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8 Solid alternatives to 4 year college in 2020


Are there any good alternatives to a 4 year college degree, you may wonder. We are so used to the thought that our career can go forward only with a college degree, that we don’t stop to consider if there are other things which can help to do what we want to in life. Come to think of it, if after spending four years of your life you find out that you want to do something quite different. Why wait so many years when there are so many solid alternatives to college you can check out:

8 solid alternatives to college 

Start your own business


With easy net connections, the business barriers have gone down quite a bit. If you’re an artist or a writer, you can sell your paintings online and publish your books or articles online. Many people design and sell designer clothes and handicrafts online. This saves a lot of money, such as rent and utility bills, employees and so on. You can also be a website designer or graphic designer online. It’s one of the solid alternatives to college as you can start your work life without spending time and money on a college.

Attend a community college


Community college is a cheaper option for higher studies. For example, an hour of community college costs 60 dollars as opposed to the 300 dollars at a regular college. If you are not able to make up your mind about your major, you can study at a community college near your home. You can stay at home and save hostel and food fee!

The best benefit is that you can take your time to decide which path you want to follow, and get an associate degree. Instead of spending a huge amount of money getting to know which subject you have to take up as a major in college, you can get to know for a fraction of the cost in community college. You might transition to a 4 year college if you want to after two years.

Another incentive to enroll in a community college is that you don’t need an expensive college education to get a great job. Some of the highest paying careers which require a midlevel education (higher than a school degree but less than a 4 year college degree) are:

  • Aerospace operations
  • Engineering Technician
  • MRI Technologist
  • Web Developer
  • Air Traffic Controller
  • Nuclear Technician

Some community colleges even cover up to 100% of tuition fees for high school seniors who score a minimum of 2.0 GPA and enroll in the fall after graduating from school. Thus, with so many options, community college is one of the solid alternatives to college education.

Be an apprentice or fellow

an eco warrior,

An apprenticeship is a great way to learn and earn, making it one of the alternative to higher education. There are many apprenticeships on offer these days, which offer paid apprenticeships for students aged between 18 and 24, wherein you have to work full-time, such as Enstitute.

If you are an eco warrior, you can start your eco friendly career with green non-profits such as Echoing Green. They promote people who are interested in bringing about social change. TechStars gives funding to young innovators as well as guide them to develop tech products. So instead of a bachelor’s degree, you would be doing what you want to and earn your keep!

Do you have a brilliant entrepreneurial idea and are under the age of 20? Then you might apply for the Thiel Fellowship which funds (100,000 dollars) and mentors young people to make their dreams a reality. So apprenticeships/fellowships are definitely solid alternatives to college.

Learn a trade

Learn a trade

A bachelor’s degree may not get you the jobs you think you will. The latest statistics reveal that college graduates also are among the unemployed. To get suitable jobs, you can up your skills in different trades which may suit your personality and tastes better. Some people are very good at crafts, and if you’re one of them, you can choose trades such as Landscaping, Welding, Construction, Plumbing (you can earn a lot!).

Forestry, Photography (Wedding and event photography etc), Electrical, Painting, Woodworking, Locksmithing, Masonry, Metal work and so on are other great options. You should search for trades online, and you choose the one which suits you best. So learning a trade is certainly one of the best solid alternatives to college.


group of young volunteers picking up litter in the park

Volunteering is one of the best ways that you can give back to society. You can be a volunteer for elderly homes, children’s hospitals or other initiatives which are in your area. If you like travelling, you can look for UN and Unicef volunteer programs as well as those of Global Routes, AmeriCorps VISTA program, NCCC program, Conservation Corps and others. Volunteering is therefore is one of the solid alternatives to college which can make you feel good, and earn also.

Learn online

Learn online

There are numerous interesting courses available online. EdX and Coursera are the leaders and YouTube and many other websites have free online courses. Online education is a great alternative to higher education, and for a small fee, EdX as well as Coursera give university verified certificates too. Employers today are interested in people who have specific skills, and are willing to learn.

Start selling a real estate

Start selling a real estate

Real estate buying and selling is quite lucrative. It’s a very good option for people who do not want to attend college. You just have to take a licensing test to get started. You can work from home and fix your own hours of work. Maybe you can earn enough to start your own firm!

Take a break

Take a break

There are some lucky people who know what they want to do in life right from childhood. But most of us don’t fall into category. If you can’t decide what to do after graduation, you can take a gap year, to research into various options and maybe travel the country or the world.

In order to find suitable jobs, you don’t need to study for four years. Just go through all the solid alternatives to 4 year college and get an unconventional education which is just perfect for you!

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