Though obtaining a secondary education is certainly expected within most industries, formal education will not always trump firsthand experience. While every college graduate has to invest time working their way up the ladder, many jobs are awarded to individuals who have experience—even if they do not have a college degree, or if their college degree is in another field. The job categories below are perfect examples of occupations that may not require a degree, but where there are still substantial amounts of money to be made.
While obtaining a degree in sales and marketing may provide sales professionals with an edge, a degree does not guarantee they will excel in sales. Sales professionals who achieve the most success have natural instincts and sales skills. While these same sales skills can be taught, applying them in a professional setting is an entirely different ballgame. Those with natural sales abilities can adapt and personalize their sales pitch to meet the needs of each of their clients. They are able to think quickly on their feet and know how to truly connect and engage their leads. On top of that, they are resilient and don’t let a “no” get them down.
Jobs that required artistic ability, also require a natural talent. While artists can find colleges and vocational schools for just about every art form imaginable, and formal training can certainly assist artists in perfecting their craft, many artists forgo secondary education altogether. This is not to say that artists don’t benefit from formal education; for example dancers continue to take dance classes—but obtaining a degree in dance is not required for achieving a successful career. Keep in mind that professions that require an artistic ability range from, art people buy for their home, performances that can be watched live, or even window displays for department stores.
Many businesses promote from within, providing management opportunities to those who have proven to be loyal and successful in their career. In just about every company there is someone who began in a fairly entry-level position, then worked their way up the ranks. While it is unlikely that someone without both experience and a college degree would be hired into a management position, a manager with a track record of success is likely to find that their management skills are not only in demand—but are transferable within a multitude of industries.
It is not to say that obtaining a secondary degree is not valuable, just that a degree does not always trump experience.