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Most parents want their kids to go to college.  But, what if a four year college isn’t the right answer for your child?  There are many kids that would do much better in an alternative training program or an alternative college approach.

There are other career options that you and your child might want to consider.  Here are a few alternatives that can be think about:

Technical School

Some careers don’t require a college education, but they want a technical certification instead.

These certification programs are much shorter than a four year degree, making it easier to reach the finish line and graduate from the program. Technical programs might last anywhere from a few months to a year or two, depending on the program that you choose.

The advantage to a technical school is that you have the opportunity to quickly finish up the training so that you can get a job faster.

Many people use these technical certifications to launch their career, and then they decide to get additional certifications or a college degree later on.

Start a Business

There are many self-employed entrepreneurs who never graduated from college. Having a college degree isn’t a necessary requirement to be successful with your own business venture.  In fact, according to the Dr. Thomas Stanley author of the Millionaire Mind, many successful business owners were actually C students.

Some of the most popular entrepreneurs in the history of time didn’t have a college degree, including Walt Disney, Richard Branson, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Milton Hershey.

The barriers to starting a business are lower than they have even been, and the internet has made it possible for anyone to start a business with a minimal cash investment.

Apprenticeship or Trade School

Some skills can only be learned by hands-on experience, and the best way to get the training that you need is by going to trade school or finding an apprenticeship. Vocational training is a great way for your child to get a skill that will support them a lifetime.

Online Education or Community College

Considering a community college or online school might be a great idea for your child if they think they might want to go to college or are just not sure what they want to do (not too many kids really knows what they want to do when they are 18).

It is a great way to take the basic classes at a lower cost while your child explores their interests.  After a year they can decide if college is for them or they may figure out what they want to do with their life.

I would encourage you to make sure they are working a job if they are not taking a full class load so they can get a feel for what they might like in the “real” world.

As you can see, there are many ways your child can create a career and a life without immediately going to a four year degree program.

It is important that your child choose the path that matches their individual needs, and not just follow the crowd because everyone else is going to college.

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