I was so excited when the Hawaii Business Magazine reached out last month to interview me for this feature (~ 5 min. read). This piece asks whether it is possible to succeed at work without a four-year degree.
College degrees and other postsecondary credentials matter in the marketplace. Most employers require them. They tend to be used to sort candidates, acting as an insufficient proxy of whether someone is qualified. They're used to determine someone's salary. You are more likely to get an interview, be selected for a job, and make more money if you have a postsecondary credential.
Even so, people make it without one. To do that, they have to compensate in other areas. It might take more financial resources (cash), skills and talents (competencies), or knowing the right people, to get an in (connections). Often it's a combination.
Here's some general career advice I shared with the magazine. I think this is true for anyone, postsecondary credential or not:
Krauss says young workers should adopt a “now-next” mindset. With the world changing so quickly and so much, it’s important for young workers to shrink their time horizons. Instead of wondering what they should be across a lifetime, they should instead focus on what issue, interest or idea they want to tackle now and next. They should also consider what problem they want to solve and what personal needs of their own they must meet, she says. From there, they can consider what learning and work opportunities will help them do that now, or next. It’s possible that young workers will have long working lives – perhaps as long as 80 years, Krauss says, and it will happen in different stages, including many different jobs and multiple careers. Each stage and situation will require something different.
For more, check out the piece.