4 Awesome Alternatives to College

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At some point, you realized college wasn’t in your future.

Soon after, you may have hoped there was an alternative to college. Ideally, this alternative would be less expensive than a college education, and would offer great experience, education and opportunities.

While alternatives are hard to find and are certainly not glorified in in the way a traditional college education is, they DO EXIST, and they’re pretty great.

Here is a list of AWESOME alternatives to a 4-year degree (in no particular order) that you should consider. Check them out! We are not paid affiliates of any organization mentioned in this post. We admire them and are happy to promote what they can do for our awesome readers.

Related Article: The ‘No Degree Required’ Job Resource

MIssionU Without a degree success college alternative

Alternative to College #1: MissionU

This alternative to college is a relatively new organization built upon the existing need for higher education reform. They provide 1 year-long programs for students seeking a college alternative. The year-long program is divided into trimesters.

  • During the first trimester, students develop a personalized strategy for success, complete structured projects and develop 8 highly applicable skills to flourish their careers (MissionU)
  • During the second trimester, students work in small groups collaborating on intensive team projects in their chosen specialized area. This trimester focuses on field-specific skill development and collaboration to meet specific goals.
  • The third trimester puts students on REAL WORK projects with companies that have partnered with MissionU. They are able to become experts of their skills, add to their resume and make professional connections throughout the process.

This year-long program offers self-discovery and professional development. Additionally, it offers the following benefits:

  1. No student loan debt

  2. An awesome resume

  3. A great foundation for your career

  4. A lifetime membership to the MissionU Network

  5. “A universally valuable skill set for 21st century jobs” (MissionU)

For all the concerned moms worried about accreditation, let us address that issue. MissionU has partnered with leading companies. These companies provide information on the necessary skills the students need to acquire in order to perform the jobs they want.

Many of heads of these companies would consider hiring MissionU graduates.

MissionU is not an accredited educational institution, but it comes highly recommended by industry leaders.

If you need more reassurance…. here, watch this video.

Okay, I know you’re asking now, what’s the catch? What do they get in return?

Here it is, directly from their page… and we dig it:

“If you’re accepted to MissionU, your upfront tuition is $0. You only pay for the program once you land a job earning at least $50,000 per year, at which point you’ll contribute 15% of your income for just 3 years.” (MissionU)

So, there is a bit of a commitment there. However, compared to a 4-year college degree, it’s a pretty great deal. Need help with the math?

If you got a job (after the program) that paid you $50,000 annually, you would pay MissionU $7,500 a year for three years. That’s $22,500 total over the span of 3 years, only AFTER YOU GET A JOB!

Compare this to the tuition of:

  • A 4-year Private College Education at $32,000 per year, on average.  $128,000 in total tuition costs by graduation. (BigFuture)
  • A 4-year Public College Education at $9410 per year, on average. $37,640 in total tuition costs by graduation. (BigFuture)

It’s definintely something to consider. Please check out MissionU’s page HERE.

Now, Let’s change gears….

Alternative to College #2: Degreed


Degreed is an alternative to college that prides itself as an award-winning life-long learning platform. If you are a regular reader, you know how we feel about your Personal Education. Read our post about it here HERE!

Degreed specializes in ‘Skill Certification’. They cater to individuals and businesses alike. For the sake of simplicity, we talk about what they offer individuals in this post.

The Degreed website allows you to pick one or more skills in which you would like to become certified.

The platform guides you through your personal Learning path with “Curated doses of learning” based on “your learning goals, social recommendations, trending topics and thought leaders”. (Degreed)

The platform tracks progress on your selected skills. It awards points through courses, books, articles, videos and “degrees” that you acquire through them.

You can get certified in any skill once you have proved a skill level. You are then ranked on that skill in one of the following classifications: Beginner, Capable, Intermediate, Effective, Experienced, Advanced, Distinguished, or Master. The great thing about the platform is that it is based on YOUR CURRENT SKILLS. It isn’t a class and doesn’t have any type of exam.

And they’re not just passing out master-level certificates to everyone who signs up.

Their certification process is science-based. It uses “skill evidence, data science, endorsers and reviews by an expertise panel”. (Degreed)

When you receive your certification, it will be objectively ranked. Conveniently, you can then share, print, or post the certificate on your website, resume, personal site, or LinkedIn profile. Now, that’s cool.

Check out their website HERE or watch their video below!

Alternative to College #3: RightSkill

Right skill is an alternative to college developed by Capella Learning Solutions and Careerbuilder. While Careerbuilder provides the insight on labor market data, Capella’s online learning capabilities provide experience development.

Careerbuilder assesses the types of jobs that are in demand and have high growth projections. RightSkill targets people interested in these jobs.

The two work in harmony by identifying needs of the workforce and training professionals in how to meet those needs. Careerbuilder uses it’s leverage to then place RightSkill candidates in the right position to benefit the individual and the company. This powerful tool aims to bridge the talent gap that we see in today’s labor market.

RightSkill offers 5 courses for in-demand positions: Assistant Restaurant Manager, Staffing Recruiter, Customer Service Representative, Retail Management and Technical Support.

The coolest part is that the program benefits companies looking for position-ready candidates AND the candidates have skills they can take with them wherever they go.

For more information, you can visit their page HERE. Or watch the video below:

Alternative to College #4: Praxis

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One thing we come back to in almost all of our content is the value of experience. So of course, we’re so glad that Praxis offers apprenticeship-style experiences on a large scale as an alternative to college.

Praxis provides a 6-month pre-apprenticeship bootcamp where participants are prepared for their program. Professional advisors provide customized coaching and training to the applicants. They are geared with career-specific skills that “accelerate professional development” (Praxis).

Participants are GUARANTEED a paid 6-month apprenticeship at notable startups.

Throughout the program, participants train with and shadow CEOs in real-world situations. Such organizations include: Cloud Jumper, BitPay and MailLift.

Participants receive hands-on experience by completion of solo projects. During the program they acquire highly relevant skills and experience.

Praxis boasts that participants are “in the top 1% of young professionals and debt free” at the conclusion of their 12-month program.

Furthermore, 96% of Praxis Program graduates are offered full-time jobs with one of Praxis’ partnering companies. Some of them start their own businesses once they are equipped with the invaluable knowledge they receive during their apprenticeship. The average salary of Praxis graduates is $50,000.

Praxis advertises that the net cost of the program is $0.00. The total cost is $11,000. To break it down, Praxis explains,

That means you’ll make more money during the program than the program costs” (Praxis)

So, you end up walking away with awesome skills, experience, quite possibly a job offer, paid-off program costs and NO STUDENT DEBT.

To learn more about this great program, visit Praxis’ site HERE. Or you can watch the video below!

Praxis | Apprentice at a Startup

If you are considering an alternative to college, check these organizations out! We would love to hear about your experience if you have gone through one of the programs above!

If you liked this article, be sure to like and share! We really do appreciate it.

Remember, we have an AWESOME ‘No Degree Required’ Job Dashboard exclusively for our readers! Do check it out if you are currently job-hunting without a degree!



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