5 Alternatives To College

College was one of the best times of my life. I realize that everybody may not want to go to college. In this post, I go over five alternatives to college.

I support anyone that wants to go to college. College was one of the best times of my life. I learned a lot in school and grew up while I was there. I realize that everybody may not want to go to college immediately after they graduate from high school. Some may not want to go to college at all. There is nothing wrong with that. Going to college doesn’t guarantee success. Below are five alternatives to college.


Some people choose to go to the military after high school. You have five branches to choose from. They are the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines and the Coast Guard. I have family members who have been in the military. You can learn multiple skills, have the opportunity to travel and earn money in the military. Just because you’re in the military, it doesn’t mean that you will be sent off to war. The different branches have hundreds of jobs that you can get instead of being on the frontline.

Trade School

Going to a trade school is another option that people choose instead of going to college. In trade school, you have the opportunity to learn an individual skill and receive your certification in a certain amount of time. It’s usually one or two years. Trade school also is not as expensive as a 4-year university. These days people are trying to save as much money as possible. Attending a trade school can allow you to do that.


Another alternative to college is to enter the workforce. There are a lot of jobs where you don’t have to have a degree to get hired. You just have to do research and make sure that you have all the qualifications that the job is looking for. Job fairs, word of mouth and networking are a few ways for a recent high school graduate to find a job.

Start A Business

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you could start a business. There are all types of business opportunities out there. If you plan on starting a business, make sure that your heart is all in it. Your company will move as you move. Make sure that you plan and hard to make your business a success. Your late teens is a good time to try and start a business because if you fail you have a lot of time to try again. If you succeed, you can change your family tree forever. If you’re still living at home, you can use that to your advantage. Since you don’t have to pay rent or many bills, you’re able to put money towards your prospective business.


If you have the money, you can take some time and travel. The possibilities are endless when you travel. You can backpack through Europe, or you can take a cross-country road trip. Traveling allows you to grow as a person, and it expands your comfort zone.

College isn’t for everyone. I know plenty of individuals who say that they would have done something different if they could back in time. I wouldn’t change a thing, but I understand some of the reasons why they would.

Do you know any other alternatives to college?

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  1. I went to college, although it helped me grow I often think if I could do it again I’d just go into computer programming right away since many programming jobs don’t require an expensive degree, just experience. I’d have no college debt and a 4-5 year head start on building my retirement stash. Although I didn’t know I had a high aptitude for programming until college, hindsight’s always 20-20.
    I also do know some people that gained technical skills in the military and make a lot of money in engineering without having a degree.
    Kyle recently posted…When can I retireMy Profile

  2. This is a great topic very relevant to me. My kids are 15 and 16 and we’re having that discussion now on going to college. My daughter has bought in completely on you need to go to college to get a job. Dad you just don’t understand… Being in debt myself, the last things I want my kids to do is to get into debt right out of the gate. I understand college may be a great option for some folks, but I also believe we need to do better educating our teens on other options. My son was telling me one of his friends was going to go to Germany and be an apprentice to become a master brewer. How cool is that? Travel to Germany, learn how to make beer, drink it, and come back to the States and either start your own brewery or work at one. Thanks for posting this article. Maybe I’ll reach out to good old Mike Rowe for further options : )

    • I wish I could have had an apprentice to become a brewmaster. That will be a hell of an experience. Education is the key for the next generation. We have to stop that never-ending debt cycle somehow.

  3. College isn’t the right answer for everyone, and I’m glad you’ve posted these alternatives. Another option is apprenticeships which are available in a variety of careers, most notably those related to construction and repair.
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  4. It’s interesting that you bring up going to trade school as an alternative to college. It’s good to know that a trade school doesn’t require as many years and is often more affordable. It would also be a good way to get right into the job field of your choice.