Do You Really Need College?


There is a strong cultural bias that those who attend college are more successful than those who don’t. When students are led to believe that college is the only option for financial stability, they can waste thousands of dollars and years of time trying to accomplish something that they don’t need or want. While it is true that certain jobs require a degree no matter what, there are plenty of great opportunities out there that don’t require much more than a high school diploma. 

Trade jobs are a great place to start when looking for well-paying jobs that don’t require higher education. According to, electricians, building inspectors, boilermakers, and elevator installers can all make well over $60,000 a year without ever attending a single college class. For those who love to travel, being a flight attendant might be the job for you. While most major airlines are more likely to hire applicants with some college education, it is still possible to be a flight attendant with only a high school diploma. Or maybe a firefighter is the job for you? While firefighters are required to pass written and physical exams before they’re allowed to work, the only other requirement is a high school diploma. These are far from the only choices for good jobs without a degree, but they are a solid starting point for anyone who wants a financially stable career but doesn’t want to pursue a college education.

College isn’t the be-all and end-all of success; you can make money and make a difference without a degree. It’s important to consider all your options and research what you will truly need to do to accomplish your goals. It can feel overwhelming, with so many degrees and career choices, and even then you don’t need to know everything now. Talking to a guidance counselor or the many college representatives that come to the high school may help you decide whether or not your goals require higher education, but you don’t need to have it all figured out just yet. Take the time to determine if college is the right fit for you.