Is College the Only Option?


Garret Hanaggin

A good alternative to college is trade schools, such as the welding school this young man attends.

Amber Reddish, Photojournalist

Today in America college is often shoved down the throats of all high school students. It is presented as a requirement, when realistically it is just one of many options. You can go to a trade school, develop a specialized skill, start your own business, or even just start working instead of going to college. All of these options lead to viable career options, so why is it so looked down on to not go to college and how does having a degree actually benefit you in the future?

Many statistics have been published that support the fact that having a degree will allow you to be successful more easily. With that said, this does not mean that it is impossible to be just as, if not more, successful without a degree. In some cases jobs such as plumbers, electricians, or welders, get paid very well due to the fact that less people are willing to work those jobs. They require more manual labor than the average office job, yet you only need two years of education at a trade school or on the job training. This is a great alternative to a four-year college, especially if you aren’t sure what you want to do yet.

Another great option you could peruse in lieu of college is starting your own business. If you have an idea for a business that you believe could successful you have the opportunity to do that. In today’s world many businesses can be solely online as well, so if need be you could also join the workforce right out of high school. Or you could just join the workforce. Chase Brannon (12) says “my Dad joined his family business after high school instead of going to college.” Either way there are many jobs that do not require degrees that you could acquire. Some of these include managerial positions, professional server jobs, and clerical jobs. Any of these are great options and in many cases can become viable careers if you work hard and put in the necessary effort.

As you get ready to graduate high school and start your future, just remember that there are so many options out there. Whether you want to be an astronaut, a business owner, or a welder, there is somewhere for you to do that. Even if you choose not to go to college you can still be just as successful as a person with a degree. You just need to know what the right thing is for you and follow that path. The great thing about college is that if you later decide that college was the path you should’ve chosen, you can always go back and get your degree. You are never too old to better yourself.