How often have you been told you must go to college and earn a degree to make good money? It’s something that most people hear from those around them throughout their lives. But unfortunately, it often causes most young adults to feel pressured to further their education, even if they’re unsure what they want to be or would like to do in life. So, is a college degree necessary for an excellent job if you don’t want to be a doctor, dentist, lawyer, or someone else who has to have a degree to provide services? Absolutely not.


A college degree isn’t equivalent to wealth. It’s not a promise that you’ll land a high-paying job you love and make six figures each year. Millions of people spent years in college but are making the same as those who haven’t while also dealing with the debt of their student loans. If you don’t want to find yourself in that same predicament, you can skip college and get a headstart in the workforce.


#1. Many of Today’s Millionaires Don’t Have a College Degree


People will tell you there is no way you’ll make it without a college degree, but the lengthy list of millionaires without one proves otherwise. For example, one of the wealthiest people in the United States, Bill Gates, dropped out of Harvard and eventually became the successful businessman he is today. Likewise, Rachael Ray’s name rings bells in the world of cooking. Anyone who loves food, watches cooking shows, or owns a pet has likely heard of her name before. She’s another successful person making millions of dollars each year without a college degree.


These are only two of the many millionaires living their best lives without college degrees, but many others are in the same boat, including Sean (P.Diddy) Combs, Coco Chanel, Steve Madden, Ralph Lauren, and more. You’ve probably heard of most or all of these names before. The next time someone tells you you need a college degree to be successful, let their words go through one ear and out the other because you know the absolute truth. A college degree doesn’t determine the level of success you’ll have in life.


#2. Not All Resumes Are as Accurate as You Might Think


We’re often led to believe that resumes are 100 percent accurate, but that isn’t always the case. Many people fabricate details on their resumes to make themselves sound better. It’s one of many reasons that resumes aren’t nearly as important as they were a few decades ago. Employers have started to realize that anyone can say they’ve attended a school or have a certain level of experience, even if it’s not true. Most companies don’t have the time or resources to fact-check everything on a resume, meaning plenty of people may have gotten hired for a job they weren’t skilled enough to take in the first place. 


Don’t let the thought of someone else’s resume details hold you back from applying to a position you want. Sure, other applicants might have a college degree, but most employers won’t even pay attention to the small details because it’s more about your skills and not where you went to school.


#3. You Can Head Out into the Workforce and Get an Early Start


While your college-bound friends head off to their prospective universities and spend years of their lives taking exams, attending boring lectures, and racking up student loan debt, you can head out in the workforce, getting an early start that gets you ahead. In addition, entering the workforce at an earlier age gives you more time to test the waters by trying out different jobs and positions before deciding what you’d like to do for the rest of your life. In the meantime, you can gain new knowledge and perfect different skills that will come in handy for you when applying for other jobs.


Gain More Experience Than Your Peers


Having extensive job experience will look good to most employers. If you have steady employment and are working your way up the ladder, it shows employers that you have a good work ethic and are willing to put extra effort into everything you do. Employers want to hire self-motivated professionals who can boost morale and efficiently complete tasks.


#4. A Degree Isn’t a Necessity for Starting Your Own Business


Some people choose to work for others and others for themselves. What do you think you want to do for the next several decades? If you have dreams of starting a business doing what you love, that is even more of a good reason NOT to go to college. Entrepreneurs don’t need to have a college degree to start their businesses. Many self-made, successful people who’ve started companies have done so solely based on their passion for something, whether it’s clothing, makeup, skincare, candles, slime putty, or anything else. Find what you love and go for it. Even if it doesn’t work out, you still have time to figure things out and try something different.


Put in the Effort to See the Results


It’s also important to remember that starting a business takes time and consistent effort. Even if it doesn’t earn six figures in the first year, it doesn’t mean you won’t get to that point in the future. If you stick with it and remain consistent, you can achieve great results while working for yourself. You might even find yourself becoming a boss to others in the future who wouldn’t care if your employees have a college degree or not!


#5. You End Up With Less Debt Than College Graduates


Most college graduates are drowning in student loan debt. Unless someone has wealthy parents or a full-ride scholarship to a specific school, they deal with predatory lending companies that can charge ridiculously high rates. Finding a high-paying job immediately after graduating from college becomes a significant rush because these young adults realize they need to start paying off those loans or get on a payment plan.


Avoid the Expense and Get Ahead


If you’re making the same amount as someone with a college degree, you’re likely already ahead of them. However, those who’ve taken out student loans to afford the high cost of college have one more expense to deal with each month that you won’t have. Of course, they have the option of getting on payment plans, but they’re still stuck paying a significant amount of money each month for years of their life.


#6. Trade Schools Exist for a Reason


Trade schools are around for a reason! They’re a fantastic alternative to college. For example, say you want to do something that requires certification, such as massage therapy, auto services, or cosmetologist services. Rather than going to college to earn a degree, you could go to a trade school, pay much less than you’d pay in college, and complete the program faster. You’d have the certification needed to get the job you wanted in less time than it would take to earn a college degree.


While most careers won’t require a college degree OR a certification from a trade school, these schools are always a backup option for those who want to make decent money providing specific services that will require them to have a certification. If you choose to attend a trade school, ensure it’s accredited.


#7. Most Employers Have Stopped Paying Attention to Education Details


Some employers might care about the education of their applicants, but most don’t. Many employers have stopped emphasizing education because they want to hire people willing to work and do a good job, regardless of whether they went to college. Going to college doesn’t necessarily mean someone will know what they’re doing when taking on a specific role. Employers are more concerned about getting work done and boosting productivity rates to keep daily operations running smoothly than anything else. If you know you have what an employer wants, prove it in your resume by listing your skills instead of highlighting that you don’t have a degree.

#8. College Doesn’t Automatically Lead to Wealth


You can have people telling you that a college degree will help you get rich, but that’s not true. Ask the millions of people with a college degree who have instant regret because they struggled to find work, aren’t making enough money to survive, and are dealing with constant harassment from their student loan lenders. Don’t let people fool you into believing that a college degree is the only way to increase your wealth. You can use what you know to your advantage when applying for jobs. Never apply or do something that doesn’t pay what you feel your skills and experience are worth. There are thousands of jobs out there that pay well and won’t require you to have a degree, including online tutoring, social media management, transcription, and more.


#9. You Have More Time to Find Your Passion in Life


When you don’t waste years of your life in college, you have more time to find your passion. Of course, you won’t know what you want to do at 18, 19, or even 20, but you can start gaining experience in different fields and discover your passion before your college-bound peers. Once you know what you want, you can get ahead of those around you because they’re still stuck in college.


Is college necessary for a successful future? No. You don’t need a college education to have a successful career. Instead, you need to have skills and the willingness to learn new things to improve your work. If you’re self-motivated and hardworking, you can succeed in life, even without a degree.