“Life experience is the new work experience.” – Richie Norton
In a poll on LinkedIn where people were prompted with three different answers to the question “Which option is a wise one?” Which one do you think won the majority:
- A four-year degree
- Practical work experience
I am sure you can imagine practical work experience won with 74% of votes, the second place was skills coming in at 16%, and a four-year degree had a mere 10%. Obviously, it depends on what your goals are, if you want to become a lawyer a four-year degree might be necessary. For a lot of careers nowadays you do not need a degree to be successful.
If you can gain the practical work experience you are miles ahead of those that have no experience. Although a degree is often a “requirement” on job applications, from personal experience it is typically just put on there but not an actual requirement. I landed five interviews in one week based on my skills alone.
After I landed a job I gained practical work experience, when others pursuing marketing would be in their first year of college I already have over a year of knowledge under my belt. Yes, it is unconventional, but it is also memorable.
Get practical work experience, get the knowledge people your age would kill for, get the skills. This is what makes you valuable, not a four-year degree. This is what is wise, not a four-year degree.
Once again it does depend on where you want to end up, but instead of pursuing college because it is what is expected of you look into alternatives. Look into trade schools, tech schools, internships, and more. There is so much out there beyond the conventional college route. So, go out there and get the practical work experience that you deserve.