Some have been saying it for years, while others have only just started to realize: a university degree is in no way a guarantee of a good job. While for some professions it is an essential step, others find that university degrees are only good for getting yourself in debt before you ever start making money.

Those who have realized this earlier may have already had the satisfaction of making a career out of the skills that they picked up through their college program or apprenticeship. They have little to no educational debt while making the same or higher starting salary than many university graduates.

You might argue that you aren’t interested in jobs that come with apprenticeships, like becoming an electrician, chef, plumber, or hair dresser. However, there are career directions that many young people find very interesting and enticing, despite being taught in an alternative school.

Music

It’s an industry that many want to be a part of, though it is intimidating and competitive for many. Even if you don’t have an amazing voice, or are not a talented musician, it doesn’t mean that your livelihood can’t revolve around music. With an alternative formation in a pro audio school, you can become a professional sound engineer or technician who works with different members of the industry, from musicians, to managers.

Just because it’s not a university, that doesn’t mean that getting into a program like this is a breeze. Don’t drop out of high school, since a diploma is usually required for consideration along with any kind of experience that you can bring to the table, though that’s not mandatory. Being computer literate and having an interest in all things digital are some things that admissions will be looking for, because as a sound engineer, a lot of your work will be with computer-run software. Having samples of your work could be helpful for gauging your progress so far, but if you have only a dream but no actual experience, that’s fine as well.

Audio training is just one example of such an alternative to the traditional university or college education. There certainly are others, like design schools, schools of art, culinary schools, esthetics academies and more. Sometimes the private alternatives are actually better known and regarded than the local post-secondary institution, meaning better connections and prospects upon graduation. Hands-on learning from currently practising experts means a much more relevant education that will allow you to hit the ground running when you are out into the world, looking for your first job. Of course, as always, this in not the rule.

It is important, however, to stay away from schools that don’t have a good reputation, yet charge a substantial tuition. The best way to know if the school you are thinking of applying to and attending is worth the money and time commitment, is to ask someone in the field. Go to someone in the industry that you can trust, and ask them if they have heard of this school. Even if he or she had not attended, they might have heard of someone who has. Graduates will have an opinion on the education they received there and the value it is worth.

Though it is perhaps the road less traveled, an alternative formation can bring you to the dream life that you wished to have. And if relatives or friends see it as “risky”, remind them that the odds of getting a good job upon graduation is equal, if not greater, than that of a random university degree.