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Change of place: Why college might not define your career

The trajectory of finishing high school and going off to college is hardly debatable and seems more like a foregone conclusion than a debatable topic of conversation between student and parent.
A growing trend that is equal parts frugal and practical, however, is for would be college students to perhaps forgo the traditional route of a four year university or college and instead opt for a trade school or even toss themselves directly into the work force after school.
Those who choose to get a job out of school as their next move after high school certainly have the option of rethinking college if the job market is relatively soft. You'd be surprised, however, to find that there are plenty of good paying jobs that don't require a boatload of money spent on college or that precious degree once you've completed your schooling.
Plenty of reasonable and logical high school students aren't necessarily clamoring to start spending thousands of dollars on an education without testing the job market first. That option might sound shortsighted considering the importance of an education but not when you consider the prospects of having nearly $100,000 in college debt and a soft job market for your major.
And with that, alternative choices after high school start to come to the forefront, whether that's getting a job or focusing on non traditional school. Trade schools or vocational type universities often seem like the better bet, since you'll be training for a specific skill that will run parallel with a tangible job. There's always a need, for example, for heating and air conditioning professionals or pharmacy technicians that work closely with pharmacists.

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With the housing market starting to make a bit of a comeback, construction workers, supervisors and contractors are literally back in business. And the medical field still bodes well for a plethora of students keen on becoming a nurse, radiologist or even trying their hand at being a dental hygienist.
This isn't to suggest that college is overrated or isn't worth your time. If your plan after high school includes doing the campus tours and finding the college that best suits your career needs, then so be it. But for the rest of you, who aren't so keen on that plan, it's nice to know that if you pass on college that you won't be hitting a career path that ends in a dead end.

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