College Isn’t for Me. How Will I Get a Good Job?

If you always heard that you need a college degree to get ahead, you’re not alone.

Many people believe that the key to success in life –  and the key to getting a really great job – is to attend college. So if you’re thinking, “college isn’t for me,” you might be concerned that not earning a four-year degree will prevent you from ever earning a good living.

Well guess what: You can earn a good living without a college degree.

Going to college is just one way to get a good job and start a fulfilling lifelong career, but it isn’t the only way. There are college graduates who have great jobs… and college graduates who regret their career choices.

Likewise, there are people who never went to college who also have enjoyable, high-earning careers. And there are non-college graduates who don’t like their jobs. It can really go either way.

If you’re not going to attend college, that’s ok. But you need to find career fields that:

  • Are currently in need of workers
  • Don’t require a degree to get your foot in the door
  • Pay well starting off
  • Provide you with valuable skills and experience
  • Offer great advancement potential to people who stick with it
  • Pay extremely well over time

For many people without a college degree, getting a job like that might seem impossible. But it isn’t. Not by a long shot.

What do I do if college isn’t for me?

There might be a few different career fields that check all of the boxes listed above, but we’ll focus on one of them: construction.

The construction industry does not require workers to have a college degree. Not only that – construction workers are nearly always in high demand!

The pay for construction work is good. Workers start off earning a high hourly wage and often qualify for health insurance and retirement benefits from their employer. Advancement and pay increases come quickly in construction. It’s common for a worker who starts out as an hourly laborer with no experience to advance to a salaried position in less than a year!

And from there, things just keep getting better. As you gain more experience and develop specialized construction skills, you can:

  • Command a higher salary
  • Move around in the industry and try different jobs
  • Advance to a supervisory role, if desired
  • Start your own business and apply your trade the way you want to

There really aren’t any restrictions! The construction industry welcomes people of all backgrounds and genders, so there really are opportunities for everyone.

But wait. Isn’t construction a lot of hard work in the heat (or the cold)?

Sometimes, on some projects, yes. Construction workers do labor outdoors, and they have to do so under a variety of conditions.

But you probably won’t always be working outdoors in harsh conditions if you stay around and develop your skills. Over time, you can advance to managerial or supervisory roles. Part of your day might be spent supervising others on the site; other times, you’ll be working inside an office.

The idea that construction work is always rough, dirty and dangerous is one of the biggest myths about the industry.

Another myth is that it’s time-consuming and expensive to get trained for a construction job. It’s not.

Anyone can train for a job in construction

People of all ages and backgrounds come to the construction industry.

Some complete community or technical college programs first, and that’s fine! Those programs might take up a whole school semester or more. Some will take at least a couple of years to complete – and yes, you or someone will have to pay for it!

Another option is a training program just for construction. At Construction Ready, we offer a 20-day construction training program that prepares you for your first job in the industry. The training is fully funded by private donations and government grants, so you pay nothing to get trained!

As part of Construction Ready, you’re introduced to employers who are hiring. You’ll interview during the program, and 97% of our graduates already have a job lined up before the training is over.

Is that training easy? Absolutely not. We have high standards and ask a lot of our participants. The program is rigorous, and you’ll be working hard! Construction companies think highly of our program, which is why they’re eager to recruit individuals who complete it.

When you finish Construction Ready, you’re showing your future employer that you’re ready for the challenges of a construction site.

Still asking “what if college isn’t for me?”

If you are, that’s ok. Choosing a career field can be a tough decision. The truth is, there are several great-paying jobs for people without college degrees. Construction-related jobs, such as welding, plumbing, and carpentry are among them.

These professionals command a high wage because they have specialized skills. They didn’t acquire those skills overnight – they worked in the construction industry and learned on the job. Over time, they honed those skills and became more and more valuable on the job market.

You can do the exact same thing. Not because you went to college, but because you chose an in-demand profession, worked your way up the ranks, and took on more responsibility over time.

That’s how you can get a great job and embark on a rewarding career, even if college isn’t really your thing.

To learn more about Construction Ready or to sign up for an information session, get in touch with us today!

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