College will not guarantee success. A career requires more than just education, and not every college degree leads to a high-paying job. There are multiple paths to success, and some are easier than others.
Weigh Your Options
A skilled trade can sometimes trump a college education. Not every college graduate can work in the field that they studied, and most end up in jobs that don’t even require a degree. The degrees that guarantee the most success are science, technology, engineering, medicine, or the STEM fields. Other degrees require further studies to earn the high-paying careers. Outside of those conditions, you might have trouble finding a job appropriate to your degree. Don’t choose a degree just because it’s popular or because of a reputation for being easy.
Degrees in art, music, fashion, journalism, and many others are often ineffective in finding appropriate jobs, as careers in these field prize experiences and skills over education. You can also opt for a skilled trade if you prefer working with your hands. Training for a skill doesn’t require 4 years of college, and you won’t get saddled with huge debts. Skilled workers are always in demand, particularly in trucking, construction, and manufacturing. Wages for skilled workers in those three industries often pass $80,000, more if you have additional experience and skillsets.
Build Your Portfolio
Use your time studying to build networks and work experience. Volunteer as an intern or as an apprentice as soon as possible. While wages can be dismal or even non-existent, the experience you gain can prepare you for eventual work. Volunteer work also builds on your portfolio, removing the inexperienced tag and ensuring your employees that you can actually work. Most companies will absorb their most efficient volunteers or put you on a better footing once you apply for a position.
Get that Job
If you work in the STEM fields, you’ll probably get offers even before you graduate. All you need to do is weigh the best offers and pick the company you want to work for and your career direction. Everybody else needs to work a little bit harder. Start applying for jobs where you qualify. Heck, apply even on ones where you think you don’t. You’ll never know until the interview, and sometimes employers don’t know who they want either.
Continue doing volunteer work or minor jobs related to your field. Don’t forget to post your resume on the internet, as a few employers might want to check on you. Industrial staffing agencies can also be a big help. Most corporations rely on their services to fill vital positions that you won’t find in newspapers or online searches. Going through a staffing agency also allows you to apply for jobs that best suit your desired career paths.
With all that said, not everyone can get a high-paying career. But remember that you can increase your chances of getting one. Opt for education or training that leads to stable jobs and make valiant efforts to enter the industry.