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What are the Options for Kids Who Don't Want to Attend College?

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College is the norm for kids graduating high school. And while this figure stood at just under 66% in 2014, it was over 70% in 2009. Kids are told to go to college from a very young age. Teachers are telling kids to go to college, and parents are also encouraging kids to go to pursue higher education.

Statistics show that a college degree increases a person's lifetime earnings, so it's natural for parents to want their child to earn more money.

Enjoying a comfortable life is a good thing.

But there is another side to college that's often ignored: debt. The average graduate has over $30,000 in debt, and in the entire nation, there's over $1.4 trillion in outstanding student loan debt. For a lot of would-be-students, they're considering other options because they don't want to start their adult lives deeply in debt.

There are options for kids to land in a career that is worthwhile without the need for college. College may help open up the doors to some of these careers, but a lot of skills can be learned on-the-job, in a tech school or through apprenticeships.

What options are there?

1. Insurance Sales Agents

If your child is a people person, he or she may also be a good salesperson. Insurance sales agents earn $48,200 a year on average and are normally required to just have their high school diploma. A Bachelor's degree definitely helps, but there are tens of thousands of insurance agents without a higher education.

On-the-job training is required, and state licensing in required.

2. Computer Support Specialists

Computer users and organizations need advice from support specialists. These specialists provide technical assistance or help support a computer network. Certifications can be obtained without a higher education and will aid in getting a job.

Higher education isn't required for many positions, but it does help.

The average median salary in the field is $49,500, with hourly earnings of $23.81. Unique job postings per month in this field are over 58,500.

3. Plumber

Plumbers are in high-demand. The field is growing by 16% over the next 10 years, and the average salary is $51,450. Training is extensive, and as seen on Tric Tools, there are ample career options from installation, repair and manufacturing.

Apprenticeships are required, and attending a technical school can help jumpstart a career.

These are just three of the potential careers I found for my child. There are a lot of other options that sound promising and can help land a student without a degree into a lifelong career, such as:

  • Sales agent for financial company

  • Nuclear power reactor operator

  • Ship captain

  • Customs inspector

  • Creative writer

  • Makeup artists

  • Oil refinery operator

  • Real estate agent

Careers are available that can fit into all of my child's strengths, and I think this is true for every child. While college was a major proponent of my life, that doesn’t mean it's the right choice for my child. This has been difficult to accept.

But if your child refuses to go to college, one of the careers above may provide for her and her family in the future.

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