The societal norm is to go to college to get your education… Well, the truth of the matter is that you don’t necessarily need to go to college to get an education. In fact, you can make it very far in certain professions without a degree. College is definitely a great experience for some, and can be a very proud moment in someone’s life, but with all the information and resources available today, college isn’t the only way to enhance your skills or further your education in your field.
Whether you’re looking to get your start in a certain profession or already have a profession and want to enhance your skills and knowledge, there’s no need to go to college or go back to college. By following these methods, you can increase your knowledge in your field without setting foot on a college campus.
Ways to Further Your Education Without College
Find a Mentor
Whatever field you’re in, consider finding a mentor that has seen great success. Mentorship is a great way to further your knowledge because not only can they impart beneficial information to you but they can also offer you networking opportunities and surround you with other successful people in your field.
Consider shadowing your mentor for a day to see exactly what it is they do. This will give you real experience as to how you can improve your own processes or get them started. They may only be able to commit a few hours a week or month, but when you get some quality time with them, be sure to learn all you can.
Get a License or Certification
Sure, there are certain degrees that are easy to get online, but if you don’t have the time, money, or commitment to make to that, then the next best thing to a degree program would be a certificate program.
Certificate programs are short-term training programs specific to your field. They typically cost less money and require less of your time. The same thing applies with certain licenses too. For instance, if you want to obtain your contractor’s license, you’ll need to pass certain exams. You’ll, of course, need exam prep materials to study, but it’s nothing like paying for books for an entire college career.
Read Up on Your Field of Interest
Nothing beats the power of reading. Sometimes, if you want to further your education, you have to do it yourself, and there’s nothing wrong with that! There are all kinds of resources, power points, PDFs, tutorials, and guides on practically everything, and you can look it all up online. You also can’t forget the power of the library as well.
One of the best ways to get hands-on experience is to volunteer. In most cases, jobs want you to have so many years of experience in a field before they hire you. So how do you get the experience jobs require of you? You volunteer.
Companies rarely turn down free work, so if you find a company in your field of interest, see what their guidelines are for volunteer work. In most cases, you won’t be getting paid but the experience you’ll gain in your field will be priceless.
Only 27% of college graduates are working jobs in their college field of study. So what does that mean? It means millions of people are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt for college educations that they aren’t even using.
If college isn’t for you, know that you’re not alone. Don’t waste any time or money on something that you feel won’t benefit you. By following these tips, you have a much greater chance of honing in on your skills and taking your career to the next level.