Surviving – Life Without a Degree, 2014

Surviving – Life Without a Degree, 2014

You look ahead when you walk, when you run, when you drive your car.

This is a test. It is only a test. Had it been an actual job, you would have received raises, promotions, and other signs of appreciation.---Anonymous

Wouldn’t you look ahead in your life itself?

Okay, okay, you don’t want a degree. Too much work. You want your real life to start, you want to earn and earn now.

So today we’re going the other way. Today we’re talking about your chances in the job market of the future, without a degree.

And we’re not going to say the chances are zero. This is about survival. We are trying to help you cope without a degree.

There are chances for you, even without that precious degree. We’ll tell you how.

Starting a good career requires making preparations and wise decisions—decisions based, in part, on stats info, projections about the job market.

So let’s take a look in our culture telescope— what is the 2014 job outlook for people who don’t even have an Associate degree, much less a Bachelor’s degree?

Without a degree, if you want a job with above-average earnings, you’ll need some training before you join the workforce. Millions of job openings are projected for high school graduates, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

But jobseekers will still need training beyond a high school diploma, particularly if they want a job with higher pay.

How do they know this? The BLS analysts use stats projections, to study the overall future demand for workers by education level. Most jobs are filled by workers who do not have a bachelor’s degree, and BLS expects that to continue in the future.

By 2014, job openings for workers who are entering their occupation for the first time and who don’t have a bachelor’s degree are expected to total roughly 40 million. That’s more than twice the number of job openings for 4-year college graduates.

man using a leaf blower

But many of these job openings will be in occupations that require some training after high school. In fact, high-paying occupations almost always require training.

That training could be anything from taking a few college courses, to getting an associate degree, or training on the job in an apprenticeship program, or taking vocational classes at a technical school. Or all of the above.

Which occupations should people prepare for? Which are expected to have the best prospects?

By 2014, BLS expects about 55 million job openings to be filled by workers who are new to their occupation. Of this total, more than 40 million openings are projected to be filled by workers who do not have a bachelor’s degree and who are entering their occupation for the first time.

About 25 million of these openings are expected to be held by workers who have a high school diploma or less education. Another 15 million openings are expected for workers who have some college education— or an associate degree, but not a bachelor’s degree.

Also, there’s a very wide variation in pay in some occupations.

For example, earnings for some customer service representatives, such as those who provide help for complex computer problems, are sometimes significantly higher than the median. Why? Because these workers are usually highly skilled and have several months of on-the-job training (oops— some also have a Bachelor’s degree).

That said, workers often qualify for jobs after less than 1 month of on-the-job training. There are many more possible occupations, however, that require more training.

Customer service representatives; truck drivers; book- keeping, accounting, and auditing clerks; registered nurses; executive secretaries and administrative assistants; and general maintenance workers—these all require more training.

Customer service representatives, who often receive 1 month to 1 year of training, usually start their jobs by observing experienced workers.

Truck drivers usually need 1 month to 1 year of training on the job; some at- tend vocational schools to learn the basics of commercial driving.

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks also require 1 month to 1 year of training, and many have an associate degree in business.

Registered nurses, unlike the other occupations on the chart, almost always have some college training. In fact, among registered nurses, more than 35 percent have an associate degree and more than 55 percent have a bachelor’s or higher degree.

Executive secretaries and administrative assistants usually need 1 month to 1 year of on-the-job training, and more than 45 percent of these workers have completed some college coursework.

man selling hot dogs

Most general maintenance workers learn on the job— or they earn an edge in hiring, by attending vocational classes (during or after high school).

Sometimes, its true, people can enter these occupations at the ground floor, and try their best to climb the ladder. But if they don’t have training after high school, they often earn less while they train on the job. Often, MUCH less.

We all know people who have done this. Many wish they had gone on and gotten more earnings power, before starting their families, or going on their own in life. So, yes… people in some occupations can start work with non degree, right after high school. If they are willing to accept a life of rock-bottom wages.

In other occupations, especially higher-paying ones, workers simply, absolutely!, need more education or training.

Let’s be sure we understand this. Our futures are on the line, after all.

Here’s the GRAD2B bottom line. If you want a job right after high school, projections show many openings will be available. But they won’t be the kind of jobs you need, to start a life, with a family, a home, a car, and all the things we’ve come to expect in life.

Even if you don’t want a degree, commit yourself to SOME form of training.

Online training, tech schools, community colleges. Use GRAD2B’s links and listings as your guide.

2014 will be here only too soon! Where will YOU be then? Stuck right where you started?

Look ahead. Always look ahead!

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