If you have always dreamed of living the American dream, but have decided against college to do so, then you may be wondering if this decision was the right one or not. After all, college graduates earn more than high school graduates, so doesn’t that mean that going to college is worth it? In some ways, yes. But what if your dream career doesn’t require an expensive degree? What if you could succeed without paying tens of thousands of dollars and taking on years of student loan debt? If that sounds good to you, don’t worry—it’s possible.
Prioritize the skills you learn
While there is no direct correlation between a student's GPA and future success, learning to prioritize skills does pay off. If you want to be successful without a college degree, you need to learn to identify your strengths and weaknesses so that you can determine which skills will help you be successful. Different careers value different skills. Depending on what career path you choose, some of those skills might be irrelevant or even detrimental. For example, perhaps your job requires that you do well in math classes but don't speak English fluently yet—you'll probably want to focus on learning English rather than furthering your math abilities.
College isn’t for everyone
Sometimes a college degree isn’t right for everyone. Some people are more self-motivated and thrive in learning environments that don’t necessarily involve school. Others simply can’t afford it or feel they’re not ready to commit to a formal education yet. Whatever your reasons, if you want to succeed without college, you have options.
Study things that interest you
There are a few things that all employers look for, regardless of whether or not they require a college degree. They want people who are willing to work hard, have good problem-solving skills, and show initiative. These qualities can be developed outside of college—you don’t have to have gone to class in order to develop these skills. In fact, many colleges actually teach students how to memorize information rather than how to solve problems. If you’re interested in a career that doesn’t require a degree, it might be worth your time to take classes at your local community college so you can learn some of these valuable soft skills.
Start your own business
In today’s economy, a college degree is not a requirement for success. In fact, many entrepreneurs have started their own businesses without graduating from college at all. Take Richard Branson, for example: He dropped out of high school to start his first business. Meanwhile, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg didn’t finish their degrees either—and they did just fine. If you want to achieve your dreams without a college degree, don’t let anyone tell you that it can’t be done.
Get an internship in your field of interest
By offering to work for free, you’ll be able to discover what it’s like to work in your chosen field. You’ll learn firsthand how a business operates and you may even get a chance to impress some of your future co-workers by taking on tasks that they normally do! Getting an internship is another great way to network with others in your industry, which will give you access to more job opportunities. Having an internship on your resume when it comes time for graduation can also help you stand out from other applicants.
Do well in high school
If you want to go to college, that’s great! But not having a college degree doesn’t mean you can’t succeed. Earning good grades in high school is an excellent way to prove that you are capable of becoming successful—and some employers will actually prioritize candidates who don’t have a college degree if they know those candidates already possess self-motivation and work ethic. Other things that can help: volunteering and participating in extracurricular activities, taking classes outside of school, asking for letters of recommendation from teachers or employers, or working during summers or breaks between terms. All of these tactics show dedication and effort—traits valued by employers everywhere.
Develop leadership skills
Leadership skills are vital for success, whether you’re heading up a Fortune 500 company or your own department at work. Taking on leadership roles is an easy way to demonstrate your abilities and gain experience in a new field. Not sure where to start? Think about volunteer opportunities, which can help you develop your skills without tying up your wallet or quitting your day job. Your local Boys & Girls Club or an animal shelter may be able to use extra help; even something as simple as tutoring after school or offering to teach a reading class at a nearby library can provide valuable experience while also providing positive benefits for those around you.
Don’t let others set your goals for you. Make up your own mind about what you want from life.
It’s easy to let others set your goals for you. Maybe you want a nice job at a big company. Or maybe you want to make lots of money as an entrepreneur. People often dream their lives away without ever actually thinking about what they would like to achieve and why they wish to achieve it. It’s also dangerous when people set other people’s goals for them. Friends, family, mentors—they can all exert tremendous influence over your decisions and actions. You can definitely learn a lot from others, but be careful that you don’t let yourself become another person’s goal instead of setting your own goals for yourself!
There are tons of factors involved in becoming successful without a college degree. Successful business people all have one thing in common: they didn’t give up and always strive to be better. If you want to succeed, you can’t give up! You need to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Always look for ways to improve yourself; there is no I can’t do it, I don’t have enough experience. If that were true, then everyone would fail at everything because everyone is inexperienced when starting something new. It takes time, effort and determination to become successful without a college degree but it is possible if you work hard enough at it!