“You need a college degree if you want to succeed in life.”
That is probably the most misleading advice ever!
Don’t get the wrong idea: we’re not bashing universities and higher education, but this type of advice is ignorant to what the modern world can offer us. Having a diploma does help, but it’s mostly a gamble. You will eventually have to find a way to clear your debt.
What are you supposed to do with a bachelor’s degree in an oversaturated employee’s market and a college loan you cannot pay off because you’re unemployable? It’s an unbreakable circle, and most learning aids’ costs are very high. What if you can’t afford higher education but you want to learn?
While Baby Boomers are busy collecting their revenues from high paid jobs in corporations, Millennials are in a squeeze trying to find a market for their own set of skills.
There’s a lot of useless advice all over the internet and a lot of articles saying nothing. This article is not one of them.
Here are other creative ways you can improve your skills that don’t require going to college.
Find Free Training Courses
We all know that most employers offer professional staff training. But, here’s the good news: you don’t need to have a job to find free training classes. You can get educated on your couch at home, without having to commute, waste time and money on transportation, or miss any party.
You can take online classes, attend workshops, get your skills tested very easily AND have the time to grab a beer.
Here’s an example: if you want to learn or improve your Korean, on sites like Preply.com you can hire Korean teachers that can help you achieve your goal. Or, you can take one of Harvard’s or Yale’s Open Courses. You can listen to TedTalks or Stanford Podcasts or even attend free or paid online workshops on different platforms.
Exercise Your Creative Muscle
Take any course you desire; the sky is your limit. Buy a few art supplies and start painting, drawing, DIYing. Or, if you want a skill that you could turn into a profitable business later on, you could start a blog. A blog gives you the means to develop your writing skills, explore the topics you are passionate about, create a community, and monetize on your interests. You can even use your blog as a portfolio to find work.
Learn a Hands-on Skill
Learn how to cook, how to do electrical work, repair, and so on. These are the types of skills that aren’t easily computerized or done by a robot. As a result, your chances of finding a job will significantly increase since there is a shortage of professionals on the market.
Now that you have gained a few new skills, it’s time to put them to the test. Look for non-profit organizations in your area or even in different countries and see how you can help them. Volunteering gives you more than just the opportunity to enrich your community. You also get the chance to sediment the information you’ve acquired so far and see it put into action. Not to mention, volunteering will help you learn numerous skills that you would have never acquired in school, such as active listening, communication, empathy, and organizational skills.
Gain Experience and Build a Portfolio
Find out what you are good at and perfect your skills. For example, if you enjoy designing and would like to see if a career in graphic design fits you, you can find jobs on platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. Or you can Kickstart a campaign to finance your startup business or project. Build an online portfolio and promote yourself on social networks to get noticed and get work.
These are just a few means of giving yourself a nice and cheap learning experience without the aid of expensive workshops or student loans.
Education as we know it is changing at a fast pace. Classrooms are no longer the norm in world-class education. With only an internet connection and a laptop, you have everything you need to grow and improve your skills.