Going to a traditional 4-year college isn’t for everyone.
Skipping out on the traditional idea of college isn’t such a far-fetched idea. Millions of young adults leave high school and decide they want to do something different, and if you’re one of them you’ll need options.
There are plenty of options for you to choose from.
Below you’ll find 5 of the most popular alternatives to traditional college. You may just find the perfect one for you right here.
1. Community College
Before committing to a 4-year college or a field of work, community college gives you the opportunity to get your bearings at a more affordable price.
Community college is generally a 2-year program that puts you on the path to an associates degree or trains you for a job. Once you finish your courses at community college, you can transfer to a 4-year college or head straight into the workforce.
If your hesitation to go to traditional college has to do with cost, community college can help with that.
While you’re at community college, you’re earning credits toward the degree of your choice. Once you graduate, you can apply those credits to a bachelor’s degree if you choose, meaning you won’t have to spend as much time in traditional college.
Related info: How To Prepare Yourself When Going To College
2. Trade School
Skilled labor is in high demand. There are always jobs readily available for anyone that takes the time to learn a skill that can’t be done by just anyone. And these jobs are incredibly satisfying to those that do them.
Attending trade school is one of the ways you can start a career for yourself without attending a 4-year college.
Jobs such as welding, construction, masonry, and metal work are always on the lookout for skilled students to fill positions. There has been a labor shortage for a long time because trade school just wasn’t as popular as college.
The truth of the matter is you are much more likely to be guaranteed a job once you leave trade school than if you go to a traditional college.
If you enjoy working with your hands and you don’t want to go through the hassle of earning a degree, this is probably the route for you!
3. Online Classes
There are a variety of online learning opportunities in this day and age to help anyone take classes at their own pace and on their own time.
You can find classes on every subject that range from a few hours to online colleges that get you all the way to your degree. There are even completely free college-level courses offered by MOOCs that you can take from the comfort of your own home.
Online classes are a fantastic option for anyone that already has a job, parents wanting to go back to school, or people that can’t attend college for any reason. They open up doors that were never available before.
By taking classes online you save yourself a lot of money and stress in the long run.
4. Join the Military
Going into the military directly after high school is always an option for those that meet the requirements.
Not only will you start earning a salary for your service, but you are also guaranteed to have a job for as long as you are enlisted. Once you retire, they often train you for another job on your way out.
Do you still want to get an education after high school?
While you’re serving in the military, your tuition is taken care of if you decide to earn a degree. You can take advantage of online learning so you don’t have to worry about going anywhere.
Let’s face it, serving your country is never a bad option.
Related Info: Higher Educational Institutes for International Students
A lot of people learn better by doing than by sitting in a classroom.
Apprenticeships and fellowships give you the opportunity to work your way up in the world by jumping straight into the workforce. You get paid a salary to work alongside some of the best minds in numerous fields to learn how to do a certain job without going to college.
Fellowships work in the same way, providing you funds to put your ideas into action.
However, there are a limited number of apprenticeships and fellowships available. You have to apply and they are extremely competitive to get into.
You might find yourself on a waitlist.
As many times as you’ve heard that college is the right way to go after high school, that just isn’t the truth. There isn’t one right way for everyone.
You know yourself best and you have to choose the path that’s right for you.
Explore as many ways of learning as you please. Try out one of these alternatives to traditional college or try them all. Don’t let yourself be limited by what you’re “supposed” to do.
Chase your dreams in whatever way feels good and you will achieve them.