There are plenty of kids who hate school and still find careers. The fear a parent can feel for a child who struggles with or despises school is profound. So many high-paying jobs these days require a four-year degree at minimum, and stats show a historic average income gap between college grads and high school grads. According to USA Today, college graduates made 56% more money than high school graduates on average in 2015.
Preparing teens who hate school for a career path
Parents don’t necessarily have to despair, though. There are ways for non-degree holders to earn a respectable living. If your teen is unlikely to attend college, here are some ways to help them prepare for a career.
Learn a Trade
While the number of industries that train for lucrative jobs has trended down over time, teens can still carve out a space in some industries offering apprenticeship programs. People can start an apprenticeship in order to become an/a:
- child care development specialist
- dental assistant
According to The Simple Dollar, the average salary of someone who completes an apprenticeship is over $50,000 a year.
Get a Certification
Earning a certification takes time, but less time than a college degree. For example, a student can complete CDL training in 17 days (must be 21), or become a flight attendant in as fast as one month! The time investment between these programs and a four-year degree is significant.
Moreover, just because you can get into these industries quickly doesn’t mean you can’t make money in them. The average truck driver has a median salary of $42,480 per year, and flight attendants have a median salary of $50,500 per year, according to the BLS.
Become an Entrepreneur
If your teen is a self-starter and ambitious, they could skip the whole rat race altogether and start their own business. This path can be difficult and a bit riskier, but it could become very satisfying and potentially lucrative as well.
Some possible business ventures teens could consider include e-commerce, social media marketing, and vlogging. Your teen would probably be happiest doing something that interests them, so try to help them identify interests and find business opportunities along those lines.
Work in Sales
If your child is a fast thinker, smooth talker, and expert negotiator, they could have an extremely successful future in sales. Salespeople get a bad rap, but the truth is that most companies need salespeople, and enterprise-level companies with expensive products are willing to shell out serious commissions for sales professionals who can convert.
An account executive, a position for experienced sales professionals, averaged $118,000 a year, according to RingDNA. Now that is some major cash.
In today’s job environment, not having a degree can be a real constraint. If your teen hates school and you’re concerned about their career prospects, know that not having a degree doesn’t have to dictate their future. Get them thinking about the creative ways mentioned here for pursuing a lasting career.
About the author: Anthony M. Christensen is a writer, digital marketer, and owner of Astronautical LLC. He earned a BS in English at Utah Valley University. He loves art and wandering the mountains and deserts of his native state, Utah.