College (or university) can be the best years of your life (although hopefully the best is yet to come!). The cliques that existed in high school are far less pronounced on a college campus, and you can easily make friends and acquaintances that are more in line with our own personality. College isn’t for everyone, although this can prove to be a problem once you enter the job market and find that some employers aren’t willing to give you a shot without that piece of paper that shows your college degree. Some occupations are more flexible, since a college degree is helpful, but much of the training will be provided on the job. Some countries, such as Germany, remain quite rigid, and you can choose the type of high school qualification you study for- but if you choose the less intensive option where you finish high school earlier (the hauptschulabschluss), then some companies won’t consider you for even the most basic of occupations. What are some of the best career opportunities that offer on the job training, reducing the need for traditional qualifications?

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Financial Services

Banking, insurance and credit services generally don’t require a tertiary education. Many banks make a point of taking a young person, or perhaps an older person looking for a career change, and then training them in all aspects of the banks operations. You might start as a bank teller or insurance salesperson, but with some dedication and hard work, you can quickly make your way up the ranks. It’s not uncommon to find senior banking staff who are still quite young, having started with the bank in their late teens.

Hospitality

Many hotels offer apprenticeships for persons who are looking to pursue a career in the hotel industry. It’s a case of starting at the bottom and working your way up, since hotel employees usually start in a less than glamorous position, such as cleaning or room service, and then advance to guest services, often with added training programs. A larger, international hotel change might be good for this type of career path, since many different outlets in many different cities and countries mean there are opportunities for travel.

Travel and Tourism

While there’s the argument that the rise of travel and accommodation type websites have effectively killed the travel agent industry, there’s still a need for talented individuals who can provide a specialized travel service. Travel agencies generally prefer experience to qualifications, and seek applicants who have actually done a lot of travel themselves, since a college degree won’t necessarily mean that you can recommend a great bar in Barcelona. If you prefer to actually travel yourself, then consider work with an airline. They have need for both ground and in-flight staff, with plenty of chances for advancement.

Building and Construction

This is an industry where you really earn your place with hard labor, since there’s a lot of heavy lifting and hard work involved. Many construction companies offer jobs to people with no formal qualifications, and after some time successfully working in the field, you can find yourself earning top dollar for your in-demand skills.

It can be difficult to plan for the future, and to wonder if you need to study for your chosen career path. Usually, a bit of training and study is helpful, or even necessary, but remember that with on the job training you’ll start to earn while you learn.