Now more than ever before, there are so many options for what higher education and professional training after high school might look like. While the traditional four-year college experience can offer exceptional education and preparation for the workforce, it’s shortsighted to think that it’s the only path available to high school graduates who want to grow their professional skills before entering the workforce.
College is a major commitment of both time and money. Understandably, this is not something that is feasible or desirable to everyone. The good news is there are alternatives to college that provide excellent educational opportunities and set students up for successful careers, but with a lower time and financial commitment.
Are you in high school and still undecided about what you want to do? Or, are you in college but it’s really not what you had hoped it would be?
From where you sit right now, if college does not feel feasible or attainable to you, don’t be discouraged. There are plenty of millionaires out there, and more than 750 billionaires, without college degrees. They found successful and fulfilling careers that did not require a college degree, and you can too! Keep reading to learn more about other educational options and specifically the advantages of choosing NuPaths on this alternate path.
What are your roadblocks?
When you first set out on the road toward achieving your professional goals, there may be some known roadblocks before you. The most common ones have to do with resources such as time and money. Do you have financial support or the ability to take out a loan? Are you able and willing to relocate to a campus to take classes in-person, or to make online learning your full time job? For many people the answer is no. And these are not the only roadblocks that may make college a difficult fit for you. Here are some others to consider...
Roadblock #1: Financial Cost and Student Debt
The cost of college has risen more than 1100% since 1982, far outpacing inflation in general! As the price of college continues to rise it becomes more difficult, if not impossible, for individuals to realize a decent return on their education investment. Besides the high cost of tuition, you need to consider additional expenses in college, such as accommodation, food, sports activities, books, educational materials, travel, etc.
If you are shocked by the staggering cost of college, you are not alone.Those who pursue a college degree will incur an exorbitantly high bill that must be paid or financed through loans, all before they get a foot in the door of a low paying, entry level job.
NuPaths is an affordable alternative to college that requires a significantly less financial commitment. Compare the cost of just months of classes with NuPaths to 4 years of tuition, books, and other materials.. Less tuition doesn’t mean less financial support though, with 95% of NuPaths students receiving a scholarship. The NuPaths tuition is all-inclusive as well, so there are no hidden costs or added expenses that surprise you along the way. All of the eBooks, course materials, lab equipment, and exams are included in the tuition.
Put simply, NuPaths offers an alternative to college that allows you to start your career quickly and is more affordable and flexible as a result, making it an attractive option for students who still want to achieve their professional goals but without massive debt or uprooting their lives. To learn more about NuPaths’ college alternative courses, schedule a call with a student success coordinator who can answer all your questions, plus share funding and scholarship opportunities.
Roadblock #2: Commitment and Juggling All Parts of Life
College is hard enough for those who are motivated; but for people attending who aren’t sure they want to be there, it’s almost impossible. The coursework is intense and outside of the classroom, you’ll spend countless more hours reading, studying, and completing homework and projects. It’s truly a fulltime job. Plus add in the responsibilities of living independently and taking care of an apartment, laundry, food, and social obligations, and this can be an overwhelming experience, especially for those coming straight out of high school.
College suits only the most ambitious, perseverant, and motivated people. It’s better to be honest up front if this doesn’t sound like a good match for where you are in life right now. Instead, you may wish to consider alternatives that don’t require this level of work and commitment.
While NuPaths still absolutely requires both discipline and responsibility, it’s not nearly as intense as what one might experience from a traditional four-year college course load. Some of the biggest advantages are being able to choose between online or in-person classes to fit your needs. NuPath’s courses are also carefully designed for busy people who may be juggling other personal or professional commitments while completing their training. Yet, the classes still provide hands-on learning and valuable education all packed into about 6 months. The best way to assess whether this could be the right fit for you is to speak with a student success coordinator who can explain how NuPaths is a short-term commitment for those who need to juggle life and education..
Roadblock #3: Time Commitment
For people who do not have years to invest in education before starting a career. The time spent in college earning a degree can often be put to better use gaining experience that is immediately applicable in the workforce. Only 19% of Students complete their bachelor’s degree in 4 years and many students take longer due to life and work commitments. Dropping down to part-time can help balance those duties but it extends the amount of time in college by a year or two, often delaying entry to a career, while still racking up costs. Furthermore, most companies prefer to hire individuals who have some experience rather than those with a diploma, but no experience.
Our 26 week programs are designed to help you start building the experience and professional network that will help you start the career and earn the income you want. NuPaths works with you throughout the program and beyond, to pursue employment opportunities. Paid internships provide an opportunity to work while completing a NuPaths program or to transition into a full-time job role. Paid apprenticeships may also be available through our apprenticeship partners. Students who successfully complete the program are connected to employers, staffing agencies and CareerLink for job opportunities.
CTA Schedule a call with a student success coordinator to learn how our 26 week programs can get you working quickly. https://calendly.com/nupaths/admissions
Roadblock #4: Deciding Whether You Need a College Degree
Here’s the good news: there are thousands of good paying jobs available that don’t require a college degree! According to US Labor Department projections, 63% of all new jobs that will be created through 2020 won’t require a college degree. In fact, Forbes identified 20 surprisingly well-paying jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree; many of those listed require just a high school diploma or equivalent. Plus, take into account the fact that most college graduates won’t enter the workforce until the age of 22, at the earliest. Since career training lasts anywhere from a few months to two years, those that choose an alternative to college can enter the workforce 2-3 years before their college counterparts. That’s 2-3 years of additional income (and little to no student loan debt) for graduates of a college alternative, which helps narrow the pay gap.
As an alternative to college, NuPaths students learn the precise technical and professional business skills tech employers want. This is accomplished through skills-based training that focuses on in-demand tech skills. Additionally, woven into every course is the opportunity to learn from professionals working in the industry who provide guidance and hands-on experiences. This is not often or easily replicated in college courses. In addition to teaching students the skills required for their future job, NuPaths also develops the soft skills needed to be successful in the workplace. At NuPaths you will learn communication, critical thinking and how to work on a team. By talking with a student success coordinator, you can learn which entry level careers you can train for with NuPaths, and the skills you can expect to gain from each pathway.
The Big Takeaway
For decades and even centuries, young people have been raised with the idea that higher education is the only path to success. However, the modern reality of the job market is that experience, creativity, and talent weigh much more for the prospective employer than a bunch of degrees hanging on your wall. So, if you have no money for college or your motivation to spend years studying and doing homework is low, you still have a lot of opportunities to train for a well-paying job. But if you decide to skip college and pursue an alternative path, make sure that you establish firm goals and refine your skills in specific areas so that you are in-demand. With a college diploma or without it, you will be successful if you know your subject well, think critically, learn and adapt quickly, and continue growing as a person and a professional.
While you consider all of the information shared in this article, it’s not to say that a college degree isn’t a good choice. Education is vital to personal and professional growth at every level! But hopefully this has opened your eyes to the alternatives that exist to a formal four-year degree. Pursuing a college alternative option, like a NuPaths program, might be more cost- and time-efficient, and you might get more long-term value out of the program. In a society with increasing demands on specialization, the type of education that focuses on the development of specific skills might provide better returns for your education dollar!
The first step is simple, but important. Get honest about whether these roadblocks stand in your way of pursuing a traditional college education. If so, you can work around them - which can be challenging and costly, or you can explore alternative paths. The most important thing to focus on is choosing the right path that leads toward your career and personal goals. Our friendly and experienced student success coordinators stand ready to help. Let’s have a conversation about your future today!