Not earning a degree may be a roadblock to landing many jobs, but there are proven alternative routes for moving beyond those obstacles and finding a successful career, according to a new CareerCast report on the best jobs without a degree.
The rule of the workforce clearly states that the alternative to accruing that debt typically is worse: workers with a college degree will make 84% more in her or his lifetime than their counterparts without a degree, reports a Georgetown University study. CareerCast.com, created by Adicio, is a job search portal that offers extensive local, niche and national job listings from across North America; job-hunting, career-management and HR-focused editorial content; and videos and blogs; and provides recruiters with the ability to post jobs directly to more than 800 niche career sites. CareerCast.com also compiles the Jobs Rated Report (www.jobsrated.com), where 200 jobs across North America are ranked based on detailed analysis of specific careers factors.
The Jobs Rated Report has been published for 25 years. “Starting a career without a degree may be unconventional, but succeeding in the workplace without one is far from impossible,” says Tony Lee, publisher, CareerCast. “An entrepreneurial spirit and specialized training can help overcome the lack of a four-year degree.” Working pro bono and taking on contract work are good ways to build a portfolio and compensate for not having a degree. A willingness to get outside of their comfort zone is definitely an asset for those seeking a great job without a college degree. Technological advances make building a network easier than just a decade ago. Tapping into social media and targeted job sites, such as the CareerCast Part- Time Network, offer contract opportunities to connect with potential clients.
Technology plays another key role in the marketplace for job seekers without a degree: the rising demand for IT professionals means more opportunities, including for those with just a high-school diploma. Some of the other great jobs available to those without a degree require some specialized education, but not a full four years. Some states require certification to become a skincare specialist, dental hygienist or personal trainer, for example, while trade crafts such as electrician and carpenter demand either advanced training or apprenticeships. Unofficial apprenticeships also are invaluable for job seekers without a college degree.