A four-year degree isn’t always the right answer

New book provides career guidance for those who aren’t interested in pursuing a traditional degree.

After publishing how-to books on paying for college, the American Library Association felt it was about time to create a guide for students looking to forgo what has become an American right of passage.


"I Don't Want to Go to College: Other Paths to Success" is a manual for those who know a four-year degree isn't right for them. In 200 pages, the book takes the reader step-by-step through the process of pursuing a rewarding career, beginning with skills and interests worksheets to help illuminate alternatives.


"Your parents, your family, your school: Everybody tells you to go to a four-year school and get that degree. But it's not for everyone," says the guidebook's author, Heather Z. Hutchins. "If your inclination doesn't run that way, then there's lots of other opportunities for you. When I started researching the book, I was really shocked at just how many alternatives there are to a four-year degree."


"Other Paths" profiles a wide range of careers, from pharmacy technician to hairstylist, and includes information about the specific training and certificates required for each of them.


"I tried to be really meticulous about including every important detail on these jobs, so the reader can know in advance exactly what they want, and how to get it," says Hutchins. "I wanted to give people a resource on just about every aspect of the job search: how to give a good interview, prepare a professional resume, find an apprenticeship and ... apply for financial aid. There's plenty of learning going on outside of college campuses."

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