STATES CHRONICLE – Are specialized skills more important than a college degree?
Many people living in the United States believe that in order to be economically successful, their paycheck needs to be a six-figure number. Psychologists have even reported that people who earn $100,000 or more per year have a healthier outlook on life compared to people who annually only cash in $90,000.
Even though a decade has passed since the world went into economical recession, the job market in the United States has remained timid. The requirements for the coveted six-figure jobs mostly include a college degree or some other form of equivalent higher education. More important than this higher education, however, are specialized skills.
On the current job market, specialized skills are the deal-makers. Employers will be willing to overlook the lack of a college degree or any other form of higher education if the candidate has sufficient years of working experience and is specialized in the work they are applying for.
Nevertheless, if an employer has to choose between a candidate with a college degree and another candidate with just the specialty, the job might go to the former. The priority of job allocation is not automatic, though, and the interview is still as important of a step in getting the position as ever.
Three Jobs Which Mainly Require Only Specialized Skills
Nurse practitioners on average make exactly $100,000 every year, and the majority of nurses do not have any form of college degree. Instead, they have rigorous years of training and practice.
Training expenses are considerably smaller than a college tuition, however. Nurse practitioners can, however, equivalate their specialized skills and training into a form of higher education and then pursue a master’s degree or even a doctorate.
Airline pilots earn a yearly average of $134,000, but not all companies require a college degree. The main prerequisites for an airline pilot in the United States are the commercial pilot’s license released by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Airline Transport Pilot certificate.
No amount of training or specialized skills will equivalate to a form of higher education, though.
Software architects make on average $139,000 per year, and while a computer science degree is appreciated, it is definitely not mandatory. Their specialized skills focus on code and programming, as well as ample communication. Software architects work with company executives and whole technical teams to achieve their goal and that requires both the know-how and the social skills to back it up.
Presently, in the United States, the average income per household is still in decline, a trend which started at the end of the late ‘90s. In 2014, the median income was just under $54,000 meaning that the six-figure paycheck is becoming the six-figure dream.
There are, however, companies which can find suitable jobs for people, or even appropriate training courses for anyone willing to pick up the specialized skills they would need.
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