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5 Best Alternate Career Paths That Support Your Passion

  • July 19, 2021

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Not everyone has the same opportunities in life. It isn't uncommon for people to end up going in a completely different direction than they planned. For example, you may have spent your youth dreaming of becoming a successful defense attorney, only to end up looking for gigs as a self-employed handyman. A noble job, but far from the most exciting. But it's never too late for a career change, and following your passion is always possible.

Not all careers with a high salary and more responsibilities than usual require a degree-level education. Most require further education but stop short at higher attendance at a university for a prolonged period. These jobs usually revolve around support for specific sectors such as medical, legal, and technical. For example, many nursing careers don't require a degree, and some healthcare jobs require vocational training rather than a degree.

Some examples include:

  • Non-Doctorate Health Care
  • Paralegal Careers
  • IT and Technical Support
  • Nutritionists 
  • Emergency Services

Not all healthcare workers are doctors, and the health system relies on an army of trained staff. Similarly, the legal profession requires a vast amount of specialized support teams who aid in case preparation and administration. The IT sector comprises highly talented and dedicated personnel across network administration and cybersecurity. Still, tech support is a great starting career with plenty of advancement opportunities. Fitness professionals such as nutritionists can find plenty of employment in today's health-aware world. A passion for helping people is a requirement of working for emergency services.

Non-Doctorate Health Care

The medical profession is indeed filled with highly educated and dedicated individuals. Many study at college and university as well as a medical school for their chosen field. However, you don't need to earn a degree to find a significant career in the medical field. In fact, numerous positions don't require a doctorate, such as dental hygiene, radiology, and hearing specialists.

For example, similar to what audiologists treat but not quite the same, hearing instrument specialists (HIS) provide healthcare for the ears. Specifically, HISs are trained in hearing assessments and the design and fittings of hearing devices. In addition, they can perform various tests to decide what hearing aids you need, and fit and program them. For the most part, you become a HIS with diplomas, training, and licensing, but you may not require a degree education. 

Paralegal Careers

Everyone knows what a lawyer is and what they do, but you may not be aware of the army of trained and skilled individuals around them. As a paralegal, you can land a job at a reputable law firm and assist with all manner of legal procedures. This includes discovery, administration, case preparation, and investigation. Liaising with clients and preparing for cases is also a large part of the job. Therefore establishing trust is essential.

Landing a job as a paralegal usually doesn't require a university education degree, but higher education is needed.  College vocational courses are sufficient for most paralegal roles, and you will study for around 2 to 3 years. However, paralegal jobs are incredibly stressful, and burnout is common. Additionally, the work is challenging with high stakes should you make a mistake. Therefore accurate and prudent work is vital.

IT and Technical Support

IT and technical support have never been more critical in today's world of computers, computer systems, and interconnected devices. The sector covers a wide range of careers. However, all but the most challenging can be landed without degree-level education. IT support is a demanding job, but most people are more technical than they are aware of, especially the younger generation that has grown up with modern devices. Devices such as the internet, smartphones, and tablets.

But IT doesn't only extend to computers, phones, and laptops. You can land a very lucrative job as a network administrator with the proper training or knowledge. These skills can then be applied to other sectors such as process automation and cybersecurity. Suppose you are already knowledgeable in IT systems. In that case, you can apply for IT jobs, as the industry is more forgiving than others when it comes to employment. For some roles, you need only to demonstrate your skills. 


More than ever, people are more aware of the problems associated with poor diet and exercise. As such, owing in part to the web, nutrition and exercise are becoming more common. In response, people are beginning to eat healthier by reducing calorie intake, reducing harmful sugars, and staying away from trans fats. Suppose you have a passion for advising people on how to eat better and heal the body. In that case, you could have a promising career as a nutritionist. 

As a nutritionist, you are legally allowed to advise people on the dangers of unhealthy eating and how they can eat healthier. You can also use scientifically backed evidence to formulate health plans for clients. It is possible to become a nutritionist without a degree. However, you cannot be registered with any medical boards. Additional education is required for this. You can legally call yourself a nutritionist and begin a business as long as you do not claim to be medically trained or act as such.

Emergency Services

One of the noblest things you can do is dedicate your life in service to others, such as with emergency services. Most emergency services require extensive training. However, for most roles within them, no formal education is required. This means that you can apply for emergency service roles without a degree-level education. This is because most services will provide all the training you need for your career.

Almost all emergency services provide training, and you usually either don't have to pay or will pay at a discounted rate. In fact, some services will pay you as you train, as is the case with paramedics in the UK. Also, firefighters and police are both excellent professions for which you need no formal education. And the roles within vary. Both also require administration, IT personnel, call handlers, and on-call medical staff to support the emergency services infrastructure as a whole.