Even in the 2020s, there are plenty of careers that don’t require a four-year diploma. Unfortunately, that number is getting smaller all the time, and even jobs that are available to non-degree-holders don’t offer the pay or career potential of jobs that require degrees. If you’re wondering about the usefulness of a piece of paper from a degree-granting institution, whether undergraduate or grad school, consider the huge opportunities that open up to you if you put in the effort to complete college or earn a master’s degree. Not only is it easier for degree-holding candidates to find jobs, it’s easier to get hired.
Employers put a lot of stock in education, and that’s truer now than it ever was in the past. And for you, an academic credential means much more than just snagging a position you’re interested in. It also means more rewarding career paths, better benefits, chances to move to the very top echelons of any company you work for, and the personal satisfaction of having accomplished something that takes hard work and dedication. What jobs require college degrees? Below is a short list of the most lucrative fields and niches of the working world that view diplomas as admission tickets. But first, learn how to save on monthly expenses so you’ll be in a better position to pay for schooling or to cover the costs associated with returning to school in mid-career for an advanced degree.
Refinance Existing Loans Before Heading Back to School
Many working adults decide to take a year or so off and earn a master’s degree. If that’s your plan, consider getting your personal budget in shape before enrolling. One of the fastest ways to chop a significant chunk off your monthly bills is to refinance a student loan you’re currently paying on. After filling out a short application and getting approved, your new agreement could go into effect very quickly, which means you don’t have to wait long to see the improvement in your monthly budget. Whenever people refinance student loans through a private lender, they have access to more convenient terms and lower payments, and if their credit has improved since they took out the original loan, it’s possible to get a more favorable interest rate as well.
For Grads Only
You’ll be surprise how often you keep bumping into the degree required notation on job postings, no matter which online employment sites you browse. One of the things that can be especially frustrating is to discover the requirement attached to a career field that was formerly open to high-school educated folks. The banking field is notorious for this new wrinkle.
What were called tellers a couple decades ago are now labeled personal bankers, and many major financial institutions don’t even interview you unless you have a four-year credential. When you delve into online listings, most of the big websites ask for a few pieces of general information up front. In addition to name, age, and career field you’re interested in, you’ll routinely be asked to check a box to indicate your highest level of educational achievement. Check the high-school box, and the number of listings you see will be about one-tenth the number for a university grad.
Want a career in finance, brokerage, banking, or accounting? You’ll gain entry with a four-year credential. For minimum-wage, entry-level positions that have virtually no upward mobility, high-school completion will suffice. The same is true for most teaching positions, even in grade-schools. The entire teaching profession is veering in the direction of standardization, so no matter what state you live in, you’ll likely face the same set of application criteria.
Perhaps you’re not the business type and intend to enter one of the helping professions. Two of the top choices in this category are social work and nursing, and both are grad-only fields. There are aide-level positions open for all others, but they don’t offer career paths and don’t pay nearly as well. Certified public accountants, physical therapists, government workers at all but entry levels, and IT fields are other major areas where you’ll need to study for four years or more after high school to gain entry. That doesn’t leave much for working adults who choose not to attend a degree-granting institution.