Not everyone is lucky enough to go to college. Some people end their scholastic career when they graduate high school or before. Others go to vocational schools that focus more on skill- or trade-building than, say, learning from lectures and a rigid, oft terrifying syllabus.
Fortunately, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. While the majority of high-paying jobs require a college degree, there are millions of positions out there that don’t. At the same time, some degree tracks offer training in a specific field (like, say, most liberal arts majors), but a sizable percentage of people studying in those programs seldom find work or a career in what they studied.
This begs the question: is it worth actually going to college and piling on debt for four years? That depends on what you study, according to the folks at One Minute Economics. If you’re considering going to school or back to school and taking out giant student loans to do so, you might reconsider after you watch what they have to say. If you’ve already graduated, you might rethink your career trajectory and mourn how much you could’ve saved.
There are always alternatives to breaking into a field. If you want to be a computer programmer, for instance, there are intensive workshops and online resources that will teach you how to start developing your own apps. If you’re an aspiring writer, you might want to look into local writing workshops and read highly acclaimed books before you pony up on an English degree. Regardless of what you’re interested in, make sure it makes sense to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to school to do so…or you could be wasting time and money.