By Paulo Vargas on June 23, 2015
In the Philippines, having a college degree makes it much easier to get into the professional world. More often than not, the lack of a college diploma could mean a lack of good, well-paying jobs you can choose from.
But if for some reason or another, you had to leave college or weren't able to start at all, it's not the end of the world. Here, Kalibrr lists industries and companies where there can be opportunities for people with and without a college degree.
In these jobs, as long as you perform well, you be able to stand on equal footing with everyone else.
Information and Technology
Unlike other industries that require years of university education, Information Technology (IT) is unique in that performance and experience are better than a degree.
For instance, IT administrators are expected to know the goings-on of a computer network, which anyone with a curious mind at home and healthy internet access can gain. But being familiar with something is different from being an expert. To work in the IT industry, you need to have accreditation and certifications that are easy to acquire as long as you have the patience to teach yourself.
Getting a job in sales requires tenacity and good public relations skills. Not only do you have to be convincing, you have to do it with sincerity and passion. Typically, companies look for people with a college education but if you are able to build a good network of contacts and prove that you have the skills to sell, you can go far in the industry.
If you need to pull up your sleeves for a few years, doing grunt work on the field distributing flyers or doing guerrilla marketing, you can learn the ropes and the payoff can be big. Most sales people work on commission and bring in big bucks.
Online English Tutor
The Philippines prides itself as one of the best English-speaking countries in Asia. Neighbors from South Korea, China, and even Japan go to universities in the Philippines to learn the language. For those who are not able to afford the tuition, they settle for online English tutors, most of which are Filipinos.
Business Process Outsourcing
Being a worker in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry is not something people do in between jobs anymore. A decade ago, BPO workers would say that they are there only because they haven't found their true calling yet. Today, the continuous growth of the industry has made people realize that there are legitimate career paths for them. Even if you didn't finish college, these career paths can be for you too.
"When companies say they require 'at least two years in college,' it is only to make sure that the applicant is at least 16 years old, which is the minimum age to become employed," said IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines executive director for talent development, Penny Bongato.
The Golden Arch
McDonald's Philippines sets itself apart from fellow companies in the service sector by proudly saying it does not practice "endo" or end of contract.
McDonald's Philippines founder George Yang, after receiving his honorary doctorate degree in Jose Rizal University, proudly said that the company condemns endo, or the practice of hiring workers for just five months then ending their contracts to avoid having to regularize them. Yang says, "Every worker has a chance to become promoted in the company."
In Graphic Design, what matters most is taste, even degree holders fall short of this sometimes. Having an eye for what looks good cannot always be taught in a traditional college or university setup.
The good news for you guys is you can teach yourself Graphic Design and cultivate your aesthetic by exposing yourself to different artists. As long as you have the drive and the knack for it, your portfolio will speak for itself, not your lack of a college degree.
Much like Graphic Design, writing is something you can teach yourself.
Developing skills in writing requires discipline but as long as you keep at it, you'll see improvement. Even reading a book everyday is great training for a job like this. Another thing that would be helpful, if you're interested in getting into this kind of job, is obtaining feedback from people you trust and admire. No degree needed for that.
When looking for a job, platforms like Upwork (formerly Elance-Odesk) make it easy for someone in the Philippines to get clients from the other side of the world. As a writer, you can even think about starting a blog.
As you can see, what all these jobs have in common is a strict requirement to work hard and self-study. Once you get the ball rolling and the credentials pile up, your academic background will be exactly that: unnoticed background.