You don't need a college degree to earn big
According to Forbes, the average student loan debt for people who graduated in 2018 was $29,200. Considering how long it takes to pay off that amount of debt, it’s understandable if you’re wondering whether you really need a college degree to earn a large income. The answer is: you don’t — as long as you’re willing to work hard, gain experience, and network under your own steam.
Not every high-paying job requires a degree
One of the sectors where degrees aren’t always required is technology. The Balance Careers lists 10 high paying jobs that don’t require a degree. The top three are:
- Computer security analyst: $99,730 per year
- Database manager: $93,750 per year
- Computer programmer: $86,550 per year
When it comes to these jobs, a significant number of employers are more likely to look at your experience than your education. This is in part due to the fact that technology develops at a rapid pace and skills learned in college can quickly become obsolete.
If you want to work in tech, chances are you can learn the skills you need by doing online courses, participating in online bootcamps, and working on projects in GitHub.
There are also other high-paying jobs you can do without a degree. For example, in the healthcare sector, you can become a diagnostic medical sonographer and earn around $68,750 per year. Or you could become a radiologic technician and make $62,280 per year. Both of these occupations can be done with an associate degree or even a certificate.
The longer you work, the higher your earning potential
Regardless of the occupation you choose, it’s important to keep in mind that your entry-level earnings are not the same as what you could be earning five, 10, and 15 years from now. If you work hard and keep advancing to more senior positions, your salary should increase accordingly.
Becoming an entrepreneur
Did you know that Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Sir Richard Branson didn’t graduate from college? Yet they’re all billionaires. So how did they do it?
Business Insider interviewed a number of successful entrepreneurs to find out what they believed contributed to their success. Overall, they agreed that hard work, learning and using new skills, working for mentors, acquiring real-world experience, and networking were critical to their rise to the top. And on top of that, they were passionate about working for themselves and doing what they enjoyed doing most.
Clearly, you don’t need a degree to earn the big bucks. But you do have to be willing to put in the effort and the hours needed to acquire the skills, experience, and connections that will increase your earning potential.
Nothing should prevent anyone from achieving their full potential in work and in life. At Kelly, we work hard to connect talented, dedicated people to jobs where they can thrive, and a college degree isn’t always required. So—degree or not—if you’re ready to find what’s next in your career, start by checking out our trending jobs or searching our database of open positions, which are constantly being updated.
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