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Careers You Can Start Without A 4-Year Degree and Benefits Of A Degree

Careers You Can Start Without A 4-Year Degree and Benefits Of A Degree

Among Baby Boomers and members of the Greatest Generation who got to get a college degree, career success and high income tended to happen a lot. As a result, it almost became a national mantra that this was the path to having a good career as an adult. Still, there are career possibilities you can explore that don’t require a four-year degree.

Massage Therapist

Certification standards and licensing requirements vary from one state to the next, but you don’t need to bury yourself in student loan debt to get started with this career. The massage industry was once very limited and expensive, but it’s now affordable to the masses and craved quite a bit. Learn how to use your hands and knowledge to help people unwind and relax from their physical tension or rehab wounds and injuries that have been holding them back in life.


In an age of digital content and mass-manufactured products, there is a strong demand for handcrafted pieces or even people who can repurpose, fix, and enhance current wood objects. You’ll need a workspace and tools, but you can learn the skill necessary as an apprentice or just by following online tutorials.

Pest Control

Whether you use the internet for entry-level education or online pest control CEU classes to keep your career going, being a pest control technician or consultant isn’t something you need to go to college for. The market for this industry is as broad as you can get, considering how it’s practically every home and business in your community.

Personal Care Aide

A growing and aging population means more individuals who need help handling their daily life activities. Rather than entering a care facility or nursing home, many are hiring personal care aides to help them with their life while they can remain in their own homes.

Wind Turbine Technician

Wind turbine technicians do need some training and certification in certain markets. However, they don’t need a full bachelor’s degree to start work. Given the exploding growth in the renewable resources sector, this career path will need people to fill its ranks.

Make Money Without Student Loan Debt

Many who go to college or university have to finance their tuition, room, and board. As a result, they enter their professional lives saddled by massive student loan debt. Using one of these careers you can start without a degree leaves your income unencumbered.

Higher education

Continuing education is becoming increasingly valuable in today’s economy, with numerous workplaces and sectors requiring more than just a university degree. Professionals are expected to keep up to date with trends in their field and to gain additional qualifications that can benefit the business as a whole. Holistic online courses can provide a good starting point, especially when an individual wants to shift fields slightly or gain greater general knowledge about a particular area. Professional qualifications and certifications provide concrete evidence of a practical or professional skill that has been learned and demonstrated. Finally, university and postgraduate courses can be a further step towards increasing the education level of individuals and the workplace as a whole.  

General Online Courses

A number of different places provide online courses. These websites offer a wide variety of academic courses that can be taken online, either self-paced or with deadlines. A recent study performed by the UK National Institute of Adult Continuing Education found that all forms of continuing adult education lead to “a greater likelihood of finding a job and/or staying in a job”, as well as improvements in health and better social relationships. General online courses can be a good starting point as an introduction to adult learning, especially if you have not tried anything of this nature before. 

Professional Qualifications

Further steps can be taken in continuing education by undertaking a professional qualification that is relevant to your field. For example, many people undertake project management qualifications or CompTIA courses. Project management includes starting a project, organizing and planning it, carrying it out monitoring progress, and finishing it. These skills are extremely valuable in many workplaces, with one study finding that certified PMPs earn 23% higher on average than those without the certification. CompTIA courses are also extremely worthwhile, with an analysis in 2015 finding that those with the CompTIA A+ certification earned 12% more than computer technicians without it. A CompTIA A+ online course can be taken to obtain this certification easily, while you are already studying something else or working in a job.

University Education

Finally, undertaking further university education is an excellent way to continue your education as an adult, as it can help you to refine your subject-area knowledge at a deeper level or to switch career paths by studying for a Master’s degree in a related field. The numbers of mature and returning students are increasing in the UK, with over 100,000 older applicants being accepted into universities in 2014. 

Undertaking continuing education as an adult can be a worthwhile and exciting step to expand your knowledge and gain new academic and professional skills. Attaining new qualifications can boost your health, increase your job prospects and help you to continue moving forward in your career. It is something that also builds a lot of confidence as it is no easy feat to successfully complete a degree. Not only does it come with clout in the workplace, but it is something that you can be proud of for years to come.

Though a school is not for everyone, depending on your field of work, you may want to consider taking the time to complete a higher degree. Though times are changing and it seems that a degree isn’t always an answer, there are still career opportunities that could be missed in certain fields if you don’t have the qualifications. Take your time to do your due diligence to learn more about the field you are working in. In many cases, it comes with a pay raise and a higher status in the business or corporation you are working for.

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