Logo Homeschool World ® Official Web Site of Practical Homeschooling Magazine Practical Homeschooling Magazine
Practical Homeschooling® :

Not All Good Jobs Require a Bachelor's Degree

By Russ Beck
Printed in Practical Homeschooling #30, 1999.

Pin It

Russ Beck


There is life without college! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the new millennium approximately 75 percent of the jobs in the workplace will not require a bachelor's degree. In fact, one of the fastest-growing segments of the workplace will be high-wage, high-skill technical jobs that require from one to three years of training or education. According to Workforce 2020, published by the Hudson Institute,

In the early 21st century...a larger share of fast growing occupations also will require education beyond high school, but not necessarily a four-year college degree.

It is not my intent to discourage students from pursuing the career of their choice, whether it involves college or not, but it is important for students to know that they don't have to settle for second-rate, low-paying jobs if they do not get a bachelor's degree. It is clear that it is a new day in the workplace and opportunities abound for students who seek out programs that offer them the training and skills necessary to succeed.

Many jobs in the health care and the computer fields require less than a four-year education. Listed below are 25 jobs that have high skill requirements and good earning potential.

  • Aircraft mechanic
  • Automotive service technician
  • Computer repairman
  • Construction manager
  • Data processing equipment repairman
  • Dental assistant
  • Dental hygienist
  • Desktop publishing specialist
  • Electronics repairman, commercial and industrial equipment
  • Hairdresser/hair stylist
  • Human services worker
  • Licensed practical nurse
  • Medical record technician
  • Occupational therapy assistant
  • Paralegal
  • Physical and corrective therapy assistant and aide
  • Physician's assistant
  • Private detective and investigator
  • Real estate sales agent
  • Registered nurse
  • Secretary-legal
  • Security consultant and technician
  • Surgical technologist
  • Truck driver
  • Welder

This list is a compilation taken from several "top job" lists including the occupational information published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It accurately reflects a growing need in several industries including the health care, computer, and technical fields.

The training necessary for many of these jobs can be obtained through on-the-job training, certificate programs, apprenticeship programs, or an associate degree. In order to advance, however, continual training is usually necessary. For example, someone with basic business training and word processing skills could be hired right out of high school as a secretary. In order to improve their salary level and achieve greater success however, additional training is necessary. The Certified Professional Secretary rating is increasingly recognized in business and industry as a consideration to promotion as a senior level secretary. Specializing in certain fields such as medicine or law can also enhance a secretarial career.

Computers now play an important role in the workplace. Training for all occupations should include some development of computer skill, which is one of the top ten skills in demand by employers. Computers are used in almost every field, including the computers automotive service technicians use to diagnose performance on cars, those used by travel agents to help customers plan and book their vacation itineraries, the computers secretaries use to organize and communicate information, and the computer-related technology that allows radiologic technicians to properly image and analyze the human body.

In this series of articles I have shared some thoughts with you on career planning and exploration. All workers want a personally satisfying and rewarding career. This goal is not always attained. Good decisions can only be made through good information. Students need good information about themselves, good information about occupational opportunities, and good information about training and educational programs. Knowing where they are, where they want to be, and how they will get there will put them on a solid career track. By knowing themselves and how their skills and interests realistically relate to the world of work, students can find a career that will serve them well.


Was this article helpful to you?
Subscribe to Practical Homeschooling today, and you'll get this quality of information and encouragement five times per year, delivered to your door. To start, click on the link below that describes you:

USA Individual
USA Librarian (purchasing for a library)
Outside USA Individual
Outside USA Library

Time4Learning Spanish For You

Articles by Russ Beck

Getting Ready for the Future - Today

Awareness and Assessment

Searching for the Right Career

Top Jobs for the College Graduate

Not All Good Jobs Require a Bachelor's Degree

There Are Many Paths to Success

Popular Articles

Character Matters for Kids

Advanced Math: Trig, PreCalc, and more!

A Homeschooler Wins the Heisman

A Reason for Reading

Don't Give Up on Your Late Bloomers

Classical Education

The Charlote Mason Approach to Poetry

Shakespeare Camp

How to "Bee" a Spelling Success

Phonics the Montessori Way

What We Can Learn from the Homeschooled 2002 National Geography Bee Winners

Narration Beats Tests

Bears in the House

Myth of the Teenager

Montessori Math

The Benefits of Cursive Writing

Getting Started in Homeschooling: The First Ten Steps

Discover Your Child's Learning Style

I Was an Accelerated Child

Joyce Swann's Homeschool Tips

Teaching Blends

Top Tips for Teaching Toddlers

The Equal Sign - Symbol, Name, Meaning

Who Needs the Prom?

Getting Organized Part 1 - Tips & Tricks

Can Homeschoolers Participate In Public School Programs?

Columbus and the Flat Earth...

Combining Work and Homeschool

Montessori Language Arts at Home, Part 1

Why the Internet will Never Replace Books

The Gift of a Mentor

Patriarchy, Meet Matriarchy

Critical Thinking and Logic

Whole-Language Boondoggle

Art Appreciation the Charlotte Mason Way

Give Yourself a "CLEP Scholarship"

How to Win the Geography Bee

University Model Schools

The Benefits of Debate

The Charlotte Mason Method

Saxon Math: Facts vs. Rumors

Getting Organized Part 3

What Does My Preschooler Need to Know?

Laptop Homeschool

The History of Public Education

Teach Your Children to Work

AP Courses At Home

Interview with John Taylor Gatto

Start a Nature Notebook

Top Jobs for the College Graduate