Bottom line: if you aren’t going to get a 4-year degree, get a professional license or certificate. Via Joanne Jacobs:
High school graduates with “high credentials” — but no college — earn almost as much as four-year college graduates at the age of 26, concludes a Center for Public Educationreport. High-credentialed workers earn higher wages and are more likely to be working full-time than those with two-year degrees or “some college,” according to Path Least Taken III: Rigor and Focus in High School Pays Dividends in the Future.
In high school, they completed Algebra 2 and advanced science, earned a C-plus average or better and completed three or more related career-focused courses. After graduation, they earned a professional license or certificate in the same career field.