These programs are cheaper and less time-consuming than college, and they provide valuable career skills. If college isn’t practical or an option for you, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a well-paying career or that you shouldn’t try to further your education. You may want to consider a certificate program. Male engineer with protective helmet preparing for installing solar panels. Professional electrician checking electricity of solar panels. These programs, often offered by colleges, provide training in specific fields. You can take certificate programs as a college graduate, but there are many designed for people with a high school diploma or GED and want additional training to land an entry-level position. “For many high school students, technical certifications are the most direct route to a good career,” says Tracy Levine, CEO of Advantage Talent, a professional training and coaching company in Atlanta. “Employers have more input into the creation of certifications, so they have direct business value. Unlike college degrees, certifications provide transparency into what is taught and what skills a student will bring to their employer,” Levine says. That isn’t to say that a college degree doesn’t have a lot of value. But certificate programs may be more valuable to jump-starting a career than you might think.