If you’re thinking of skipping college in favor of getting started in your career right away, you’re not alone. More students are skipping college altogether, avoiding student debt and a long, multi-year commitment to scoring a degree. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center,enrollments in 2018 decreased 1.7 percent in almost every state over the previous fall term. And enrollments at for-profit-institutions decreased 15.1 percent.

Although college degrees can be helpful for a variety of fields like medicine and law, it’s not required to earn a great living in an industry you love. There are all kinds of jobs you can land in high-paying fields from sales to the airline industry to pursue your passions. Here are four career ideas that require zero college to kickstart your journey.

Online Sales

Today’s online landscape makes it easier than ever to generate sales and build your business. If you have a flair for teaching, set up a course on Skillshare or Udemy to share your knowledge on anything from bookkeeping for small businesses to social media graphics creations. You can also sell vintage finds on eBay or Etsy to develop your own boutique. If you’re good at sales but don’t have your own product, consider doing direct sales. Partnering with an established company like Amway gives you the chance to sell a variety of products with the support of a global brand.

Whatever you decide, make sure to vet any company you sell for. For example, the rumor that Amway is a scam has long been debunked, but other outside threats may still linger. Check with the Better Business Bureau or usa.gov for updated information on other business opportunities.

Commercial Pilots

Leave your college applications behind if you’re looking to fly the friendly skies. Although many pilots have college degrees, it’s not required to step into a leadership role in the cockpit. Pilots are required to hold a high school diploma, an aviation license, and usually require a specific number of flight hours before venturing into the commercial world. And the pay can be lucrative with GlassDoor reporting commercial pilots earning just over $100,000.

Executive Administrative Assistants

Landing a job as a receptionist or assistant isn’t hard, but also doesn’t come with a hefty paycheck. Instead, package your skills as an executive administrative assistant who works with high-powered executives and business leaders. Expect to do everything from book travel to organize meetings and events. You don’t need a college degree to attract your ideal clients, but you enhance your earnings with certification programs and workshops. Look for resources that help refine skills in software and systems that give you more confidence running an office. 

Radiation Therapists

Are you dreaming about a career in healthcare or medicine? It’s true that doctors need an advanced degree and nurses need at least an associates degree, but you can still enter the field with no college education. Radiation Therapists work in the cancer treatment field and operate machinery to monitor the patient’s reaction to their radiation treatment. The Street reports that radiation therapy is in demand with a 22 percent expected growth rate through 2022 and an annual pay of $80,000. 

Although a four-year degree can be helpful in your career trajectory, it’s not mandatory for earning a lucrative living. Choose an industry that fits your skills and interests and design a lucrative career that grows with you.

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