Finding Success – It’s Not Always About Formal Education
February 09, 2016 - Posted to Catchy Research Paper Topics
You do not have to graduate from college to feel yourself educated
Lots of kids with college educations work at pretty low paying jobs while they wait for something to “open up” in their degree fields. And they owe a lot of money for that college degree. There is just no guarantee of success for the time and money spent.
Lots of other kids have become disillusioned with the time and the money being spent and have decided either to forego college altogether or to drop out in frustration. Others, like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out to pursue their passions in technology. While these two are probably the most famous college dropouts, there are millions of others out there who did not finish college and went on to find success and happiness. There are great careers with no college degree and you can find them.
If you have decided that college is not for you, and you have dropped out, you may be doing the right thing for yourself right now, and here is why:
1. A dropout usually does not know what s/he intends to do – no Plan B. Without that plan, you may find yourself pushing harder to find a job you like and to work hard in your young years. There is nothing wrong with pushing yourself in a direction that does not involve college – you will learn many things in the process.
2. If you find a job you like, then you start earlier than your peers. If not, maybe you start a business or find places where the skills you do have are needed. For example, did you get good grades in English? Freelance writers are in high demand.
3. If you drop out, there is less pressure on you. No one expects you to land a great career job so you can begin to pay back those student loans and make your degree worthwhile. That kind of pressure is on those who get their degrees.
Assess Your Interests and Talents
You are at a crossroads as a dropout. You can criticize yourself for not being able to tolerate college and thus lose self-esteem and confidence, or you can determine to look for opportunities to find a fulfilling life and career without that degree. The second path is so much better, so please choose it. You begin by taking a long hard look at what skills and talents you have that are valuable. Ask yourself these questions:
1. What courses did I really do well on in high school?
2. What can I do well?
3. What do I really love doing?
Answering these three questions will give you the start of your Plan B. Now you need to see what opportunities are out there for doing what you love and what you do well. For example, take a look at some of the following possibilities:
1. Are you pretty skilled in technology? Lot of kids graduate from high school with amazing technology skills and move on to great jobs and careers right from there. There are an amazing number of positions, both as an employee and as a freelancer, for tech-savvy young people and no one cares about a degree – they just want results.
2. Do you like being around people? Are you outgoing? Do you establish relationships easily and enjoy meeting new people? Then sales is for you. Successful salesmen love what they do and make great money as well.
3. As mentioned earlier, if you love to write, get going as a freelance. Start by finding some gigs and build your reputation.
4. Do you love music and crowds? How about becoming a DJ?
5. Do you like photography? If you are really good and willing to improve your skills, there is work for you.
The point is this. You are going to take an alternative route to a career and personal satisfaction, so you need to do what you love and find out how you can pursue that.
What Alternative Opportunities are there for Learning?
Tell yourself right now that you will never stop learning. You are just going to do it differently. That career you really want may require additional education and training, so how will you get that?
1. Explore online coursework. There are free courses from Harvard, Princeton, MIT, and a large number of other universities. Take one or two related to your career choice – you can do this on your own time, and there is no pressure of a grade. You get a certificate of completion, though, if you ever want to put that coursework on a resume. Online education is coming into its own now, and it no longer has the bad reputation it once did. And you can choose to take only those courses you really want – no general education requirements
2. Look for entry level positions in a field you love, even at very low pay. You are not there for the paycheck – you are there to learn the business or the skill so that you can move on.
3. Study entrepreneurship. If you want to have your own business, there is much to learn. But all that learning is free online. Read and study; find webinars and podcasts. Absorb everything you can about what successful entrepreneurs do. Then turn your passion into a business.
A Case Study
Here is Ralph’s story. He knew that his parents had no money to send him to college. In fact, all during high school, he made money mowing other people’s lawns. But, by the time he was a senior, he had bought a truck and three lawnmowers, and had two other kids working for him. Others went off to college. Ralph decided to pursue his real love – growing things, cultivating things, landscaping. Without spending a dime, he studied horticulture and landscaping online; he got books on it. This was his “college education.” He continued to expand his business by offering other services to existing customers. He built up a large clientele and employed more people. Today, Ralph has the biggest nursery and landscaping business in a major city, with several satellite locations. He has not college debt. He is doing what he loves. And he has a huge home in the suburbs.
There are alternative routes to success. And here is how you get there:
1. Identify what you love to do
2. Find opportunities and learning options to become what you love
3. Push yourself
4. Take responsibility for your own life
5. Enjoy your debt-free career!