Every so often the requirements for a job change. An example is an auto mechanic. Ten years ago, you needed a lot of hands-on mechanical skills and experience. Now, you also need to be competent with computer diagnostic tools. Many of the decisions young people make are based on current needs rather than looking out in time. The same can be said about education. The pressure to get a college education should not influence the natural inclination of the individual’s talents. Here are some examples from a The Motley Fool publication and author Natasha Gabrielle, along with some of my comments.
There are high paying jobs that don’t require a college degree.
- Software developer – Median U.S. wage (May 2020): $103,620. Develop and test computer software and applications. You’ll need to learn different programming languages. Many are self-taught or learned from coding boot camps. Many are freelancers.
- Sales representative – Median U.S. wage (May 2020): $86,650 Sales representatives sell products or services, including selling from home. Great communication skills are needed. Technical sales can pay more as does sales that pay on a commissioned basis.
- Project manager – Median U.S. wage (May 2020): $77,420. This job helps plan and oversee projects. You must be organized with critical thinking skills. Many work remotely. Past experience at a lower level and a certification will help.
- Executive assistant – Median U.S. wage (May 2020):$63,110. This is a busy, fast-paced career supporting a high-level executive. Juggling multiple tasks is a given. A certification is also of added value.
- Electrician – Median U.S. wage (May 2020): $56,900. A needed service no matter where you live, for residential, commercial, factories and industries. Trade school and internships are usually required, in addition to being licensed in your state.
- Plumber – Median U.S. wage (May 2020): $56,330. Problem-solving and trouble-shooting skills are key requirements. Trade school or apprenticeships are necessary and may take about a year or two. In addition, a licensed may be required.
- Real estate agent – Median U.S. wage (May 2020): $49,040. You help people buy and sell for residential or commercial properties. Most all are on commission based on each sale. A certification or license is required.
An individual’s natural inclination and talent usually becomes obvious in pre-teens: Mechanical, artistic, math, science, verbal, entrepreneurial, outgoing, introverted, curiosity, athletic, bookish, and so on. Providing young people with the broadest exposure to life’s opportunities provides them with a chance to test their passions. I might have been the world’s greatest cellist, but if I’m never exposed to the cello, I can never uncover my interest or talent
A question to ask oneself is, “Can you see yourself doing this job day after day for the rest of your life?” College can give you an introduction many alternatives to a career, but there are other options.
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