Scared of accumulating too much student debt? Afraid that years in college may not really prepare you for the job you desire? Here are 3 career alternatives that you can embark upon right after high school graduation to start earning and doing, rather than waiting years to create your future career.
With student loan debt being around nearly $40,000 per person, it’s understandable why so many people are opting out of college. However, that doesn’t mean that they can live without some form of work. Fortunately for them, there are plenty of careers that pay well, offer a nice income, and don’t require a college degree. Here’s a look at three of the most promising ones.
Real Estate Agent
In general, those who are good at sales stand to make quite a bit of money. Since most sales jobs pay based on commission, the amount of income you can make is potentially higher than many other jobs. You’re paid based on your performance. Being a real estate agent is one such sales career. A real estate agent makes pretty decent money. You make money based on commission. Commission is a percentage of each home sold, typically 6-7%. Nationwide, real estate agents make between $62,000 and $90,000 a year. Most real estate professionals bypass college and go to real estate school instead, where they learn about real estate law, contracts, and other important information pertaining to selling houses or commercial property.
Firefighters bring a widerange of skills to the job, including, of course, firefighting skills as well as people and animal rescue techniques and medical training. In order to do their jobs effectively and to maintain a degree of safety, firefighters must also have a high level of physical fitness. Each city has its own requirements for becoming a firefighter. Usually, would-be firefighters can receive job-specific training by the fire service. However, there are often community classes that will also prepare future firefighters for the job, at least to a certain degree. This job doesn’t usually require a degree, however. Income is dependent on the state where you fight fires. The highest-paid firefighters make more than $75,000 a year.
With the existence of online training companies like Udemy and LinkedIn Learning, it’s entirely possible to learn how to do web design or web development for a fraction of the cost of a bachelor’s degree. While many hiring bosses still look for candidates who have a BA or a BS, many will now consider hiring people based on their portfolios. Designers need some basic skills, like the ability to draw, the ability to use design programs, and the ability to work well with clients.Many designers without a degree will post their work to their social media accounts so that it can be seen by people in their industry. They’ll also attend trade shows and other industry events so that they can meet people in the industry who might help them to get a job down the road. Graphic designers make up to $71,000 a year. Getting a well-paying job these days doesn’t always require a degree, and with the average debt of most college students being in the mid-double digits, it’s easy to understand why more and more people are opting out of a university degree. The key to making a nice living is to find a job that pays well without a degree. These jobs usually require some sort of on-the-job training or a certification course. However, many people working today teach themselves the skills they need to do the job they want, allowing them to save money on a degree and dive right into their chosen field.
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Women are taking the reins developing, designing and marketing video games. In this article, Lisa Wackenhuth Svanström, a 3D Artist at Star Stable Entertainment, a multiplayer game full of horses, magic and adventure, offers career advice to young women who may want a career in the video game industry.
(BPT) - Careers in the video game industry are highly desirable, and for good reason. Working for a video game company can be rewarding, and equally important, turns a favorite pastime into an exciting career. However, for tween and teen girl gamers, the prospect of one day working in the video game industry may seem daunting. While 46% of the U.S. gamer population is female, women account for only 22% of video game developers.
Women are taking the reins developing, designing and marketing video games. Lisa Wackenhuth Svanström, a 3D Artist at Star Stable Entertainment, a multiplayer game full of horses, magic and adventure, offers career advice to young women who may want a career in the video game industry:
1. What inspired you to build a career in the video game industry?
I am a life-long gamer, artist and digital creator and now, my official title at Star Stable is 3D Artist. Working for a company like this allows me to unite my interests and skills to create magic for girl
2. What are the types of jobs for women in the development studio?
To build a game, artists (3D, 2D, VFX and animators), designers and programmers need to work closely together from start to finish. Artists work on the overall creative vision. Designers work with the mechanics and features. Then, programmers use their coding knowledge to bring it all to life. We work with producers to make sure that all tasks associated with the development process are completed on time and tracking with the overall vision of the project. As the industry continues to grow and evolve, developers focused on mobile and virtual/mixed reality are in high demand, as are tech animators, who use a combination of creative and animation skills to solve issues related to art production.
3. What other types of jobs do women have in the industry outside the development studio?
I have built my career in game art, but it takes dozens of people with specific skillsets for a video game company to succeed. Community managers interact with players daily to ensure they are having a positive experience with the game and make sure fan feedback is implemented. We also have women running the business at the executive level and as product managers and business developers. There are multiple opportunities, inside and out of the development studio, so you must embrace your skills and interests to find which career path you would enjoy most.
4. What are the most important skills needed to succeed?
I recommend that budding video game developers find a network, get to know different game engines, become familiar with 2D and 3D software, and try new games all the time. Then, become a specialist in the aspect that interests you the most. Developing specific skills is important but developing into a well-rounded person with a broad view of the world is equally important. It is also good to dive into sports, learn the arts, take a computer class or explore theater. Never stop learning and challenging yourself.
5. What advice do you have for young girls who want a career in video games?
It’s also important to find a company that embraces women in all roles and embodies a culture of inclusivity and accessibility — the Star Stable team is more than 50% women. Finally, give back. If every woman who is part of the 22% proactively mentors other young women, imagine the next generation who will one day grow up to become our colleagues!
Advice for Employers for Recruiting and Retaining the Workers of Generation Z
(BPT) - The U.S. workforce is in the midst of an influx with 65 million workers from Generation Z beginning to look for jobs, according to BridgeWorks Consulting. This group of workers, born after 1997, do not remember a time without the internet and have grown up in a post-2008 recession era of financial responsibility, meaning what motivates them differs greatly from previous generations.
The combination of Gen Zers’ financially savvy, entrepreneurial spirit and their deeply rooted relationship with technology means employers need to reassess and diversify the ways they interact with and what they offer candidates. This also creates challenges in identifying the groups’ reason for choosing a field or job, placing the pressure on the hiring business or brand to stand out as an attractive experience.
“With this generation, the onus is on employers to learn how to relate to and attract their next employees,” said Kristen Wahl, director of the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, the current Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors and MathWorks.
EcoCAR’s recent study of college students participating in the competition revealed two key insights that translate across industries and may help employers of all types better understand who their co-workers and employees of the future will be.
Tech is integral to all aspects of their lives
Gen Z hasn’t known a time without access to infinite information at their fingertips as smartphones debuted when many were infants. Easy access to information has allowed Gen Zers to be curious learners and interact with companies and brands much earlier than generations past.
The study shows job seekers are likely to engage with online articles (62 percent) and videos (61 percent) along with other content on social media, which can be a great starting point for hiring companies to build their relationship with the Gen Z workforce. These insights apply to all companies — from large national companies to local small businesses — and are easily attainable through a variety of online channels.
“Our insights show interaction between Gen Z and employers must start before the next hiring cycle or career fairs,” said Wahl. “Employers of all sizes should be aware how their future employees interact with their brand before they are looking to hire.”
Personal and career growth are imperative
Gen Zers are seen as self-starters that take pride and responsibility for their own career paths with 76 percent believing they are culpable for driving their own career trajectory and 42 percent with hopes of self-employment, according to Concordia University-St. Paul. The entrepreneurial work ethic and concerns of financial security can explain the emphasis placed on professional and personal growth. Our research shows young job seekers agree on the importance of career advancement opportunities (98 percent), competitive wages (97 percent) and personal learning and development opportunities (96 percent). Regardless of industry or job-level, Gen Zers see a link between personal and professional growth and seek employers who share that thinking.
“Employers who can reach prospective job seekers early in their process and then deliver a fulfilling day-to-day experience with proper compensation will be prepared to both attract and retain the incoming wave of young workers,” said Wahl.
To say ClassPass founder Payal Kadakia keeps busy is an understatement. The fitness platform she founded operates at 15,000 partner sites across 80 cities worldwide and is continuing to expand. Kadakia works 10-hour days and then dances for another three; plus, she finds time to fit in workouts daily. Kadakia offers the following time-tested tips on how to own your everyday through preparation, planning and purpose.
(BPT) - To say ClassPass founder Payal Kadakia keeps busy is an understatement. The fitness platform she founded operates at 15,000 partner sites across 80 cities worldwide and is continuing to expand. Kadakia also founded Sa Dance Company, a bicoastal Indian dance troupe that performs at major venues across Los Angeles and New York.
Kadakia works 10-hour days and then dances for another three; plus, she finds time to fit in workouts daily. Kadakia offers the following time-tested tips on how to own your everyday through preparation, planning and purpose.
1) Preparation: Kadakia always keeps a suitcase packed with spares of essentials — chargers and adapters, toiletries, a favorite scarf that doubles as a cozy blanket, and almonds, her go-to snack for all her favorite adventures. Kadakia loves almonds because they have the protein and fiber she needs to stay full and nourished, whether she’s in the boardroom, in the air or about to perform on stage.
2) Planning: Kadakia meticulously plans out her schedule to make sure every moment is spent with intent. Time is her most precious resource, so detailed planning enables her to make every minute count. “I spend Sundays planning my week, and I begin each morning sipping antioxidant-rich green tea while reviewing my calendar, goals and actions for the day,” says Kadakia. “An integral part of my planning includes the careful scheduling of meals, workouts and snacks. Not only do I want every minute to count, but I also want every nutrient to count. I always carry almonds in my purse and my gym bag so I’m never caught hungry or tempted by poor food choices.” Kadakia takes a similar approach to planning her workouts. She doesn’t just schedule an exercise class — she also books second- and third-choice classes in case her first choice falls through.
3) Purpose: “Everyone has a purpose, whether they know it or not,” said Kadakia. “You owe it to yourself to identify it and pursue it with zeal. My personal purpose is to help people live their lives fully. It’s no coincidence that this is ClassPass’ mission, too. It has guided me through tough decisions — like quitting my safe day job years ago to create ClassPass and abandoning products that were working well but not well enough — and it has always guided me to fill my days with meaning.”
Armed with preparation, planning and purpose, anyone can own their everyday. It’s yours to seize.
You spend a good portion of your life at work. You need a job to live and thrive. Over time, you may realize that your current employment is not working for you. While it is nicer to be on vacation than to be at work, no one should dread going to a job. There are several important indicators that it is time for a new career.
There Is No More Opportunity to Grow
It can be frustrating when it seems like your colleagues are advancing while you are sitting still. It may be that you do not have the education to go beyond your current level at work. It may be that management likes you where you are. No matter how hard you try, you remain in the same position. If you keep getting passed up for promotion, it may be time to take your life in a new direction.
Your Workplace Culture Is Toxic
One of the challenges of a workplace is the variety of personalities you must interact with. There will always be difficult people. However, some workplaces have troubling relationship dynamics. There may be cliques or other unhealthy groupings. Poor management may have given more authority to domineering personalities. The place may have developed a culture where gossip and disrespect are tolerated. Your workmates may not be your best friends, but you should be able to work together to accomplish what is best for the company.
Your Unique Skills Are Wasted
Every person brings a different skill set to the table. However, your current position may not use some of the gifts that give you the most fulfillment. If you love to code but spend your days filing paperwork, both you and your company are missing out on your skills. If you love interacting with people but spend all your time in a cubicle, it is natural to be frustrated by your work. Look for a career that uses your unique skills and gifts.
Your Commute Makes You Contemplate Vehicular Homicide
Even if you have a great job, getting to and from work can be a real burden. That time you spend in the car is time you could be doing something more productive. Your commute can also be a source of heavy stress that can have serious long-term health consequences. Your commute gets even more dangerous if you're traveling through town, as intersections are famously prone to car accidents. Unless you have the perfect position at work, consider looking for a job a little closer to home.
You’re Only There for the Paycheck
With the amount of time you spend at work, it should be more fulfilling. You are going to spend years working. While the paycheck is important, you also should be looking to do something that gives you purpose. Think about your personal goals in life. If this job is not working towards those goals, it may be time to look for something else.
Seeking a new career can be a risk. You may not love your current position, but at least you know what you are getting. Instead of settling for a mediocre job, find a career that gives you joy. As the saying goes, “If you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time.”
Graduating from high school can be one of the best days of your life, but it can also be one of the most confusing. After all, for the first time in your life, you are truly free to explore the world. So, what should you do after graduating high school? The following list details a few of the options that can allow you to begin clearing your vision and understanding what you truly want out of life.
High school, for many people, is a battlefield of trying to be accepted and keeping up with grades. Thus, not much time was left to truly find yourself for those four years. Understandably, many recent graduates really don't know what they want to pursue after their high school years. Those in prominent positions, such as CEOs and political figures, always tend to have this one recommendation, and that is to try different things. Only through the act of experience does one understand what they genuinely like and don't like about the world. For instance, you might have thought about becoming an attorney. To see what that might be like firsthand, you could apply for internships with law firms. The reality could change your entire view of the field.
No Need To Rush
Many graduates tend to feel a disconnect after high school and thus have an urge to find themselves. This should be taken seriously and without a rush to find an answer. Consider taking a gap year, which is one year off after high school before going to college, to travel and spread your wings on the open road. This does not mean becoming reckless or removing your common sense, but knowing where to go. Make sure to drive safely and have fun as you spread your wings. The purpose of a gap year is to reflect, ponder and explore.
Save Money for College
Often, students take little to no time to save up for the expenses of college, with many of them opting-in to paying with student loans. Although you may be a year ahead, the fact is that taking a gap year to work hard and earn as much money as possible toward college can save you thousands in interest charges later on. Saving for college can also allow you to concentrate on your schoolwork without having to worry about working part-time.
Graduating from high school can bring all kinds of emotions. These range from sadness to joy and to confusion all within one day. However, being proactive and laying out all your options can really help you transition from a child to an adult who is ready to tackle the world.
A lackadaisical approach to benefits enrollment could leave you short on coverage or end up costing you more than it should. Gathering information and making time to thoroughly consider your options and needs can help ensure you’re getting the best value from your employer’s benefits package. Approach this year’s open enrollment with these tips in mind.
Get the Most Out of Your Benefits Enrollment
(Family Features) A lackadaisical approach to benefits enrollment could leave you short on coverage or end up costing you more than it should. Gathering information and making time to thoroughly consider your options and needs can help ensure you’re getting the best value from your employer’s benefits package.
Approach this year’s open enrollment with these tips from the experts at Colonial Life in mind:
Take life changes into account. A major event like a birth or marriage makes you eligible to adjust your benefits between enrollment periods, but there are many other factors that may affect your coverage needs. For example, you may not bother with dental coverage for a newborn, but once that child has some teeth and is mobile, it’s a good idea to add coverage in the event a fall damages a tooth.
Be conscious of changes. It’s quite common to allow your benefits to renew automatically when the enrollment period rolls around. This can create problems as plans and coverages often change from year to year. Deductible amounts, office visit co-pays and even categories of coverage can shift from one year to the next. Even if there aren’t changes to the coverage, there may be a new pricing structure or additions to coverage that could benefit you.
Dedicate some time. When signing up for benefits for the first time, most people spend at least a little time reviewing each plan option. If you have your premiums deducted from your paycheck automatically, you probably don’t give a lot of thought to your benefits, especially if you’re relatively healthy. Open enrollment is the time to give them more than a passing thought.
A survey by Colonial Life showed 69% of employees spend less than 60 minutes learning about their benefits choices, but that limited time commitment can ultimately affect overall job satisfaction.
“This can be a huge problem for both employees and their employers, because a lack of engagement with the benefits program leads to lower morale and higher turnover,” said Steven Johnson, vice president of enrollment solutions at Colonial Life.
Instead of a cursory flip through the materials, dedicate some time to thoroughly review all the information and make notes about areas you have questions.
Discuss your options. Benefits can be complicated, and there are a lot of terms and jargon in the insurance world that can make it hard to understand exactly what your benefits will cover. That’s why it’s a good idea to sit down with a knowledgeable benefits counselor to discuss your family and personal financial situation.
Technology may be king for many aspects of life, but the survey found just 11% of employees name the internet as the place they turn to learn about benefits during enrollment each year. However, 76% of employees turn to humans including HR professionals, coworkers, family and friends.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for benefits, but a one-on-one counseling session can help simplify the entire benefits process. A private consultation may help you understand how each benefit election impacts your paycheck, as well as simplifying complex benefit concepts, answering your questions and walking you through the enrollment process.
Learn more about how to maximize your benefits at ColonialLife.com.
To gain a better understanding of your benefits, these definitions from HealthCare.gov can help you identify and recognize some common terms.
Benefits: The health care items or services covered under a health insurance plan.
Coinsurance: The percentage of costs of a covered health care service you pay (20%, for example) after you’ve paid your deductible.
Copayment: A fixed amount ($20, for example) you pay for a covered health care service after you’ve paid your deductible.
Deductible: The amount you pay for covered health care services before your insurance plan starts to pay.
Flexible Spending Account: An arrangement through your employer that lets you pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses with tax-free dollars.
Health Savings Account: A type of savings account that lets you set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses.
Network: The facilities, providers and suppliers your health insurer or plan has contracted with to provide health care services.
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While TV makes it seem as though everyone goes straight from high school into college and only enter the working world after getting a degree, most people actually enter the workforce around the completion of high school, taking whatever early work they can receive with no formal education or training. From there, people work up (if possible), or wind up only making lateral changes as they change jobs (leaving a cashier job at a clothing store for a cashier job at a pet store). Fortunately, there are careers that you can break into without a four-year degree that pay livable wages.
For those interested in criminal justice, there are many paths that can offer a satisfactory living with no degree and are not only police officers or related jobs. Positions such as police dispatch are often given the same city employment titles and benefits as the officers, but with a much safer environment with a more set schedule. Police stations and courts also need clerks and a variety of administrative roles filled.
Though there are highs and lows in the market, real estate prices only go up over the long-term. Because of this, there is a long term need for people familiar with this industry. In addition to general sales, house flipping shows have brought to many people’s attention that there is great money in buying and renovating properties. While the market has changed, house flipping can still be profitable. Neither sales, nor flipping, require a college degree; both can be learned through apprenticeship. Apartment complexes are often seeking roles in managing a large rental environment. You don’t have to own property to work in this field.
Beauty and Wellness
People love to pamper themselves and spend small fortunes to make themselves look better. While many jobs in this industry may require a diploma or certification, those are fairly quick to obtain rather than a BS degree. In addition to selling cosmetics (a system that is already established and often comes with a customer base), careers can include hair, nail and makeup artists, massage therapists, and dietitians. With enough knowledge of the industry, you could even go on to own your own salon or spa.
Completely changing the field, you work in may seem like starting from the beginning, but soft skills (such as customer service) are transferable. Starting new doesn’t mean starting at the bottom.
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