How To Be Successful Without College – My Two Cents

College may be an incredible experience, and earning a degree can be the proudest achievement of one’s life. However, it’s simply not for everyone. Fortunately, you can still make it big even without higher education. So I’ve loaded up this post with tips on being successful without college.

Keep reading if you’re put off by universities’ expensive costs or unsure how to live a happy life without one. 

Yes, you can still be successful without a college diploma.

Fortunately, there are numerous avenues for success. Here are a few pointers.

how to be successful without college

How To Be Successful Without College – Things To Consider 

1. There are career paths that don’t require college degrees. 

Are you curious about your prospects of succeeding without a college diploma?

Many occupations, such as air traffic controller, dental assistant, detective, and even teacher, allow you to train while working. 

You’ll get paid to become an expert in your chosen field.

Other professions, such as entrepreneur, stylist, start-up CEO, sports coach, and many others, do not require a degree.

Moreover, even historically, degree-required jobs are becoming more accessible to non-degree holders. 

In the United Kingdom, publishing company Penguin Random House no longer requires job applicants to have a college diploma.

The corporation expects that this will result in a more diverse workforce and book collection.

Related Reading: Should I go to college – Read My Opinion Here.

2. Widen your network. 

Attend networking events, participate in online webinars and hangouts, and identify prominent people on social media to communicate with.

Use Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter to create your reputation and become a well-known name on their social media feeds. 

Before you know it, you’ll be invited to conferences and social gatherings.

These are excellent opportunities to learn how to be successful without going to college.

You could learn first-hand from industry experts. 

3. Read, read, and then read some more. 

Reading will undoubtedly provide the solution to how to be successful without going to college.

Many college courses necessitate a substantial amount of reading. 

You may access everything from textbooks to research papers to daily business news for free.

Yes, you can do so without paying tuition or enrolling in a formal program. 

Get a library card and go to your local municipal library to order or search for the books you need.

A Google search of your specific field of interest will yield a reading list.

There may even be used books for sale in the bookshop on your local university campus.

You can visit these shops even if you are not a student.

4. Take advantage of the internet. 

Many people are now making a lot of money working online, whether as freelance writers or virtual PAs.

Some work as social media influencers without having any unique talents or even a college degree. 

Many businesses will also encourage you to participate in online group training days and reward you for your efforts.

You’ll have regular opportunities to meet other online colleagues and enjoy the benefits.

video about side hustles for college students

5. Get on-the-job training. 

I’m sure you know someone who began at the bottom and worked their way up.

It could be your local hairdresser who began by washing hair for cash tips.

It could be a DIY repair person turned construction pro.

In many corporate careers, the same is true. 

Retail managers and consultants, for example, frequently began their careers on the shop floor.

Top negotiators frequently began their careers answering phones. 

Inquire with your current boss whether there are any training classes you may enroll in while continuing with your current position. 

One or two classes a week may be enough to help you develop new skills and qualifications.

These aspects can help you advance your career and give you a stronger sense of purpose over time.

6. Pursue an online degree instead. 

You might be having trouble getting an education because of time constraints or the cost of a college diploma.

Then consider an online degree program like those offered by UoPeople

These programs allow you to study for a degree from the comfort of your own home, tuition-free.

Professors can focus on each student’s needs because students are taught in small online classes of about 25 individuals. 

Plus, from the start of their studies, each UoPeople student is assigned a personal Program Advisor. 

The Program Advisor provides individualized support to the student.

They answer any questions students may have, help them choose courses, and encourage them throughout their studies. 

All of this might make the concept of pursuing a degree more intriguing and realistic when it previously wasn’t. 

7. Invent something. 

Develop something that makes a business more money if you want to progress without a degree.

This will propel you to the top of some companies’ priority lists. 

If you’re starting in life and think you can invent something that the market wants, you’re golden.

I’m sure you’ve seen the success stories from SharkTank.

8. Develop your sales and negotiation skills. 

Many positions in the commercial sector are based on a person’s ability to acquire new business and negotiate better prices.

Even self-employed artists, musicians, and business owners must be masters of this game!

The good news is that learning does not require a college diploma.

Instead, you can begin to acquire these skills in the most basic manner.

You could advertise discarded clothing and outdated electronics on eBay or set up a pop-up shop at a vintage market. 

If you need to re-sign a rental contract soon, take advantage of the opportunity to practice your bargaining abilities.

Make an initial offer and playoff how the other person responds. 

Read up on the art of negotiating on the internet and put your talents to the test right away.

Knowing how to negotiate a fair deal in and out of the workplace will help you immensely. 

9. Find yourself a mentor. 

Ask someone you idolize to be your mentor.

Yeah, they may only have time to meet for coffee every so often.

However, merely knowing they are looking for you will drive you to manage your career and personal life. 

So, how can you persuade them to assist you?

Offer them free feedback on their latest initiative.

It could be an app or a new product they need to test or market research among individuals in your age range.

If you offer a skill-swap, essential people may want to work with you and help you out. 

Related Reading: Mentoring: Benefits Of A Mentor – Read The Full Post Here.

10. Roll up your sleeves. 

When you put in the effort, there are no limits to what you can accomplish.

If you already have a job but aren’t progressing in it, try rearranging your responsibilities to allow for more advancement. 

Gab with your boss and explain that you want to earn money while developing your career.

To keep you engaged, they may change your job title.

If they don’t, search for a new job that offers greater freedom or room for progress.

If you’re dejected in your current job, don’t panic: set aside 30 minutes five times a week for self-development.

It could be learning a new employable skill like touch-typing, learning a language, learning to code, or revising your resume.

11. Get certified. 

A certificate program is an adjunct to a degree program.

Certificate programs are short-term training programs that require less time than a degree. 

Certain certificates can be earned in as little as a few months.

They also tend to be less expensive. 

Moreover, certificate programs might assist you in developing the abilities and experiences required for specific employment.

Certificates are available for careers in various industries, including healthcare, administration, and information technology. 

Programs are now available for newer disciplines such as social media management, SEO optimization, and copywriting.

These are abilities that are in high demand in today’s internet-based world.

video about college debt

12. Become an expert in what you’re passionate about. 

Do people always pay attention to your restaurant and bar recommendations?

If that’s the case, consider launching a food blog to reach a larger audience. 

Are you a Superbowl aficionado?

Write about it on social media every day to establish yourself as a valued voice on the topic. 

Your following count may grow if you post a daily social media story on a topic related to your passion.

Ultimately, you could get compensated to run sponsored posts.

13. Learn how to solve problems. 

The majority of great ideas and start-up businesses begin with an issue to address.

You don’t need a college degree to become an entrepreneur if you can solve people’s problems. 

If you are a company employee who can solve difficulties for the company, that expertise will help you advance in your career.

It will make your resume nice and shiny should you decide to work elsewhere. 

Solving problems and saving money for the organization will catch the attention of executives and result in favorable results.

14. Remember: It’s never too late or too soon to begin. 

It’s never too early to start investigating new opportunities.

That applies whether you’ve just turned 18 and decided not to go to college or you’ve struck the big 5-0. 

So, how do you succeed without going to college?

Google is your new best friend in this situation. 

Look for information on any new career you’re interested in.

You can acquire a specific work-related skill, such as coding, by reading about how other non-graduates succeeded.

Don’t be discouraged if you think you’ll have to wait years to make a living doing what you love.

The only solution is to get started right away.  

Some companies are in their 23rd or 24th iteration.

As a result, it’s possible that you’ll fail your first professional ambition. 

So get started now and gain the experience you’ll need to succeed when the time comes.

Related Reading: 10 Proven Ways To Think Outside The Box – Click Here To Destroy The Box.

Okay, How Successful Can You Be Without A College Degree?

Okay, how successful can you really be without a college degree?

Well, we all know the famous success stories.  

Bill Gates founded Microsoft at the age of 19 and has since become one of the world’s richest men.

Mark Zuckerberg owns one of the most valuable technology firms in the United States.

In his garage, Steve Jobs launched Apple.

What are the similarities between these three people?

To begin with, none of them completed higher education. 

In fact, Bill Gates is known as “Harvard’s most successful dropout.”

A slew of others has built lucrative companies without ever having earned a bachelor’s degree. 

So is a degree still required in light of modern opportunities and technological advancements?

Not in some cases. 

It is possible to achieve success without attending college.

The lengthier answer is that at the Bill gates level, prospering without college is the exception rather than the rule. 

Earning a college diploma still gives you a distinct advantage in having a truly successful career.

What Kind Of Success Are We Talking About Here?

Success is defined in a variety of ways by all kinds of folks.

For some, it entails having sufficient funds to purchase the items they desire.

Others describe it as having your peers appreciate you. For some, having a loving and supportive family is enough.

Regardless of how you define success, statistics show that getting a bachelor’s degree can increase your chances of a fruitful career.

Take into account the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree generally adds $1 million to a person’s overall lifetime earnings compared to someone without one.
  • Bachelor’s degree holders make 66% more than high school grads on average.
  • Unemployment among high school graduates is 8% higher than that of college graduates.

While there are few notable exceptions to the rule, the numbers speak for themselves.

Bachelor’s degree holders can more readily find work and earn more than those with less education. 

Higher-paying occupations such as cybersecurity analyst, health care professional, and business administrator go to individuals with 4-year degrees.

So How Can I Be The Next Bill Gates? 

Get your mind gears going! 

Strenuous effort and persistence are essential in obtaining success.

It is viable to follow in the footsteps of Jobs or Gates, provided you have an entrepreneurial spirit and connections with investors.

It also wouldn’t hurt to have an eye for IT trends. 

The path to success for the rest of us will be more steady and traditional.

Plus, not everyone has what it takes to risk everything.

And Those who have made it big on a dream have typically experienced significant failures. 

For example, before founding Microsoft, Gates founded an unsuccessful data company, forcing him to start again. 

Most of us can’t withstand these types of setbacks more than once in a lifetime.

Typically, people need a backup plan, a great support system, and an unwavering work ethic. 

A Case For The College Degree Holders 

There will be 55 million job opportunities in the United States by 2020.

A bachelor’s degree will be required for 35% of such jobs.

Even when a bachelor’s degree is not required, 91% of jobs go to folks with one.

People with bachelor’s degrees are more financially secure since they are more likely to be working with higher salaries. 

Of course, financial stability isn’t everything.

A degree is about more than just earning potential.

In college, people you meet will become part of an institutional support network that you can tap into for opportunities.  

Exploiting your professional network is one of the finest places to start if you want to change careers.

By connecting with people, you can learn about new job prospects in the future.

Future clients and partners will frequently come from people you met in college if you plan to start a business.

There might be a time when your business fails, or you decide to change careers later in life. 

If that happens, you’ll be able to rely on the skills and information you gained while pursuing your degree.

If your business ventures fail, you’re considerably more likely to bounce back. 

Not to add that folks with a bachelor’s degree are happier in their jobs and have higher self-esteem.

So, when you’re reading this, don’t go off on a tangent on how to succeed without going to college.

The Trick Is To Be A Well-Rounded Individual 

If you don’t have big career ambitions, a degree may be a waste of time for something you’ll never use.

On the other hand, many degree programs are meant to provide a comprehensive educational experience. 

A bachelor’s program requires attention to detail, solid study habits, communication skills, and critical thinking.

All of the “soft skills” you learn in college will come in handy in your adult life.

Whether you’re operating a business or raising a family, you can apply those skills. 

While you may not now have intentions that necessitate a college diploma, your goals may change in the future.

Obtaining a bachelor’s degree can equip you to take on new life difficulties as they emerge. 

Still, it’s possible to learn all the skills you need without attending college.

At the end of the day, a piece of paper shouldn’t deter you from pursuing your dreams. 

I could say that succeeding without college is a scarier path but a little more rewarding. 

Related Reading: Side Hustles For College Students – Get The Full List Of Hustles Here.

Final Thoughts – How To Be Successful Without College

Why do so many people believe that you must attend college to be successful?

It’s most likely because they’ve directly experienced the advantages.

But yes, you can prosper without a college diploma. 

Many programs are geared to take you from zero experience in a sector to highly trained and job-market ready.

Still, having a college degree is advantageous.

We aren’t all Steve Jobs.

And most of us don’t have an extensive network of people to lean on when things get rough.

A college setting provides the support most individuals require to launch their careers. 

Success begins the day they receive their bachelor’s degree for many folks.

For some, it’s when they decide that they don’t need one.

Disclosure:  this article might contain links to the resources discussed.
Some of the links are affiliate links, meaning that I will make a small commission if you purchase a product or service by using the link. You get the same price whether you use our special link or not, and sometimes I’m able to get you an even better deal through my relationships!  More info in my privacy policy.

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Brooks Conkle

Brooks is an Entrepreneur, Sponge, Father, Husband, & Follower of the Golden Rule. He has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur after graduating with a BSBA in Finance from Auburn University. He’s addicted to growing new business ideas and any food that includes chocolate and peanut butter. Brooks is a firm believer in creating multiple streams of income and creates content here on to help other hustlers in the areas of marketing, online business, personal finance, and real estate. 

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