(Closed) Will I ever be able to make more $ without a 4-year degree?

posted 6 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

My mom makes $70,000 a year as a paralegal with a 2-year degree.

It’s all about what field you choose!

Post # 4
Member
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Unfortunately, the job market is pretty terrible right now. I’m 23, have a 2 year degree as a Legal Administrative Assistant making $14 an hour. Techincally, I should be considered a paralegal making approximately $48k a year or more but the firm I work at won’t consider me a paralegal for some unknown reason.

Post # 7
Member
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

@alaska_99705:  I want to go back to school, actually for Human Resources, but I refuse to pay for it. I’m currently looking for a job with a company that would pay for it.

Post # 8
Member
11233 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I agree that it’s about what field you choose and where you live. My Fiance is going into health care with a 2-year degree and should make about $40k out of school. I have a 4-year Marketing degree and work as an admin assistant and make $11/hr (but I get a raise after 90 days, hopefully to $15). Unfortunately, unless I want to go into sales (I don’t), my job prospects in Marketing here are slim.

Post # 9
Member
3357 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

it’s all about the field you choose and the skill set that you have (and location too). my Darling Husband works with at least two people in his office who don’t have college degrees but are making bank the same as my Darling Husband (if not more), and he has a 4 year degree.

another example of a skill set would be an English major who programs as a hobby or on the side. Job prospect: Technical writer – highest paying job for English majors who want to use their degree.

Post # 10
Member
3625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Real estate is another one of those fields where you can manage without four-year degree and the possibilities are near endless. The people on Selling NY and Million Dollar Listing are fairly young too. It’s definitely not easy and you still have to take some classes to get your credentials and whatnot, but it’s not a degree. In theory, you can be a RE agent/broker until you retire, versus some other fields where age works against you.

Cosmetology, such as hair/nails, can be very lucrative too and they definitely don’t need a four-year degree. Depending on what you are going for, the cost to get the education and licensing can be fairly low. I believe to be a nail tech is generally less than hair, assuming you are not aiming to cut at Super Cuts-type thing but a Toni & Guy-type thing.

Lastly, you can be an entrepreneur and invent something or come up with a great business concept. The caveat is that you’ll need investors or some financial means to pay for equipment/overhead.

Post # 12
Member
2425 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I agree with PP it depends on the field. In business however, seeing as the job market is not great right now, and there are numerous bachelor’s level candidates in business that are unemployed, I find it unlikely that you will get a much more highly paying job without doing something to increase your qualifications. Even though education doesn’t always mean you are better/smarter/whatever, in the hiring process, it’s hard to compete with on paper, because it at least shows a bit more motivation/tenacity having gotten through it.

Not saying that NO ONE succeeds without a BS in business, but it’s becoming less and less common. I have an uncle who is a very successful businessman (through a lot of very hard work), and now owns his own company, and all he has is a HS diploma. But he also started this in the late 70s when it was a lot less common to get a bachelors. He has even said in the current world he would not have gotten as far as he has.

In certain field though, a 2 year degree can make great money. Darling Husband is a nurse and was making $50-70K as an RN before he got his bachelors. But his employment opportunities were still limited compared to someone with a bachelors (there were some jobs who wouldn’t consider him without it) so he wound up getting the BS too. I can see this is the case with paralegals, etc too.

Post # 13
Member
2440 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

It really would depend on what degree. Figure out what work you’d want to be doing first, and then backtrack to the training and educaiotn you need to get there. Getting a degree just for the sake of having one would get you nowhere (but into debt. 🙁 )

 

I’m in a similar boat, though I have a 4 year degree…. in Studio Art… Not my brightest decisions. Good luck!

Post # 14
Member
2622 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

The other piece to this puzzle is the cap. At some point you will not be able to make more money because your options will be limited (I am referring to business here not commission sales etc).

you can be a paralegal and make good money, but you cant really progress pass that. You cant be a lawyer.

You can be a HR assistant/coordinator, but odds are you wont be the HR Director.

so it depends,if  you you are OK with never making beyond what a paralegal or HR assistant/coordinator (just examples) and this is enough money for you for your whole career path, then you dont need the degree. But if you want to make what a manager makes or director makes etc, then you will need a degree.

 

Post # 15
Member
979 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Just wanted to give my two cents… I’ve managed to stumble into an HR position which has been great because I didn’t know what I wanted to do and I think it will be a great career move for me.  I’m a staffing consultant for employment agency.  I have a 4 year degree but not in anything HR related.  i do interviews all day, workmen’s comp stuff, as well as some sales and marketing.  It might be a position to look into as I know my company wouldn’t require a 4 year degree and the pay is pretty good. in 3 months when I’m eligible for commission, it will be even better 🙂

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