Is College the Right Option for You?
Here is a look at alternative ways of learning without a traditional four-year school.
After high school, many young people contemplate what they want to do with their future. For some, they want to travel and see the world. Others have plans to take over a family business. College is still a popular choice for many, who want to earn a degree before they decide to turn their life over to work. Yet some young people are wondering if spending a lot of money and getting into debt is worth the college education. For those who have a desire to learn more, but want to think carefully about how student loan debt could impact them, there are plenty of other options. Here is a look at alternative ways of learning without a traditional four-year school.
Choose a Shorter Program
No one says you have to avoid college altogether. Simply choose a subject and a program that does not require the maximum amount of time, but can still offer you the chance to learn skills and work toward a higher-paying job. For example, you could choose to study medical billing and coding, and have your studies completed within a year. Choosing this type of career path can help you earn an average of $16 or more, depending on where you live. Because there is growth for medical billers and coders, you can usually find a variety of job opportunities, too. Taking short programs such as this one also gives you time to figure out if there are other areas you want to develop your skills in, and what else you might enjoy doing.
Look at Bootcamps
No, you don't need to consider the traditional type of army bootcamp. Instead, look at programs that are billed as bootcamps or intensives, such as a web developer bootcamp. These types of programs can often help you build the skills you need in a shorter amount of time and for less cost than a college degree. In the case of web development, you can learn valuable skills that you can apply later, and continue to build on what you've accomplished. If you ever find that you need a change of pace or want to do something else, you can still pursue it. The difference is, now you'll have a skilled trade to fall back on should you ever need it.
Consider Developing Your Own Degree
Maybe you would rather focus on just one specific area of business, rather than try and cram years of studying into a degree program. Many people are realizing that traditional college isn't all it is cracked up to be and alternative programs provide just as many options, with the benefit of going at your own pace and focusing on what you want to learn. For example, a DIY MBA program allows you to study as often as you'd like while developing and applying the skills that you would need as someone who plans to work in the business world. You can use the knowledge you have acquired here to open up your own business and do so with the knowledge that you won't face student loan debt while balancing your new company.
If you aren't sure if a four-year college is right for you, there are plenty of other options to choose from that can save you both time and money. These include seeking out a shorter program that won't cost as much and allow you to learn and build your skills in under a year. If you choose an area that has a great deal of development, you can improve your chances of finding a job. Bootcamps are another option since you can focus and learn about a topic without spending a lot of time and money in a school setting. Finally, consider a DIY education, especially if you want to focus on learning about topics in the business world. If you plan on becoming an entrepreneur, this can save you time and money later on down the line.