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How to Find Good Jobs without a College Degree

As the cost of a college degree soars, you might need a “Plan B” to find a good job. Your options depend on how much experience you gain and how hard you’re willing to work.


  • Step 1: Find an employment counselor Determine your goals and learn about the market with the help of an employment counselor. Be willing to start at the bottom.
  • Step 2: Research professions Research job openings and focus on advertised requirements. Create a resume listing your accomplishments and qualities that match what employers want.
  • Step 3: Request informational interviews Request informational interviews to get known and learn what is expected to be successful in their field. Ask your friends for contacts they might have.
  • TIP: Networking is a great way to get a job.
  • Step 4: Apprentice yourself Apprentice yourself to a tradesman, working for low wages or for free to learn skills in a field, and earn the trust that leads to referrals when opportunity knocks.
  • TIP: Attitude is critical. Have a strong work ethic.
  • Step 5: Work your way up Choose industries that will allow you to work your way into management, such as mining, manufacturing, sales, construction, and transportation.
  • Step 6: Get certified Take certification courses to be licensed in a field where you can later rise into management based on work performance and experience.
  • FACT: Microsoft founder Bill Gates and music and film producer David Geffen never earned college degrees.

You Will Need

  • An employment counselor
  • A targeted resume
  • Interviewing skills
  • Personal contacts
  • An apprenticeship
  • Certification
  • Networking skills (optional)

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