Starting a career is one of the hardest things to do. The decisions you make in the early days could affect the direction and success of your career. If you’re hoping for a prosperous job in the future, then building your career now could be one of the best ways to do it. So what is the answer? Do you spend tens of thousands at college now, or start at the bottom with a reputable employer?
The answer may lie with the career you’re seeking. Certain roles and industry sectors demand a minimum college education. You learn on the job later. Perhaps you can take advantage of summer work or weekend work with a good prospective employer to bolster your resume? Of course, the pressure of working as well as studying and attending classes is a lot to take on. And all of it can cost you a lot of money.
There are some companies and organizations that offer you education and training from day one. If you can prove your interest and talent without a degree, you should have no problem getting in at a junior level. From there you might work your way up with promotions. Some hop from company to company to make their way up the career ladder. This can be rewarding to a point, but without extensive experience in a single role, you may soon find you’re unable to reach higher.
Of course, it’s not just about the company or the degree. There are lots of other things you need to bring to your career. If you have any language barriers for your preferred career or employer, deal with those sooner rather than later. Reputable English courses can do wonders for your resume if this isn’t your first or primary language. And second languages can be valuable in the business world. You may not realize how good it looks to have a secondary language on your resume, especially American Sign Language!
One of the best things you can do when you want to pursue a particular career is to make contact with people that are doing just that. Find out how they got where they are. Ask for tips and advice. Did they need their degree? Could they have succeeded by working their way up? There is no doubt that a degree education is highly respected. But there is also no doubt that many people with BA or MA after their name still struggle to find the salary they thought they would earn.
Google is a font of information. FaceBook has thousands of groups full of people who know a lot about your career interests. Tapping into this and other internet resources could be an education in itself. Do you need the letters after your name? Yes, if you want the very best, accurate, and useful information relevant to your field. Will it help your career? Yes, if you’re applying for graduate positions. But maybe not so much if you’re after a lower level role to get you started. Are you going to college to kickstart your career? That is up to you. Good luck for the future.
I’m currently in college for graphic design and I’m in my junior year. While going to school full time, I’ve worked part time and also picked up some freelance graphic design gigs in between – and I’ve made dean’s list every semester while in college. If you want to know how I’m able to take on so much and still have good grades, let me know! I’ll make a post all about how I’m able to stay focused, work and get shit done.
I hope the post helped and that it lessened a little bit of your confusion about college, especially if you’re still deciding if college is for you (because in reality, it isn’t for everyone). I would also like to note, that college isn’t going anywhere, it’ll always be waiting for you. Now might not be a good time to go for you for financial or other reasons but in 5 years, it might be a perfect time. Never give up and always follow your dreams loves!
Thanks for reading, as always <3