Archives,  Class of 2020,  Senior Feature

What if College Isn’t For Me?

By: Brianna Ramos (Opinion Editor)

As of March 2020, there are over 1.2 billion students in the world. It is proven by the National Center for Education Statistics that about 65 percent of high school students move on to higher level education, thus leaving the other 35 percent of students cutting their own path in life. In times like these, it is proven that many students can make it without a college degree. For those in question, it is important you take time to examine your financial situation, consider taking a gap year to evaluate your aspirations in life, and be open minded towards different opportunities that will aid in improving your quality of life. When reaching out to a few older people who have made a successful career without a degree, I was able to conclude that no matter the path you choose, there will always be a part of you that will wish you had tried life differently because it is human nature to wonder “what if I had chosen this path” in life. A man named Gil Cruz, who is 61 years old, stated, “I am now retired with little regrets, I was able to work as a postman for 35 years and I enjoyed being able to travel and experience the world one day at a time.” Additionally, I interviewed 33-year-old Kyra Cruz who said, “I am doing good on my own and I’m working as a caregiver for the elderly. I see myself enjoying this job while trying to build a career through YouTube as well.” Lastly, I spoke with 24-year-old Shantalie Santos who said, “I am working at a federal agency that deals with the collection of taxes. I enjoy my job because I get to help people with taxes, I get paid well, and travel about once a year. I didn’t feel school was for me because I never really excelled, and I am doing just fine where I’m at now.” These adults are living examples of a successful and comfortable life without college. This means, as long as you put yourself out there and apply yourself, it is possible to achieve what you want. On the other hand, it is also said that 12 percent of non-college attendees end up homeless. However, the odds are in your favor because that does not include the students who turn to drugs, gangs, etc. Overall, finding a career path is hard and it takes a lot of effort, but it is not possible to reach your destination as long as you persevere when the going gets tough. Other than the few instances of jobs listed above, some other career paths without a college degree with matching salaries are:

-Home Health Aid $25,000
-Medical Assistant $35,000
-Massage Therapist $35,000
-Dental Assistant $39,000
-Solar Photovoltaic Installer $43,000
-Licensed Vocational Nurse $48,000
-Media and Communication Equipment Worker $80,000
-Power Plant Operators $80,000
-Repairman $80,000
-Powerhouse Electricians $80,000
-Criminal Investigator $82,000
-Commercial Pilots $83,000
-System Operators $87,000
-Patrol Sergeants $90,000

-Nuclear Power Reactor Operators $95,000
-Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers $95,000