5 Alternatives to Traditional College and Why You Should Consider Them

5 Alternatives to Traditional College and Why You Should Consider Them
  • Opening Intro -

    You don't need a college degree to know how outrageous student debt has gotten.

    It's becoming more and more tempting to abandon the notion of attending a major University, and this makes deciding your future more difficult than it should be.


You want to be successful and self-sufficient, but you don’t want to be burdened by tens of thousands of dollars of unpaid student loans. Fortunately, college isn’t your only choice – there are plenty of alternatives that will lead you to a career you love and a paycheck you’re proud of.

1. Online Schooling

Many degrees offered by traditional colleges are also offered by online schools. You won’t have to worry about campus life and long commutes if you can attend school from anywhere. Another distinct advantage to opting for online courses is that they simply don’t cost as much. There’s less overhead, and this keeps costs down. You may miss the social aspects of in-person schooling, but the savings are greater than the sacrifice.

2. Volunteer Around the Globe

Travelling to volunteer doesn’t come without costs. You’ll need to pay for your travel while you’re devoting your time to helping others. This seems counterproductive to saving money, but a few volunteer trips with reputable nonprofit organizations can actually help you secure employment within these organizations. Rather than going to college to study for a career in a non profit field, go out and get real-life experience doing the hard work. Real experience will always beat reading about things in books. 

3. Learn a Marketable Skill

Freelancing and remote work are serious jobs. Have you ever been curious about coding, copywriting, editing, or even graphic design? Teach yourself! You don’t need a professor. There are plenty of tutorials and free courses on the internet to provide you with assistance. Practice makes perfect. You don’t need a four year degree to master a single skill. Many companies are glad to employ self-taught individuals who are masters of their craft. Even if they aren’t, you can always freelance.

4. Climb the Career Ladder

Get a part time internship and a part time job. Devote most of your time and energy to the internship. Proving yourself to be a worthy innovator can land you a career that most grads would dream of. Your other option is to work your way up the career ladder by starting with a company that offers plenty of opportunities for advancement. If you climb smart enough, you can jump to more prestigious companies with even better promotion opportunities.

5. Get Certified

Getting a trade certificate is less time and less money than a full degree, and you’ll be able to join the workforce sooner. You won’t have to pay for general education classes and worry about credit counts when the entirety of your education is focused on leading you to a career. Depending on the trade you choose, you’ll be able to wrap up your schooling in either a required amount of hours, or a few short months. Some careers have multiple relevant certificate options, and getting several will improve your qualifications.

The world is a lot different from the way it used to be. We’re stuck in the mindset that traditional college is the only way to make something of ourselves. It’s just not true anymore. The kinds of professionals we need and the way the workforce is moving have shifted our educational needs. Find the right opportunity for you, and go for it.

David Grover
David Grover is a Communications Manager atTimeo, a useful tool for businesses in the UK. He’s also a freelance career coach, who’s always eager to share his experience. In his free time he enjoys traveling.

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Categories: Career Planning