Jobs Without A Degree

by Samuel
(USA)

I do not have a college degree and have been working in the same industry for 10 years. I can't realistically afford to go to school full time right now so, are there ways for me to change careers without having a degree?

What options are available to someone without a degree?

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Jobs Without A Degree
by: Cherry

Well, I guess the answer to your question depends in part on what new careers you may be thinking of. Certainly there are some areas of work where you would definitely need to undertake further study - medicine or law for example.

But there are also many where this is not the case. There can be a real advantage in emphasising your breadth of experience, your wide range of skills and a positive can do attitude. These qualities can often count for more than paper qualifications and they do not necessarily come from higher education. Let's face it, we have all met people who have got reams of qualifications on paper and yet who lack the ability to get on with others, co-operate well in teams and who seem to have no basic common sense at all.

How far have you got with thinking about alternative careers?

If you have set your heart on something that definitely requires further study, your next steps could include a) exploring pt or evening study options and b) thinking about possible alternative sources of funding eg charities and trust funds c) starting to save, d) looking at lower level work experience in the general area you are considering to get your foot in the door.

That last point is worth looking at more closely. If you want to become a doctor, for example and you genuinely feel it would be too big a stretch financially and/or academically, then there are many other jobs in the healthcare field that could be a good match for you. Exactly what skills do you want to use and what fulfilment are you seeking? There may be different ways of meeting these requirements of your new career.

If you want to explore the options available to someone without a degree, take a look at the O*Net website http://www.onetonline.org/find/
If you browse jobs and then look at the area titled Job Zone, you can search job ideas by the amount of preparation needed for entry. This should poiunt you in the right direction.

And finally, it is worth asking yourself a challenging question. Is a degree really essential or are you perhaps using the idea of further study as an 'excuse' which allows you to stay put, while you claim that there is an impossible barrier blocking your way forward?

If you found the perfect new career and there was no need for any further study, would you really quit your current job and start over tomorrow?

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