Seven white collar jobs you don’t need a college degree for
Starting Succeed.com, one of my biggest goals is to say people can make it in different industries without a college degree. I don’t think they are worth what they cost and am not sure it’s the best way for a lot of people to learn. A lot of friends of mine loved college and did well there building great careers. A lot of friends of mine didn’t go to college and also built great careers. And a lot of college grads and college dropouts who went nowhere, because they didn’t work hard. However, to my college dropout or friends who never attended, they still have a stigma on them. We also still get many parents and teachers who market college as the only option. For this, these are seven career paths which don’t require a degree and are awesome.
Also beginning, this isn’t an attack on blue collar jobs. I have friends who went to college and after went to trade school to become carpenters or hairdressers and loved it. Some people though are just in love with the idea of working at a desk and doing that path of work.
Another thing is I’m also writing this 100% in mind that a college degree can give anyone a leg up in these fields. If someone wants to go to college, go and have a great time. I’m just here to provide job/career options to those who don’t want college or went to college, but regret the major.
With that, here we go.
This is probably where many would click off Succeed.com and say we aren’t a Career Site, but a crazy site. However, this is a fun fact. Four states in the United States require no law degree, college degree or even a high school degree to become a lawyer in America. Vermont, California, Virginia & Washington. Just get permission from a practicing attorney and get them to cite apprenticeship and the bar exam is open.
In seriousness though, I did put this on the list as a bit of a joke. Only about 400 people have actually done it this way in the last decade. Most of that being cited from the fact that law school is just so common and so easy to get into now. However, in California, they’ve had in the last 10 years 1,000 people take the bar exam and only 400 passed. I don’t know the numbers in other states, but it’s comparable.
I wouldn’t get discouraged by this though. For the apprentices who took the test, many were just paralegals or interns for firms going to law school who took it for fun or practice. Also, the California bar exam runs a 40% acceptance on the first test and a 60% acceptance rate for people taking it a second time. So 40% of people taking it without law school passing is still a great success rate.
I also am doing this myself and studying the bar exam daily to become a practicing lawyer in California just for fun.
This one is a bit more practical and a lot more accepted over lawyer. Coding is just not a thing that requires a college degree and can make a lot of money. The other part of it is due to constant changes in programmer demands, college degrees don’t hold the same value as experience.
For this, my recommendation is to begin just seeing if programming is a skill people think they can learn. Do some free classes on YouTube and call up a friend who is a professional programmer asking to buy lunch for a lesson. Buy some time from them and get started on fundamentals.
After warming up, focus on getting into a serious course or boot camp for coding. Some will cost money, some will be 100% free and some will cost money, but won’t charge unless the program gets a job. These are far more flexible over college and all of this can normally be done in under a year or even six months.
Best part is money can happen fast. Learn HTML? Congrats, selling WordPress services on Craigslist exist. Learn rails? Awesome. Go get some front end work as a freelancer. It just gets better from there and without a degree, coding can evolve into a six figure job in under five years.
Number Three-Social Media
This one is an easy one for me to recommend, because it’s actually my job when not trying to get Succeed up. I own the company stopscrollingmedia.com where we have 15 million followers on Facebook & Instagram growing everyday. And from this, I’ve actually had a lot of awesome job offers. Startups offered me fairly steady positions to run social. Playboy actually offered me a job once to essentially be head of their Instagram & Facebook. Even some larger and more established companies have had meetings with me to talk real jobs. All without a degree. I said no to pursue Succeed.com and Stop Scrolling, but the point is social media management can lead to some real offers.
To get into this space though, it’s not very easy and can take some time until a higher paid job offer hits. The first thing is some skills are needed. Getting good at adobe photoshop or other tools to make memes and other content is ideal. The second, there is a math to it in studying audiences and time to do posts. Nothing complex, but it needs to be done. After that, core experience. For this, I’d recommend people build their own Facebook or Instagram account for a certain topic and get it over 10,000 followers or over 1,000 at a minimum. After that, begin contacting some businesses and offer to run social 100% for free. Build up a client pool of free accounts being managed and create some visible success. After that, move to formal freelance of social media management. Eventually, paid job opportunities can come.
Also, part of doing social, it’s more than just growth. Using social to collect emails, managing Facebook ad campaigns and also directly selling via posting is all key. Doing this can make a more real product.
If less of a social butterfly, SEO is also a job option where like coding it constantly changes and a degree isn’t a requirement or even very useful. For SEO, there are hundreds of methods to get to the top of google. One method being articles. A reason Succeed.com has a media portion we are working to get thousands of articles on is just SEO to have people see our core product of career matching. And this is something anyone can learn on their own.
Study keywords. Study making blog articles. Study backlinking. Do those things and SEO becomes easy.
After that, do the following. Make a solid site for any topic really that can be marketed. Get strong Google and Bing results on that site. After that, go to small businesses and offer to do SEO work 100% for free. Do the freelance process of getting paid clients. Finally move into getting a job in that industry.
If anyone has seen Will Smith’s pursuit of happiness, they know stockbrokers aren’t a job requiring a degree. The problem however is many series 7 courses and programs to work for a brokerage are complete ripoffs and won’t pay people much if anything for the work they do. Also, being a stockbroker is at the end of the day just being a salesman. It’s just selling stuff which could be worth millions.
For getting a job as a stockbroker, do the following. The first being getting actual on the job experience in sales. Sell steaks door to door. Sell cars for a few weeks with a dealer. Do cold calls selling random products. Do these things, because brokerages will look passed the lack of degree and offer more to people who’ve made money selling. The second is network it up on LinkedIn “a job site not as simple as succeed” and gain contacts while also posting about finance. Begin adding people in finance and wealth management constantly. They normally say yes and are very easy to interact with. After that, an obvious one. Set aside a few hundred dollars and begin trading. Trade on robinhood or any stock app and get a feel for the market and understand what is going on.
For this, it’s not as easy as coding, SEO or graphic design, because those can all be done on easier work schedules and done at home. This normally requires traveling to a physical office and is 9-5 hours. For this, I’d only recommend it to people who have a set place to live with room and board. This can be a big risk and not even make that much if it doesn’t workout. Many brokers in New York and other parts of the world are selling stocks wondering if it’d be easier to just sell cars. Also, many boiler rooms are sketchy, have tough hours and have shady practices.
So be careful on this one, but success can happen as a career here.
Number Six-Real Estate Broker
This one is like stocks, but a lot simpler to build a career in. The best part of it is a lot of early realtors just do it via being on Facebook and Instagram. The key is just having friends. Having friends who will give the job of selling their house or finding them a home or apartment. The other key is just keeping an active Facebook or instagram and posting listings often on them. Eventually someone comments that they want it or their nephew or brother is hunting an apartment or home.
For real estate broker, it’s also a simple process. Become an agent at first. Nothing that requires 9-5 devotion and is a relatively easy test to pass for people who take the 24 hour course. After that, it takes a couple years to become a broker and being able to setup a practice independently. However, that can just be working as an agent part time and mastering the skill.
This whole process is simple and can make a lot of money, but be warned, it also can make very little. A lot of agents are flooded with people who did this as an alternative career job and from that commissions and work aren’t that high. Being a broker and able to manage several agents could easily become a six figure income though within less than five years of work though.
But for this job. Don’t do it if not social. Don’t do it unless willing to deal with friends and family for clients. Don’t do it unless willing to travel to different homes or apartments. And above all, don’t do it unless expecting to wait to get paid.
Final one and the one I recommend the most, become a videographer. Learning to edit videos and shoot them is a massively growing career path with jobs constantly opening up in. It’s fun. It’s a new challenge daily. It’s constantly changing.
The only setbacks of it though are the initial cost. Getting adobe premiere and a good laptop to edit on aren’t cheap. Getting a good camera or cameras also isn’t cheap. Also, with the current market, videographers should have a drone. The cost to get this all going should probably be along the lines of $5,000 all said and done. However, that’s just months of savings and maybe some strategic debt to get this career started.
The next thing is recognition and for this, I’ll offer a simple thing. My email is email@example.com. I have millions of followers on social and I am willing to post any content for free or even pay people for great video content. Contact me or another person with millions of followers on Instagram or Facebook and offer to put up a video for free. Get it hundreds of thousands of millions of views with that page. Guess what? Job offers and serious career opportunities open up.
Also, the best part to videography is it’s a spectrum for many skill levels and types of work. Introverts can sit at home editing what others have done. People can go and charge $1,000 to shoot video at a wedding and eat some cake and dance doing it. People can get jobs traveling the world for different companies or orgs. And while it’s not an easy six figure job, it evolves fast.
Building succeed.com into a career site, my mission is making an opening for everyone to get their goals hit. If someone is applying for a job through us saying they didn’t finish high school, I want Succeed to build them a path for making over $100,000 a year eventually. If someone has multiple degrees and a lot of debt, I want to help them.
The point though is having a great career should never be judged by linear paths in education. There are wonderful blue and white collar careers open to everyone. Degree or no degree.
And with that, I’m Succeed.com founder Charles Peralo. We are a Career Site. Not a job site. And I’m proud to have built a team where we have a neurosurgeon, an Oxford MBA and me, a dropout working strong together.