How To Be Successful Without Going To University

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We are told all our lives that the only way to be truly successful as adults is to get a university education. Most high-paying jobs certainly require some form of secondary education after high school. That leaves people who cannot go to university in a serious predicament. Some students have to forgo getting a university education due to financial and academic reasons. Does that mean that their futures are certain to be bleak?

Not necessarily. There are a number of ways to be successful without having a higher education. For example, students may substitute core trade training course in place of liberal arts college course in order to secure a job sooner rather than later. For a list of similar alternatives to college, read below:


The best way to make money after high school is to start a business. Like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates who dropped out of college to pursue their business goals, a good business idea can be worthwhile regardless of how much education one may have. The way to pursue a business career after school is to first secure a small capital, most likely borrowed from friends and family, and then use it to conduct a pilot test of your business idea. If the pilot run is successful, you can develop a business plan using the data and then pitch the idea to potential investors.

Professional Training Institutions

For those who still wish to get an professional education after graduating from high school, but cannot afford the full cost of a university education, the best solution is to try one or two core trade training course at a professional institution. Instead of a comprehensive liberal arts education, these schools focus on training students exclusively for a profession such as carpenter, bricklayer or construction worker that requires a specific set of skills. Students who graduate from these schools are highly likely to find employment soon after.


Internships are a great way to step into the working world without getting a degree. Many companies offer paid and unpaid internships to recruit talent. Internships do not guarantee a job at the company afterwards, but they are a great networking opportunity and a great way to build up a professional resume. Internships can open up a lot of opportunities for an inexperienced young person even if the position does not pay initially.

If you do not want to attend university and get a degree to start a career, carefully consider the above alternatives to be successful in the future.