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THE INC. LIFE

Have a Kid Not Going to College? Here’s What They Really Need to Get on a Path to Success

A four-year degree is expensive. It’s also not necessary, as long as a person makes the right moves.

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BY Christina DesMarais - 16 Feb 2018

Have a Kid Not Going to College? Here's What They Really Need to Get on a Path to Success

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

I've got two kids in college. One attends an expensive private university and the other goes to an affordable community college. Since neither knows what he wants to do for a profession, my husband and I certainly wish the one going to the private school would join his brother at the junior college. But what we really think would be prudent is for both to drop out altogether. Here's why.

1. There's a huge need for workers in healthcare and construction industries.

When it comes to healthcare, many good paying jobs can be found with only specialized training often necessitating two years of school or less. And anyone willing to work hard physically is guaranteed a decent living, considering that hundreds of thousands of construction jobs are unfilled during a boom time for homebuilders. It's the same on the commercial side. The hotel remodeling firm my husband works for hires electrical and plumbing companies which charge at least $100 an hour per worker they send to a job site.

2. Someone willing to work harder than everyone else will naturally gravitate to a path of success.

It's a guaranteed way to get attention from people in power who can help you get ahead in business and life. The business world is full of stories of influential leaders who have mentored others, providing advice, connections and other methods of valuable support.

3. You're golden if you can be more important to your employer than they are to you.

Salespeople--or anybody else who brings money through the door--often are the most valued individuals in an organization. That's according to Donald Sheppard, a guy with no college degree whose advertising agency was acquired by a global player in the space in 1999 (he discusses his journey to success in his book The Dividends of Decency). While this kind of work can be stressful and thankless, anyone who makes themselves necessary to a company's viability is on a different plane when it comes to a career trajectory.

4. Acquire the best education by getting job at a successful company.

Joe Kraus, a partner for with Google's early-stage investing arm, GV, says this is the best play for anyone who wants to start their own company. At a recent speaking event he said people can glean a wealth of knowledge by making several small decisions every day over the course of years, while watching how coworkers conduct themselves. Gaining experience with a company which knows what it's doing is a much better way to learn how to be successful versus going off alone on an entrepreneurial path.

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