Is higher education necessary to land a well-paid job? Millions of high school graduates ask themselves this question every year. And these days, there’s more ambiguity about the answer than ever before – especially for those who dread academic assignments and prefer using EssayHelp to spending hours crafting an essay themselves.  

While formal higher education is facing a deep crisis because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, new informal educational opportunities mushroom. So, more and more people are considering them as an alternative to a college or university degree. 

The advantages of such courses are indisputable. Here are just a few:

  • lower fees;
  • shorter duration;
  • greater accessibility. 

Moreover, extended courses offered by both colleges and online educational platforms are available to practically everyone, whereas undergraduate and graduate degree programs are not. But can they really provide quality education and get you a job? 

Well, it depends. But HR professionals claim that at least some of them can. Surely, there’s no guarantee that a course certificate alone will give you an opportunity to build your dream career, but it’s worth trying.  

Now, let’s take a look at some of the extended courses that you can substitute formal education with.     

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Training Program at NMETC

New challenges create new opportunities. During the pandemic, medical staff has gained immense respect, which resulted in more than just rounds of applause from the balconies, but also in increased salaries.

As of 2021, EMTs are still in high demand, and their job pays well. The National Medical Education and Training Center training program is one of the best ones for junior medical staff out there.

It only takes up to four months and can be taken both as an on-site and a partially online program. Application requirements are simple: an applicant must be at least 17 years old and have a driver’s license. On-campus programs start every May and September, and online programs – every March and September.

Online Courses for Firefighters at Ohio Fire Academy

Firefighters are also in high demand as savage fires continue to disrupt forests every year, not to mention all other emergencies where the help of firefighters is necessary. And one doesn’t need a degree to become a firefighter and earn as much as approximately $50 000.

You can even earn a certificate online at Ohio Fire Academy that offers more than 70 fire protection courses that last from several months to a year. You can enter the program with just a high school diploma, but of course, there are some additional requirements.

Particularly, you’ll need to complete a test or submit your ACT/SAT scores, pass a background check, and, of course, a health check and fitness tests. There are also other requirements, but overall, it’s a highly available program if you’re physically fit for it.

Personal Trainer Certificate Program from ISSA

If you’re looking for something less stressful than firefighting, yet you’re exceptionally physically fit, consider a career as a personal trainer. Even if you’re already working at a fitness center or a gym, a certificate from the International Sports Sciences Association will give you brighter prospects and a better salary.

The course is self-paced, delivered online, and deals with subjects such as anatomy, movement principles, and health assessment. Applicants don’t need even a high school diploma to enter the program, but a valid CPR/AED/First Aid Certification is required. On completion, you’ll get the Personal Trainer Certificate recognized by most fitness institutions. 

Online Certificate in Web Design by the University of California

Web design is a profession where you can easily get started without any formal training whatsoever. You can even be completely self-taught and still find a well-paid job provided you have an impressive portfolio. But if you’re just beginning and feel like you need more guidance, there are numerous courses on offer.

You can choose courses from Coursera or edX, Khan Academy, or Codecademy, and they will all do just fine. But if you need a certificate with a respectable name in it, opt for courses from colleges and universities. Like, for example, from the Division of Continuing Education of the University of California.

Their certificate program in web design is fully delivered online, can be taken full-time or part-time, and lasts from 8 to 15 months. After completing, you’ll not only get a certificate, but also a project to add to your portfolio.

Digital Media & Marketing Certificate from Duke University

In the era of WFH, it’s crucial to have the skills to find remote jobs. Digital marketing jobs come in handy as the perfect choice for those who want to be well-paid professionals, but they require some serious knowledge.

However, you may land your first job without formal training – all you need is to complete an extended course and gain a certificate. Then again, there are many options, but one of the best out there is a course provided by Duke University.

The program is delivered online, is self-paced, and can be taken by high school graduates at least 18 years of age. However, it’s rather pricey, and there are lots of requirements for program applicants. Upon completion, you can get types of certificates depending on the courses you choose.


Formal college and university education still has value – so, if you have a choice, don’t hesitate to go for a traditional degree. However, if you can’t afford a college degree or simply don’t want to spend that much time studying, it’s not a problem anymore.

There’s such an abundance of extended courses and certificate programs offered nowadays that those who need education will get it. Employers are aware of the change, too, and eventually care more about the candidate’s skills and experience than about formal degrees. 

So, there’s a good chance you’ll get your dream job with just an informal course certificate at your disposal. Just be sure to pick the right course! AriaNews
Is higher education necessary to land a well-paid job? Millions of high school graduates ask themselves this question every year. And these days, there’s more ambiguity about the answer than ever before – especially for those who dread academic assignments and prefer using EssayHelp to spending hours crafting an...