Thursday, September 16, 2021

Alternatives to College

Insty has been banging the drum lately on how young men are increasingly avoiding College.  You can't really blame them as it's a pretty hostile environment for men, and saddles most graduates with ruinous amounts of student debt.

But if you're bright, motivated, and hard working, there's a path to a six figure salary that will literally cost you only a few thousand dollars - plus a lot of self study time spent.  First, let's talk about the target and the opportunity.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics just published a study that highlights the fastest growing job fields through 2030:

That highlighted line?  Internet Security.  The good news?  Nobody cares where you went to school for your security degree, or even that you have a security degree.  What they care about are industry certifications.  You get the cert, you're in like flint.

Now there's a lot involved with getting the cert, 'natch.  I posted about this repeatedly over the years.  This is a good starting point, and from there you can click through to here which has a fairly detailed set of things to do, and here which is similar but different to the Borepatch Method.

In a nutshell, you can get a Cisco CCNA Exam Prep book for small money, read on your own in your evenings and spare time, take mock tests to make sure that you understand the material, and then take the real cert class for something like $1500.  This will qualify you for an entry level IT job, probably around $50k/year.  You continue with the next level higher certification, doing exactly the same as above.  When you get that you'll qualify for a higher paying job.

You'll get to the point where you're getting certified on ASA Firewall or the like, and then you're an Information Security Analysts.  With the cert, you apply for one of those BLS jobs.

They key, you have to spend a lot of your own time on this in self-study.  That's a pain, but you save all that dough you'd be spending on the Dirty Commies at the University.  Plus you don't have to put up with all the "Be less White and Male" nonsense that they'd make you take (and pay for).

I got an email recently from a reader who had read some of those old posts of mine (thanks, C.H.!).  He had found himself in a frustrating job and took this path.  How he's working in a Security Operations Center and pretty happy at where he got himself.

It's been a while since I'd posted this sort of thing, but this seems like a good time to remind our younger Gentlemen Readers (or our Old Fart readers who have sons or nephews) that there is an alternative to the College Mill.


Jess said...

Locally, the university goes through what I call binge degrees. They promote, sell some degrees, and never tell the students their degree puts them in line with a few thousand for a few dozen jobs. I call it a racket. The university never hesitates to do it over and over again.

Aesop said...

Point of order:
Most of those fields are either jobs that require close to a decade to achieve If you're a high school grad now, you're not going to be a nurse practitioner or physician assistant until 2030, for example), or virtual entry-level jobs begging to be farmed down to los migrantes, if they haven't been already [Hint: "home health and personal care aides"? Note that their annual median salary is less than a $15/hr minimum wage, right now. And it isn't going up, ever. Get a clue there.].

And the goat entrails BoL is reading run out in 2030.

Just about the time anyone starting into one of those trades would be ready to start work.

Their 1980 forecast was hot and heavy for computer programmers.
They forgot to mention that by 1990, those jobs would almost all be outsourced to the Indian subcontinent for pennies on the dollar.
(Ask me how I know.)

There's always an alternative to the College Mill, but whatever you do, it damned well better not be anything that can be shipped to Trashcanistan and Sh*tholia on a whim, or an entry-level job that can be downsourced to illegal aliens for 50¢ on the dollar.

Find a job that can't go away, can't be shipped out, and can't be handed off to illiterate former peasants locally, and you're halfway to there.

Then find out what you like doing, and what you're good at. Then see what it pays. Because life is too short to hate your job, starve doing it, and suck at it (or fail out before you get there).

Fail to do that due diligence, and you're going to have a lot of jobs you got downsized out of on your way to living out of a shopping cart under the overpass.

Few people need college.
But everybody needs to be smart. Or at least, smart smart enough.

Aesop said...

And BTW, much like stock advice newsletters, by the time "the university", let alone guidance counselors and occ centers, figures out there's a hot occ field, you've already missed that opportunity.

A guy who can fix diesel-powered heavy equipment or industrial air conditioning, on the other hand, is going to retire in that job, and quite well off. Provided they had the mechanical aptitude and a good work ethic in the first place.

The biggest handicap for most people is they don't want to work at anything from the get-go, and that's as true for doctors and lawyers as it is for janitors and street sweepers, which I've only seen with my own eyes a few hundred thousand tries.
we canned a neurologist (that's a 10-year program, minimum) and three nurses last month for exactly that.

No amount of education overcomes being a lazy piece of sh*t, as it happens.

Jonathan H said...

Look at the jobs needed where you want to live. I've been in areas that are flooded with tradespeople; where I am now there are 2 electricians for an area the size of New Jersey...they often don't return calls because they're busy. Another place I lived needed lawyers badly when the country was flooded with them.
If you want to go to Antarctica, the easiyway is to be a hairdresser or barber...

Richard said...

The way things are going, the growth jobs are going to be militia (of one sort or another) soldier or secret policeman.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Borepatch - It is a good point that certifications are in many ways the new degree: they demonstrate a knowledge skill and area, they demonstrate a proficiency of a known body of knowledge, and they are generally way less expensive than college - or, as pointed out, the trades.

But Aesop's points of order are also valid: training in a job that can be outsourced is generally (in long term) counter productive, and without a basic work ethic, it matters no longer how long you study or train, it ultimately will not work.

Alanatswbell said...

A friend's son dropped out of college to become a welder. Now makes $60/hour, has paid off all college debt and drives a new car that he paid cash for.

Comrade Misfit said...

I'm passing this along to my nephew, who has a bad case of Does Not Play Well With Others.

Unknown said...

Just a quick question about the certifications. How important is the CCT cert? Should I do this before study for the CCNA?

Borepatch said...

Unknown, the CCT has some info that might be useful for guys just starting out, but what employers will look for is the CCNA.