Alternatives to a 4 Year Education in the New Economy (2010)

With so many university graduates and ex-graduates finding themselves either jobless and /or starting to default on massive college loans, it is time to rethink the value of a traditional university education in lieu of a more practical and economic approach.A four year degree or higher no longer guarantees stability in the working world. While we have always known that some career fields are more lucrative than others, it is a disturbing trend that MBA graduates from Ivy League schools are no longer in demand and have resorted to entering the realm of the menial worker (waiter, waitress, etc.) in order to pay the bills (housing, tuition loans) while continuing doggedly to search for the holy grail.They are tired of the nerve wracking instability of losing one temporary job after another.Everybody realizes that the job market in 2010 isn’t what it used to be. Unemployment is at record highs. Despite this, what many may not realize is that demographics and shifts in industry trends have forever altered the face of the landscape. And in the new economy, be prepared for a further set of rule stretching.Competition will be fierce – Borrell Associates estimates that there will be seven job seekers for each one of the 2.9 million job openings projected for the U.S. in 2010.What’s Gone – the following industries are being hit hardest in the Great Recession:
Mortgage Lending
Real Estate Sales
Recession-Proof Jobs – these industries are still hiring and expected to add jobs in the immediate future:
Health Care* – Nurses, technicians, therapists, and aides. Also medical product areas like medication and equipment.

Education – teachers

Finance- Accountants, internal auditors, financial advisers

Information Technology
Green Industry – energy efficiency management, recycling, new product R&D, entrepreneurs

* top field”The thing to keep in mind is that there are something like 50 million jobs out there that don’t require a bachelor’s degree and pay upwards of $40,000 a year,” says Harlow Unger, author of “But What If I Don’t Want to Go to College? A Guide to Success Through Alternative Education.”Specific Recession-proof Jobs Available with a 2-year degree
Physical Therapist Assistant
Electrical or Electronic Engineering Technician
Registered Nurse
Computer Support Specialist
Executive or Administrative Assistant
Dental Hygienist
Top Ten Paying Jobs without a College Degree (recession proof**)
Employment Recruitment Specialist**
Financial Advisor**
Physical Therapist Assistant**
Pharmacy Technician**
Health Information Technician**
Library Technician
Database Administrator**
Flash Animator
Fashion Designer
Food Service Manager
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, by 2010, almost two-thirds of all projected job openings will require only on-the-job training.Tips for those still in High SchoolA GED can benefit from summer jobs, seasonal employment, and internships, which can lead to full-time employment and a career in a number of fields.Apprenticeship programs in the trades and some technologies are also available across the USA in some cities – Check you local county employment office listing or the local trade unions in order to gain this information in your locale.For youth, some charter schools and magnet schools offer a specialized program that awards graduating students with both a High School Diploma and a Vocational Certificate or even an Associate Degree. These are significantly specific programs available in only a few cities.Tips for those Re-entering School (Continuing Education)Consider seriously the pros and cons of attending a trade school / vocational school / community college as opposed to a 4 year degree.
Less time
Less expense
Direct route to employment
More money than a college graduate
Learn as you go
Hands-on experience / Internship
Tips for laid-off and retrenched workersHaving a concrete, marketable skill seems to be the key to occupational success. If you have or can obtain some training in a specific area, and choose the right occupation, you can make more money than many degree holders.ConclusionConsidering the outlook for the economy, at this point in time it makes more dollars and sense to go the less traditional, although highly practical skilled route.