$84K Without A College Degree

5 min read

At some point, in most of our lives, we have all heard the cliché that “you can’t put a price on a good education.” However, in today’s society, for better or worse, almost everything has a price tag – and in the case of higher education – it’s often a lofty one.

Students who were looking to obtain a bachelor’s degree in 2018 could expect to pay anywhere from $9,970 to $34,740 a year for tuition. Keep in mind; these prices don’t include other associated expenses like room and board, which, according to Collegedata.com, can cost another $12,210 annually.

Education Is An Expensive Matter

Those looking to add a master’s degree can expect to pay an additional $30,000 – $120,000 in total.

After a glance at these numbers, one doesn’t need to be a math whiz or have a calculator handy to understand that higher education is extremely expensive. There are plenty of folks that will spend more on their college degrees than their parents needed to purchase their first home.

Sure, there are plenty of fields that require degrees and countless benefits to attending college. After all, a 2016 study by Georgetown University suggests that, on average, college grads earn 1 million dollars more in their lifetimes, than those who forgo higher education.

That being said, not everyone can afford to attend college and the thought of accumulating a fortune in debt, through the use of student loans, is understandably a freighting prospect for many.  There are also plenty of folks, for whatever reason, feel like the college experience just isn’t for them.

Those who aren’t university bound need not worry, because there are still plenty of opportunities out there – even in the tech industry.

Demand For Blockchain Knowledge Is Up

One field, in particular, blockchain tech, is growing at a rapid pace.

For those unfamiliar, a blockchain is a decentralized list of records (or blocks), which are linked through the use of cryptography; a more thorough definition can be found here.

Blockchain tech is commonly associated with cryptocurrency (like bitcoin), but its a number of use cases is growing by the day. Furthermore, the amount of employers looking for folks that understand this relatively new technology is also increasing exponentially – and is expected to continue to do so.

In fact, blockchain job openings have increased by 300% since 2017. As of August 2018, there were approximately 1,775 job openings – and that’s just in the United States.

Of course, finding a job isn’t all that difficult, but finding a job that pays well certainly can be. However, compensation isn’t an issue in this exciting new field.

A recent study from the job site Glassdoor showed that the average blockchain worker in the US is bringing in a median salary of $84,884 a year. To put that in perspective, at present, the median salary in America is $52,461. Some of the most in-demand positions, like blockchain engineer, can fetch salaries as high as $160,000 annually. Among the top employers looking for talent in the field are companies like IBM and J.P. Morgan.  Depending on the specific job, a college degree may or may not be required – though extensive blockchain knowledge certainly will be.

Freelancing To Make An Impact

For those who aren’t looking to sign on with a big corporation (or any corporation at all), there are plenty of blockchain pros who earn comfortable livings as freelance workers. In truth, freelance workers, in ways, are the backbone of the blockchain movement – and make no mistake – blockchain is indeed a movement.

Legendary singer David Bowie once said, “What I like to do is try to make a difference with the work I do.” Bowie’s sentiment is shared by a significant portion of the blockchain community.

Many freelancers don’t see blockchain projects as simply a way to make money; they see them as a way to make an impact – and maybe even change the world.

There are blockchain experts that do everything from trading cryptocurrency to developing ways to help feed the hungry. Heck, there’s even a guy who wants to start his own blockchain-based island society. Blockchain WTF has a useful guide for those who would like to learn more about freelancing.

Skills Over Degrees

One of the many benefits of becoming a blockchain nomad is that a college degree isn’t required. For those looking to learn about this revolutionary new technology, without spending the time or money associated with earning a college degree – obtaining a certificate or simply taking courses at a blockchain specific institution is always an option.

Several online courses offer a variety of blockchain certificates, and there are also physical locations where individuals can learn the skills required to take part in this growing industry. For those living in the Midwest, Chicago’s Blockchain Institute is a great place to begin (or continue) learning about this game-changing technology.

Regardless of how one wishes to go about mastering it, blockchain tech is reshaping the world we live in and creating some exciting new career opportunities.