A zillion times I was asked what I wanted to be when I grow up. Being the quintessential peter pan of my generation, the answer to that question was never going to come to fruition. For arguments sake, however, when I was a kid I wanted to be a fireman, astronaut, accountant, doctor, lawyer, and (finally) a law Librarian - which, as it turned out, was the best choice after all!
The reason I'm bringing this up now is for two reasons. Reason #1: In today's (9/26/13) Press Enterprise, there is an article by Mitchell Rosen: College Degree Isn't Everyone's First Choice. In it he says, "After a few years as a family therapist I learned...some of my wealthiest clients never went to college." Personally, I know lots of people who never "earned" a formal degree and yet have been doing pretty well. The problem is with this present economic downturn, many of those person are now having a heck of a time making money. I'm finding that while having a degree isn't the end-all, beat-all guarantee to getting a job, it does open some doors that might otherwise be closed.
That brings me to Reason #2. Today, the Wall Street Journal published Universum Top 100: The Most Attractive Employers in the U.S. What is critical to note is that every single employer listed requires at least an undergrad degree and, in many cases, a second or advanced degree in some field of study.
What does this mean? It means that if you are not particularly skilled or blessed with particular handyman skills, you still might want to consider getting that little piece of academic paper. Not able to afford a typical brick and mortar university? Take heart knowing that there are a number of online universities that charge a fraction of what the big name school costs such as Patten University, New Charter University, and University of Phoenix. Here is a link to a hundred more online universities.
For those in the legal professions, some print (i.e. book) resources that might help you decide what to do with your little piece(s) include: Nonlegal Careers for Lawyers (ABA), After Law School: Finding a Job in a Tight Market (Little Brown), America's Greatest Places to Work With A Law Degree: and how to make the most of any job, no matter what it is! (West), and Full Disclosure: Do You Really Want To Be A Lawyer? (ABA).
Any way you cut it, there are always opportunities for those who put in the effort. If ever you find yourself in a bind, know that the good folks at your local county law library has what you need to help get you up and moving forward.