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What do kids who don't go to college or trade school do?

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    What do kids who don't go to college or trade school do?

    I've heard some people say they prefer to save for college outside of a 529 plan because it was possible the children might decide against going to college.

    That got me to thinking -- what do kids who don't go to college or trade school or the military do after high school?

    Are there any careers or jobs left where you can make a good living with only a high school diploma and no further training?

    #2
    Run MIcrosoft- worked for Bill Gates

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      #3
      Originally posted by jIM_Ohio View Post
      Run MIcrosoft- worked for Bill Gates
      Bill Gates went to Harvard. 529 could've paid for that until he dropped out. He also went to a super fancy private prep school. 529s couldn't pay for that, but Coverdell could have.

      I guess you could have a kid with a great athletic ability and get a full-ride scholarship, and then make it to the pros... but the likelihood of that happening doesn't seem very high to me.

      I find it highly unlikely that our kids will not make use of the 529s we have set up for them. I'm sure enough that I'm willing to risk the 10% penalty.

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        #4
        I think a lot of companies, particularly restaurant chains and retail stores, tend to train and promote from within the ranks. Someone starts as a stock person, becomes a cashier, than a customer service rep, then a department manager, then a store manager. I don't think a college degree is a requirement there (though it certainly might help). Same for big restaurant chains. Flipping burgers at McDonald's might not be one's career goal as a teenager, but if it eventually leads to a management position with the company with full benefits, retirement plan, etc., it might not be such a bad thing.

        Will the average non-college grad be making 6-figures? No. But can they, along with a working spouse, earn a nice living, particularly in a lower COL area? Sure.

        I have quite a few patients who are truck drivers. They seem to do okay. Same goes for construction workers.
        Steve

        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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          #5
          Originally posted by zetta View Post
          Are there any careers or jobs left where you can make a good living with only a high school diploma and no further training?
          Police officer or fire fighter. I have 2 brothers that went to college, then into these fields. They both retired with a great pension in their early 50s. They didn't need their college educations to work in their fields. One gets a great pension and COLA raises 3-4%/year. The other one is working FT in a different field while collecting his pension.

          I think cival service jobs where you earn a pension are a great job for someone that doesn't go to college. That includes janitor, secretary, etc. Not everyone is college material.

          There is also acting, singing, or modeling, but that isn't always an option.
          Last edited by moneybags; 04-19-2008, 05:24 AM.

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            #6
            I am not exactly sure but we have some relatives who never went to college who have had worked themselves up in the Corporate World. I have an aunt who had a very good position at a bank and later went to work for a library. No college degree - she makes really good money.

            Bookkeeper also comes to mind - the pay is insane these days. If you have the experience behind you the degree doesn't matter.

            I just had to add I always say that (in case my kids don't go to college) because my mom resented being expected to go to college. She will never use her degree and did not enjoy the experience at all. On the flip side my dad was first generation college. So I understand how profound a college degree can be, and yet I don't expect my kids to live their life the way we have planned out for them. It's their life; their choice. I will respect if they do no go to college; whatever the reason.

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              #7
              A lot of people I know sort of stumbled around until they found a groove, and then worked their way up from there.

              One of my friends is a mortgage broker. She made a fortune last year. This year probably won't be as good to her.

              Another one of my friends who did not go to college is a homicide detective.

              My brother makes a mint in sales without any college or trade school background. He's got the right people personality.

              My DH has some college and a couple of trade schools (and was in the military), but none have helped him all that much in his work life. He works on/with equipment that is somewhat unique in nature and there's no education to teach you it. They try to hire skilled people with somewhat related backgrounds, who are motivated- it is virtually impossible to find people. Most of what he knows with his current is job is from starting out in the ditches as the little guy.

              I do think it's tougher without a degree or trade school; my friends with education of some kind seemed to get their act together in their 20s. For the ones without formal education, most didn't seem to hit their stride until around their mid 30s. I'm not sure if either group is more or less secure than the other at this point though.

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                #8
                I know a bunch of people who don't use their college degrees. I have one daughter who didn't go and is like me, a medical transcriptionist. She was a 911 dispatcher and can go back to that and make good money, good retirement, etc.

                I have a nephew with a degree in biology/chemistry and he is an alcoholic beverage salesman, drives around to liquor stores, etc and takes orders.

                My sister was a teacher for many years and now works at Blue Cross/Blue Shield as a customer service rep and makes decent money and has a very good retirement plan there.

                My BIL used to scrub toilets at Boeing, moved through the ranks to deal with building permits and now works for Sound Transit Seattle with a good salary/retirement (my sister doesn't have to work).

                My own husband was a carpenter/foreman for many years and then we bought into a business he now runs, we have three partners (one my former boss) and we have expanded into two more. We do okay.

                I think it is a matter of finding what you are good at and working hard.

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                  #9
                  Well I did not go straight to college and managed to work myself up to management at a UPS call center, then there was a strike and I was laid off. Next I went to a mail order pharmacy and again worked myself up, quit that job took a pay cut and went some place else which I hated then was fired, yes fired because the assistant manager for some reason was upset with me and I still don't know why. Later I found a job at a pharmacy got the management position and started school. That place closed and now I over see (assist) in running the office at a PT clinic. It's strange but I just realized that every job I have had I have moved up, even without my college degree. For me it is not the degree that matters but what you know, I have seen people with master’s degrees and have no clue...imagine if I had went right away

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                    #10
                    Most jobs working in casino operations don't require a college degree and they pay for the most part at or above the national average depending upon location but its nothing like the good old days when they made an ungodly huge amount of money like in the 70s in Atlantic City.

                    Other than being a baccarat dealer in Monte Carlo which does require a minimum knowledge of 7 languages with Chinese and Japanese required are paid close to 7 figures. Dealers at the Wynn in Vegas makes close to 6 figures but that is the highest to my knowledge in the states.


                    If you go to school today a geologist is probably one of the more coveted degree to acquire today. Most of them with a bachelor's are starting at 100K out of school thanks to the commodities boom and huge shortage of qualified people. I saw this on Bloomberg a month ago.

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                      #11
                      I see a lot of people posting that they don't use their college degree for the job they currently have. I would argue that not using your specific degree is a lot different than not going to college at all. 20 or 30 years ago, it might have been possible to get a job straight out of high school and work your way up in the ranks, but today, I think it's a different matter.

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                        #12
                        My cousin ins in the medical field..can't spell the name, but she draws blood.

                        Her sister went to college...does nothing, has to send her kids back to mom cause she can't support them.

                        I took the old old fashioned route, I got married no pay, but very worth it.

                        My husband is in the computer field..college is not helpful there, tho pices of paper saying you can do work do tend to get one raises easier...and from experience, folks with said paper CANNOT do the work..so DH is avoiding getting them on general principle....not great for the pocket book, but I understand it.

                        My father in law is a bit outdated to be an example, but he worked in a steel mill, made more than my husband in his later years, and has a very comfortable retirement right now...course he currently works in a funeral home...not sure how well that can pay, but doesn't need a college degree for his part. (not sure about the actual undertaking/fixing bodies up part)

                        Many folk I know do not use their degree or may not have one, I just never asked. (not entirely certain my father has one, and he makes the most of folks I personally know)...

                        Around here lots of guys get into construction..even the lower ranks make a decent living..course that might be because they tend to be illegal aliens and not pay taxes...not sure how well paying it is if you have to hand over half to the govt. The upper ranks get paid quite well - to fully staff sites without letting the govt know how.....

                        My midwife does not use a degree to deliver (never asked if she had one or not) I am sure if I had time I could think of others.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by PrincessPerky View Post

                          My midwife does not use a degree to deliver (never asked if she had one or not) I am sure if I had time I could think of others.
                          I'm pretty sure you have to go through some sort of training to be a licensed midwife.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by M-squared View Post
                            I'm pretty sure you have to go through some sort of training to be a licensed midwife.
                            That depends on the state, a CNM (certified Nurse Midwife) or a NM (nurse midwife) would need to be a nurse. but not all women who competently deliver babies are nurses.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by M-squared View Post
                              I see a lot of people posting that they don't use their college degree for the job they currently have. I would argue that not using your specific degree is a lot different than not going to college at all. 20 or 30 years ago, it might have been possible to get a job straight out of high school and work your way up in the ranks, but today, I think it's a different matter.
                              I so totally agree with this. Most places for entry level won't even consider you without a degree. I think for my kids a degree will be a necessity for their working career. Gone are the days of pensions, not too many will have those to look forward to anymore. I'm even worried about my DHs county pension being there when he'll be ready to collect it.

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