It’s clear there’s a major disconnect between what’s being taught in colleges and what the job market requires. When you’re drawn toward serving others, you’ll get more out of volunteering than studying subjects you don’t care about in a college classroom. P.S. If there’s a specific skill you want to learn or improve, online courses can be a great way to do so. By Josh Moody , … Thanks to the internet, it’s entirely possible to make money from your hobby or passion these days. Why should education be any different? A fellowship or apprenticeship is so appealing to me (if I were 18 again) because they’re hands on jobs where you’re constantly learning through doing, not by hearing lectures and memorizing. Of course, if you’re not ready to start a business, you could gain some experience (and money) first working for someone else, even if it’s a temporary stepping stone while you save up some money and figure out what you want to do. Why rush into it when it’s not needed to do what you love? You could sit in a stuffy building to learn about South American history, or you could forego college and visit Machu Picchu, Rio de Janeiro, and Buenos Aires. Unfortunately, there are no silver bullets or guarantees. And one billionaire, Peter Thiel, questions college to the point where he gives around 20 young adults under age 20 a $100,000 fellowship award not to go to college. Talk to people or start serving and evaluate the response. Plus community colleges have some unique benefits like smaller class sizes, more of the professor’s attention, more flexible schedules, and the ability to work while you’re in school. Recent data analysis of job postings and resumes conducted by Burning Glass puts that number even higher, estimating that 43% of all college grads are underemployed in their first jobs out of college. Looks clear to me that you’re winning that deal. P.S. Contrary to popular opinion, you can work right away with a high school degree. You can expect to earn more than the cost of tuition within your first six months on the job. I disagree a lot with your opportunity cost assessment, though. There are plenty of resources available to help you find your feet, whether you need help creating a general business plan or creating a pitch deck to convince investors to fund your idea. Praxis tuition costs $12,000, and 93% of Praxis participants graduate with a full-time job offer – with an average first-year income of $50K. As time flies and you would normally transition through college, a job, and then kids, you may never get the chance to travel the world for an entire year again. And before you decide… promise me you will consider all of the options before you blindly go to college. … Build your skills and your network. It’s purpose is to help students learn outside of the classroom through experimentation and mentoring. It’s for entrepreneurial young professionals who want real-world skills and a self-directed education experience all in one (faster and without debt). Because we’re about to take a whirlwind tour of some of the top college alternatives available to you in 2020. In this guide, we’ll help you to decide whether college is really worth it and show you some of the available alternatives to college. Opportunity cost refers to the fact that when you make a decision to take one action you miss a benefit of another action. So buckle up. Like in any other field your job is to provide value for businesses or individuals. You could also go the route of selling products online, for example by selling handcrafted products on Etsy or cupcakes through Instagram – the possibilities are endless. That will help you win down the road in life. Want an Ivy League education without forking up $200,000 to pay for it? So you want to run your own business someday after majoring in business and then working in a Fortune 500 company? If volunteering is your passion, you’re welcome for that four year head start. An annual salary of minimum wage comes to $15,080. Having a personal brand and following you can take with you always gives you leverage in the future. It’s not sexy, but learning a “blue collar” job through a trade school makes a lot of sense when you look at the numbers. I’m convinced millions of people would be better off if they followed their passion from the start and never went to college. Take some time off? We wanted to give individuals who aren’t afraid of choosing their own path a way to enhance their skills and set themselves up for the world of work. However, if you’re still on the fence, and you’re just going because you think it’s what’s required of you, take a deep breath and think about why that is. Explore Douglas. 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