How to Land a Job Without a Degree

Choosing a career can be an extremely difficult decision. Choosing a second career can be even more difficult especially if you have already had the job of your dreams. This process will require a period of investigation, exploration and soul-searching. As potential employees, we most often reflect on our side of the equation, which is warranted, yet finding a new career is a two-way street. On one side is “What do I want to do?” On the other side is “Who is hiring and for what type of work?” According to the US Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) there millions of unfilled positions in the United States right now. With millions of unfilled positions you might think that the positions must not pay well. While that is certainly the case for a portion of unskilled positions, there are millions of other jobs that do pay well. And some of these semi-skilled jobs require an associate’s degree or less.

Who is hiring?

Three areas are seeing the fastest growth - healthcare, technology and skilled trades. It might not be a surprise to see healthcare and technology top the list as growth areas, but skilled tradespeople are in high demand too. As the older generations retire, there just aren’t enough qualified tradespeople to fill their shoes. The highest paying job areas that require two years of post-secondary (after high-school) education or less is a resource of hot jobs. Pay for these top earning positions can range from 50-100K + per year. It is important to note that hiring varies greatly by region so plan to use resources like CareerOneStop.org to obtain job growth and salary information in your state.

How can I qualify?

The positions on this list require anywhere from a certification or license to an associate's degree. If you plan to move into one of these jobs quickly, further training, certifications and licensure will most likely be necessary. So begin to investigate the requirements in your state and contact your AthLife Advisor for assistance finding a program that meets your career needs.

Econ 101

In our political climate, there are swirling questions about who can and will fill these openings. The political debate will rage; do workers need improved training and skills or do employers need to offer better wages. The basic economic lessons of supply and demand will decide that debate. The reality remains that there are good paying jobs to be had and if it’s the right fit for you, it might yield a great return on your investment.

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