made it through college and yet are incredibly successful. Look at Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Both have truly made a name for themselves but have no college degrees. Many parents push their high school graduates into college right after graduation when their child has no idea on what they want to do with the rest of their lives. This decision often costs thousands of dollars and lots of precious time. College is not meant for everyone, especially right after high school graduation. And for many, college is not needed. As someone once said, “Education is critical, college is not.” Here are 10 ways to educate yourself without going to college.

  1. Learn a trade. If you are someone that likes to work with their hands, you might consider learning a trade, such as construction or masonry to name a couple. By diving right into a trade, you can learn valuable lessons from your leaders or peers. You might consider becoming an apprentice or attending a vocational school.
  2. Get a full time job. Perhaps you are not someone that likes to work with your hands, but have other interests instead. By finding a job in a company that has advancement potential you can work your way up the ladder. You want to avoid working for a company that only offers part time or seasonal work as there may not be ways to grow with the company. Find a company that interests you and that you can see yourself spending time growing with.
  3. If you are not quite sure what career or direction you want to take, volunteer. By volunteering for different organizations, such as Americorps or Student Conservation Association, you can learn more about yourself and what your passions are.
  4. By traveling across the country or across the world, you can discover so much about yourself and about what you want to do with your life. Traveling doesn’t always require a large amount of money, especially if you look into different options. You might consider working for a cruise line or maybe finding a nanny position in another country. Either way, traveling can be a great way to educate yourself about how other cultures live and grow.
  5. Attend a Technical college.   If you are thinking about becoming certified, a technical college may be the way to go. It is a lot cheaper and requires less time to achieve a certificate from a technical school than to get a degree from a college. If you decide that you want a degree, many colleges accept credits from technical schools.
  6. Enlist in the military. Many people have educated themselves by joining the armed forces. While enlisted, there are many opportunities to educate yourself through life lessons and through training. The military will help you discover who you are and will help with college costs if you choose to attend college.
  7. Grow your Peer community. There are many various interest groups online as well as social events that you can become part of to meet people from different walks of life. By growin your social circle, you may meet people that can share their wisdom from their own experiences.
  8. Start a small business. It doesn’t take much money to start a small business and what better way to learn life lessons than to start a business. No matter if your business is a success or a failure, you can learn valuable lessons that can be applied to future endeavors.
  9. Recruit a Mentorship Team. If there is a career that you are interested in, seek out professionals from that particular career that can give you words of wisdom and advice. They may be able to share some of their secrets of success or some of their failures that will give you an idea of what or what not to do.
  10. Share your goal online. If you have an idea of which way to go in life, then sharing your goals online through social media may help you on your way. Your family and friends may have advice or can encourage you to take the next step. They may recommend some ideas or may introduce you to people that have more experience.

There are many ways to educate yourself without having a college degree. While college can teach you some things, there are many things that cannot be learned in a classroom but can only be learned through trial and error or life experience. Many people have amazing success stories and have never entered a college classroom. They either knew how to educate themselves or how to surround themselves with educated people. College isn’t the only option and for many, it isn’t the right one.

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5 Ways Education Pays Off

5 Ways Education Pays Off

Several questions come to mind when graduating from high school or even during adulthood. Perhaps you have asked yourself if you should attend college or is it worth the money to get a degree in a particular field of study. Then there is always the question of what degree you should strive for, a bachelor’s, master’s, or even a doctoral degree. Is a college degree even worth the time or money it takes in achieving one? Studies are showing that a degree, even an associate’s degree, is well worth the time and money. Here are five ways education pays off.

  1. More money over a lifetime. According to studies done in 2014, weekly earnings increase with each degree earned.  Just by earning a high school diploma, median earnings grow from $488 to $668 a week.   A person with a Bachelor’s degree may earn around $1101 weekly. This is more than $400 increase over a person with just a high school diploma. In the long run, a person with a bachelor’s degree is making more money than someone who only has a high school diploma


  1. Less likely to be Unemployed. In the same study as previously mentioned, the unemployment rate decreased with each degree earned. The unemployement rate is 6% among people with only a high school diploma. The rate decreases to 3.5 percent for people with a bachelor’s degree.


  1. Better employee benefits and working conditions. A person with a bachelor’s degree is more likely to receive better benefits than someone who doesn’t hold a degree.


  1. Learn skills that employers are looking for. While attending college, a person will learn more than just what they read in a textbook. Some skills learned in a college setting are critical thinking, teamwork, writing, computer literacy, research, and time management. These skills are very valuable and worthwhile.


  1. May be required in the future. According to studies, by 2018, two thirds of occupations will require a college degree. With other countries striving to achieve excellence and focusing on improving themselves, Americans are falling behind. It isn’t that Americans are not doing well, but other countries are stepping up their game. Enrolling more Americans in college is a key factor in keeping America competitive.


Earning a college degree may seem difficult, but education is an investment in your future. There are many college options available and opportunities for financial aid. So while in the beginning, there is a cost to attend college and a need to invest time, in the end, having a college degree is well worth it. And the higher you strive, the better the outcome.

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