group of college students using computers

 

If you think you have to go to college to make a decent living, think again. No, a basic high school diploma isn’t going to get you much of anywhere, but a certification from a technical school or trade school can certainly be a path to financial success.

 

Not only are these programs often available to students for free during high school, they are available to adults at significantly lower costs than their college and university counterparts.

 

And because many of the programs offered at these schools lead to jobs that are in high demand, they can also make a good living — in some cases more money than a college degree might lead to.

 

Tech schools often get a bad rap for being “blue collar” and those who have spent a fortune on their own education tend to look down their noses at people with a tech school education, but the bottom line is the bottom line: sometimes those tech school jobs make more money. For instance, compare the average salary of a diesel mechanic at almost $45,000 per year (that’s a tech school certification) to the average salary of a newspaper reporter, a mere $37,000 (and that’s a pricey bachelor’s degree).

 

I know entry-level marketing professionals who make less money than their hairdressers. It happens. It’s a supply and demand problem. Most people get pushed to a college degree, whether it’s their passion or not. And there is simply no reason to spend a small fortune on a degree that isn’t going to make you happy.

A lot of very smart people are discouraged from following their true passion in life — be it photography or music, mechanics and maintenance work, cosmetology or massage therapy — because it doesn’t come with a college degree. Maybe you’re one of them. Maybe now is a good time to start considering another option.