The best life decision I've made is choosing not to go to college.
I'll spare you the spiel, but it's basically put me in a position where I have four more years of working experience than most people my age and zero debt. I realize this sounds smug, but uh, sorrynotsorry (how's that student loan life?).
So here's what you need to know: Yeah, having a bachelor's degree is a mammoth foot in the door, and it may even land you to somewhere north of $50,000 at that first job out of college. But there are other ways to secure yourself the potential to make bank without ever stepping foot on a campus.
Leah Paul, director of marketing at Mediabistro, has revealed the three best industries to slide into without a bachelor's degree -- all of which have earning potential of $10ok-plus after putting in some time.
Leah says this industry is one to consider if you're good at networking and connecting with people. The most important skill to have in these roles is the ability to develop positive relationships and persuade people. She said,
Sure, it helps if you have good writing and speaking skills, are good with numbers and proficient with computer programs, but those aren't things that you're guaranteed to have just because you went to college. Most of the technical skills, like working with a CRM platform, you can learn on the job or teach yourself, like in this course on using CRM's to generate and nurture sales leads. Your earning potential in a sales role can be six-figures or more, and is primarily dependent on how good you are at building relationships with people. That's what hiring managers are looking for, not your degree.
2. Project manager
Highly organized or borderline OCD? Good -- this sort of role would be perfect for you. It's about knowing how to wrangle and coordinate a lot of moving pieces.
Leah said you won't typically reach six figures until you're managing a team, but depending on your location, you can make more than $50,000 a year after you've got some experience under your belt.
3. Technical development/engineering
There are two things you need to know about these roles: They're in high demand and they pay the big bucks. Speaking of jobs like mobile app developer, Leah said,
These jobs have great freelancing potential and your hirability is completely based on how good your coding skills are, not your diploma. Similarly, other multimedia jobs, like video, photography and graphic design, can have higher than average salaries and are attainable if you've got the talent.
And if that doesn't give you hope for the future, Leah's words of motivation will.
She said she's "definitely seeing a trend in the past few years where many companies, especially younger or more modern organizations, are focusing more on the skills, personal characteristics and practical experience of potential hires than on their formal education."
Having a bachelor's degree will certainly give you a leg up, but if you work at developing your skills through online courses, self-learning and gaining experience as an assistant or intern, you can definitely make a great salary without getting a four-year degree.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out into the real world and slay.