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A college degree has been touted as a passport to a great career and the means to earn a great salary and lead a successful lifestyle, but parents and students appear to be following this pied piper blindly without thinking about the huge burden of debt youngsters are inheriting. In the backdrop of rising unemployment among fresh graduates, the percentage of the citizens that consider college as a sound investment has now dipped to 55%. Students are gradually learning to think out of the box for shrewder alternatives to the four year degree course.

Making do without the traditional degree

An adventurous 15% of high schoolers armed with diplomas were skillfully leveraging career opportunities and giving degree holders serious competition, earning equivalent salaries in 2011. Electricians, civil construction inspectors, company sales representatives, commercial flight pilots and telecommunication line installers and repairmen were raking in serious dollars often outperforming fresh grads making $60,000 to $78,000 annually.

Peter Thiel co-founder of PayPal launched the Thiel Fellowship to encourage college goers to follow their own technical passion and launch startups just like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Michael Dell did so successfully.  It only goes to show that there is a world of opportunities out there in fields where a technical skill or an on the job training is all that is required to launch a career.

There are many who have opted out of art school to dive headlong into music and the audio visual media industries and have carved out a name for themselves and are earning better salaries than college grads. They had no degrees and no student loans yet they mixed with the best talent, learned from the best in the business and honed their skills and creative talent.

Why “technical” is the new Holy Grail for youngsters

How many people know that nearly 20% of all jobs in the US job market require that applicants possess only a CTE qualification? CTE stands for career and technical education, the alternative to the traditional degree. CTE is going into areas that degrees have been avoiding for long like computer services, basic automotive and specialized aviation courses and cosmetology. The institutions imparting CTE are growing stronger by the day with many industries sponsoring technical and apprenticeship courses so that they can straight away recruit candidates that are clued into what their businesses want. Between now and 2015 is boom time for CTE jobs.

Growth in vital areas explains the growing demand for technical services

Areas like healthcare for instance are growing strongly and as new institutions, hospitals and elderly care facilities mushroom they desperately need a complete range of technical services like medical assistants, nursing assistants, phlebotomists, radiologists and ultra-sonographers, plumbers, electricians, commercial builders.

Compared to the average student loan of $223,000 and the huge economic burden that is likely to impose on fresh grads, there are jobs waiting to snap up CTEs as soon as they complete their course, and these candidates will be entering new jobs without student debt.

Exploiting the car equity loan to the hilt to shore up your student loan expenses

Student loan expenses can be forbidding but those who avail the humble auto equity loan have discovered how to shore up strained finances with this loan. The auto collateral loan as the name indicates is based on the collateral of the car and it releases more than 60% of the value of the car within minutes of applying. The pawn car title loan charges a reasonable interest rate of 25% APR, and repayments can be structured to suit your salary income and household budget. The money is very useful in helping ease the burden in a financial crisis situation.