5 Alternatives to College and Why They May Be Better for You

Nowadays, anyone who wishes to work in a professional capacity is expected to hold a college degree. Although there are plenty of opportunities to earn a bachelor’s degree, college is not compatible for everyone. If that’s the case, you may be curious if there are alternatives to college that will allow you to work professionally.

Fortunately, there are ways to become a professional, as well as earn a bachelor’s degree, without going to college. Let’s discuss the alternatives for getting a college degree and why these alternatives may be worth considering.

woman looking for alternative ways to get a degree

5 Alternatives to College

There are many other paths, besides college, toward a fulfilling career. Here are five college alternatives through which you can learn and establish yourself as a professional:

1. Apprenticeship

Instead of taking on a four-year course, you can seek out training through apprenticeship programs. As an apprentice, you will learn directly from someone practicing in the profession. You’ll be exposed to the work on-the-job.

Apprenticeship programs in the Philippines last between three to six months. Depending on the program, you may also receive an allowance or salary while you work as an apprentice.

Once you completed the program, the employer may retain you as a regular employee, without the need to go through a probationary period. Furthermore, apprenticeship programs have equivalent unit credits should you decide to pursue a college degree later on.

Apprenticeship programs are typically available for skills-based jobs such as plumbing, electrical services, photography, and even graphic design.

2. Vocational Education

Vocational or trade schools like Technical Education and Skills Development Authority or TESDA are another alternative education path. This path offers a more cost-effective alternative to traditional tertiary education.

Vocational education is shorter than a traditional bachelor’s degree and is focused on training a specific skill set you need to master a trade. Program duration may range from three months to two or three years, depending on the technical level of the field.

After completing the program, students are required to take the competency assessment certification. Once certified, students become qualified to work in the Philippines and abroad.

Some fields that require vocational education are culinary, agriculture, caregiving, seafaring, and IT. For most of these fields, vocational education is more than enough to qualify as a professional.

3. Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program

The alternatives discussed so far offer ways to master a trade. However, if your aim is a bachelor’s degree, you may be asking, “Is it possible to get a degree without going to college?”

The ETEEAP is the answer to this question.

What is ETEEAP? This program is a comprehensive assessment scheme that evaluates the knowledge and skills you have acquired from years of relevant work. Through this learning alternative program, working employees may earn a bachelor’s degree without going through tertiary education.

This is specifically targeted at working professionals who were unable to attend college but have relevant expertise.

With ETEAAP, the professional’s skills are quantified into credit units, which will then be deducted from the number of units they need to complete a degree. This way, a typical four-year bachelor’s degree can be completed within a year to a year and a half, while a master’s degree may take one semester to complete.

While you may still need to go to college, your stay will be significantly shorter. With Online Post Grad, you can complete your degree completely online, so you don’t have to compromise on your professional life.

4. Online Programs

If you want to enter a field with a specific skill set but cannot spend four years in college, you can instead take short programs online. Online programs follow a comprehensive curriculum that targets a specific skill.

Since they are offered online, you can complete the courses at your pace. They are also more affordable and more convenient than traditional education.

Similar to vocational courses, you’ll likely take an assessment test and receive a certificate at the end of the program. While these are not equivalent to bachelor’s degrees, the certificates are sufficient proof of your knowledge and skill.

Short online programs are a great way to boost your resume when applying for a new field or looking to upscale your career.

5. Pursue a Profession that Doesn’t Need a Degree

There are numerous professions where you can enter and succeed without a traditional degree.

Some fields, such as the army, firefighting, law enforcement, and real estate do not require a degree. However, they do require specific training to become a soldier, firefighter, or police officer; meanwhile, real estate agents need a license. Training for these professions often only takes a few months and focuses on practical knowledge and skills.

Alternatively, if you want to avoid any form of training, you may opt to become an entrepreneur, flight attendant, or administrative assistant. You can enter these professions without any formal training. Your employer will likely provide some level of training to familiarize you with your roles.

Why Consider Alternative Ways of Getting a Degree

There are numerous advantages to pursuing bachelor’s degree alternatives.

They are Cost-Efficient

It cannot be denied that college education can be expensive in the Philippines. Apart from tuition fees, students need extra funds for transportation and food, clothes or uniforms, books, as well as projects.

For individuals who either are not willing to spend thousands on a degree or cannot afford the costs, an alternative learning opportunity can achieve similar outcomes for a more affordable price.

They Take Less Time

Most alternatives take a few months to a little over a year to complete. This is a significantly shorter period compared to traditional college courses which may take at least four years, with some extending to five or six years.

With a shorter program duration, students can experience the return on their investment faster since they can start working in just a few months.

They are More Flexible

Apart from the short duration of most alternative learning programs, they also tend to be more flexible than traditional college courses.

Online Post Grad’s online programs, for instance, are catered to working professionals. These courses allow professionals to continue working while they pursue their degrees or certifications.

These alternatives are beneficial for those who cannot sacrifice their job to study full-time.

They Offer Practical Skills

College curricula are designed to promote holistic education. They typically feature both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. While they are quite valuable in a young adult’s development, some, especially fully-grown adults, may consider them unnecessary.

In contrast, the alternatives to a college degree focus more on practical knowledge and skills—those directly related to the targeted profession. Classes are straightforward and concise, which is why they are more suitable for those who want a more practical road toward a skilled profession.

Get Your Alternative College Degree at Online Post Grad

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Although it is the norm for senior high school graduates to get a college degree, it is not an absolute necessity. A lot of people succeed even without formal tertiary education—and so can you!

OEd’s Online PostGrad platform offers a wide range of college alternatives. You can gain relevant knowledge, skills, and certification without going to a traditional college.

What profession do you want to enter? Inquire today about our available programs.

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