Today’s society often associates a college degree with success. While it is true that the average college graduate earns substantially more than those without a degree, college does not guarantee success and it is not the only route to becoming successful. There’s no question that education is important, however, pursuing a four-year degree is not always the best decision for every individual and their unique circumstances. Taking the traditional education route of attending a four-year university after graduating from high school can take a long time and is usually an expensive endeavor. Additionally, not every student thrives in a traditional classroom setting and not every individual’s goals are met through receiving a four year degree. There are still several ways for individuals not obtaining a four year degree to earn a competitive income, maintain a positive work-life balance and enjoy a high level of satisfaction from the work that they do. In this article we discuss four reasons why you should rethink earning a traditional four year degree.

Enter The Workforce Sooner    

After enduring several years of a traditional education experience in public school, many individuals would prefer to stay out of the classroom and get a head start on their career. If you would like to enter the workforce sooner and start earning an income, then heading to a traditional four-year university may not be the right path for you. Instead, you can opt into attending a trade school or earning a degree or certificate online that requires less time to complete, allowing you to finish quickly and begin your career while your peers are still stuck in college chemistry. There are several degrees and certifications to choose from, such as earning an ACLS certification online, that will help you meet your career goals. Equipped with the right certification, you can bypass a traditional four year degree and enter the workforce sooner.

Avoid Debt

Earning a four year degree can be a heavy financial burden. Many colleges require thousands of dollars for attending just one semester. A recent study found that in the fall of 2016, the average price for a year of tuition at a public, in-state university was around $24,610. Over the past few years, college tuition has increased at a rate higher than both inflation and financial aid distribution. While there are many benefits of obtaining a college degree, most individuals simply cannot afford it. However, in order to afford a college tuition, many students are required to take out several loans. About 70% of students will graduate with debt from their student loans. The average debt a college student will have after graduating with a four year degree is $37,172. In order to avoid the financial burden of college or the stress of debt, you should rethink your career path and choose an occupation that doesn’t require a four year degree.

You Don’t Need It

As we’ve mentioned above, a four year degree is not required to be successful. And having one doesn’t automatically guarantee that you will be successful. If your career goals don’t require a four year degree, don’t spend your time earning one. Get as much experience as you can in your field in order to be successful in the career path you are hoping to enter. If you are currently employed and earning a college degree doesn’t help you jump up the corporate ladder, it isn’t necessary to spend the time and effort to earn a four year degree.

It’s Not For You

College can be a great experience and a powerful springboard for students who are dedicated to their education. You don’t have to enter college knowing exactly what you want to major in, but having an idea of what you enjoy or being willing to try different classes is crucial for making your college days worth the time and hassle. If you are attending college for the right reasons, then it will be a worthwhile experience, despite the money and time it costs to earn a four year degree. However, many students can enter college for the wrong reasons. Some students attend college because they want to party, they think it is the only way to be successful, or because all their friends are doing it. It’s okay for you to decide that college is not for you. If you don’t have a good reason for earning a four year degree, then you should rethink attending college before you waste your time and resources.


by: Rick Delgado