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

posted 7 years ago in Career
Post # 17
11744 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

probably not right now. It’s an employers market.  My Fiance was turned down for many jobs when it came down to him and 1 other candidate – every time the candidate was someone much older (FI Is 33 with 13 years experience in his field) with much more experience who was taking a lower level and lower paying job just to have a job.

Post # 18
1460 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I suggest you learn everyrhing you can at your current job.  Take on as much as you feel comfortable doing and volunteer to do and learn more.  The more skills you learn there they more you can take with you elsewhere.  That way when you do move and start looking for another job you’ll have a lot to fall back on.  Plus the more skills you have the more desirable you’ll be to a hiring manager/company.  Hopefully, you’ll be able to work your way into a company that will help you get your BS.  However, experience is always key…always.  🙂 

Post # 19
2457 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Honestly, it’s hard to say. Hubby and I make about the same amount; I have a degree, he does not. He worked his way up in his field, though, and is amazing at what he does. I got hired in for my skillset and previous work experience at a competitive rate (though, I was an intern for 8 months first, not making much). So, it really depends, as others have said, on the field, and on the room for moving up in that field. 

Post # 20
979 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@alaska_99705: after college I worked for Hertz doing car rentals.  Then I was hired to do marketing for a car collision center.  It was horrible and I was let go after three months so I moved home and went to the staffing agency thinking they could place me for at least a temp job.  They ended up hiring me internally to work for them instead and I absolutely love it! It does require some sales though, as I have to find new companies to get job orders from.

Post # 21
752 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I took a job through a temp agency to get started. They hired me full time after 3 months. I was hired in at around $12/ hr as a data entry/customer service rep for a big bank. Eight years later I am making 70k/yr. I worked my butt off and showed them what I can do. I don’t even have a 2 yr degree. I really believe you can still work your way up through an organization if it’s big enough. 

Good luck!!

Post # 22
8037 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@alaska_99705:  My advice is to be careful about starting a degree unless you have a plan and really want to do it.

I did a 4-year degree and luckily it worked out for me, but I was living at home at the time and I didn’t have any real life expenses. I luckily got a job that i worked my way up in… but many of my peers are still struggling to find any meaningful work.

Doing a degree unfortunately does not guarantee that you will get a job. Even a masters doesn’t anymore.

If possible, get yourself into a better position and see if your workplace will pay for you to get further educated. You don’t necessarily NEED a 4-year degree either. There are many options out there. Just know what you’re getting into and what you’d like to do so you don’t waste time or money doing something that may not guarantee more money.

Post # 23
1555 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I agree with others that it’s about the field you choose, but it’s also about your location. I have my AA, but it’s yet to help me make more money than my high school diploma. I didn’t expect it to, though. I’m studying psychology, so I knew from the get-go that I’d need at least a Bachelor’s degree to really make use of it. But we recently relocated to Michigan after our wedding. I left my 11/hr job and am now only making 8/hr, working 20 hours or so a week. But it’s not easy to find a job here, so I’m happy to have something for now.

I’m rambling, but the answer is yes. Just stick to what you enjoy and learn everything you can in your field, things will happen for you.

Post # 24
201 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I agree with the PP’s. It’s all about the field you choose. My husband and I have some college under our belts but no fancy degrees. We make more than $100k p/year. You can make a very comfortable living without sitting in a classroom and accruing more debt.

Post # 25
2402 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

 I agree with @crayfish:  It’s all about what field you choose. I went to LPN school for 18 months – I have been a nurse for about 6 months now, and make a little over $24 an hour. I would be getting paid even more if I went for my RN. (Athough, not much more in the area of nursing I work in, since I have no desire to do hospital nursing)

BUT — I wouldn’t recommend nursing unless you’re absolutely sure you want to be a nurse.

My Darling Husband went to college for only 1 semester, but he works as a business/finance manager and makes a good amount of money.

Post # 26
13702 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think it really depends on the career path you’re in.  In my field, my employer won’t even look at you without a four year degree, and most of my coworkers either have or are in the process of getting advanced degrees.

I think you need to decide what field you’d want to pursue, talk to your Darling Husband, and determine if the eventual salary increase is going to be worth the upfront expenses of tuition and the loss of the income you currently have.  FWIW, I firmly believe you can’t go wrong with education, but I recognize that it’s not as beneficial in some career paths as others.

Post # 27
2580 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I know some people who have worked their way up through experience instead of education–if you can get a foot in the door with a good resume-building position, sometimes good experience can be as valuable as education (in my experience, probably more value than the combination of education with no experience).

A big problem right now is more underemployment/unemployment among people with higher levels of education.  Some people with advanced degrees are more willing to take lower-paying positions instead of holding out for something and dealing with unemployment. There’s a lot of competition for jobs, and sometimes education can be a differentiating factor.

That said, it definitely depends on the field–I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules.


The topic ‘Will I ever be able to make more $ without a 4-year degree?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors