how to make money without a college degreeThe traditional path to getting a job and making money is to complete high school then enroll in post-secondary education whether it be a certificate program or 4 year college.

The internet has changed this however and it is now possible to have your own online business making a full-time income without any education. Sound to good to be true? I assure you it is a reality and I will show you how to make money without a college degree.


The Cost of College = Years of Debt

Here are some eye-opening statistics on the cost of college for the 2016-2017 school year from

Tuition and Fees

The average cost of tuition and fees was $33,480 at private colleges, $9,650 for state residents at public colleges, and $24,930 for out-of-state residents enrolled in public colleges. That averages out to $22,686.67.

Room and Board

The average cost of room and board was $10,440 at four-year public schools to $11,890 at private schools. That averages out to $11,165.

Books and School Supplies

The average cost of books and supplies was $1,250 at public colleges and $1,230 at private colleges with an average of $1,240

If you add up each average, that is $35,091.67. Multiply that by 4 years, it is $140,366.68. This doesn’t even include personal expenses such as local transportation, clothing and entertainment. I certainly could find a lot of uses for that amount of money such as putting a down payment on a house or investing for retirement!

But Won’t I Make that Money Back in My New Job?

The expense is worth it though as when you graduate from college you will get a job making a six figure income with a large office and important title correct?


According to a recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, they found that for 10 broad degree categories, 2016 graduates are projected to have an average salary of $50,556. Since this is gross, let’s assume you are single and your tax rate is 25%. That’s $37,917.

Based upon this, it would take you almost 4 years to pay off your student loans – and that is applying 100% of your net income towards it!

The cost of college is only going to increase as well based upon what has occurred over the past 20 years or so. Below is a chart courtesy of U.S. News & World Report showing the increase of tuition and related fees from 1995 – 2015.  As you can see, it’s only going in one direction – up!


how to make money without a college degree

Here are some staggering statistics for this time period:

  • The average tuition and fees at private colleges increased by 179%.
  • Out-of-state tuition and fees at public colleges have increased by 226%
  • In-state tuition and fees at public colleges were the highest increase, an astounding 296%.

As you can see, the cost of college has skyrocketed over the past 20 years and shows no signs of slowing down. Professors will continue to make exorbitant salaries and students will continue to leave school with a mountain of debt.

But there is an alternative, a dirty little secret that the colleges do not want you to know so they can continue to take your money.

Welcome to the Power of the Internet and Online Business

The number of internet users has exploded over the past 10 years and there are currently over 3.75 billion users as of January 2017.

Here are some amazing statistics:

  • Around 46% of the world’s population has an internet connection today compared to 1% in 1995.
  • There has been a ten fold increase in internet users from 1999 to 2013.
  • In 2005, a milestone was reached of a billion internet users.  This number then doubled to 2 billion in 2010 and tripled to 3 billion in 2014. Amazing!

The below graphic shows the number of global internet users per year since 1993. Astounding!

how to make money without a college degree

This is a staggering number and represents the largest consumer audience in the world. Think about that. There are over 3 billion people searching for products and services online everyday. If you could capture even one-tenth of one percent of this group you would have a lucrative business!

So how do we create an online business to capture this audience?

It is very simple and can be explained in 4 steps

how to make money without a college degree



Choose an Interest

What are your interests and what are you passionate about? Everyone has a hobby or an interest that they can talk about and education others. This is what is known as a niche. A niche is simply a group of people looking for something. There are millions of niche ideas to choose from, all of which could be turned into a lucrative online business.

As an example, let’s say that our passion is model trains. This is an excellent niche and can be the framework for our website that we will use to build our business. Remember, there are 3.75 BILLION people online, all of which are searching for products and services everyday! Regardless of the topic you choose, you can be very successful!



Build a Website

Building a website is easy now and you do not need a computer science degree to do it! In fact, it only takes less than 30 seconds to build a great looking mobile friendly website that is ready to earn revenue. Your website will be the foundation of your business and will allow you reach those 3.75 billion people online.

Think of your website in the traditional “brick and mortar” business sense. It is the “storefront” of your business and all activity and revenue from your business will be as a result of your website. There are many ways to monetize your site, which you will learn at my #1 recommended source for tools and training – Wealthy Affiliate. 



Attract Visitors

So now that you have chosen your interest and build a website, your next focus is to attract visitors to your site. This is a critical component as without visitors you do not have an audience to sell or market products to.

Keyword research is essential to attracting visitors to your site as this identifies what people are searching for in the search engines such as Google, Bing & Yahoo.  By targeting these keywords, you will achieve high rankings in the search engines, which will lead to an increase in traffic to your site.

You will learn the most current traffic techniques within the first few lessons at Wealthy Affiliate, which will lead to an abundance of traffic to your site! This includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media (Facebook), and Pay Per Click.



Earn Revenue

Once you have generated traffic to your site, one method to earn revenue for your website is through special programs known as “affiliate programs“. These programs are completely free to join.

Affiliate programs allow you to promote just about anything you can imagine without having to own or create the product yourself.  That’s correct – no inventory, shipping or product support necessary. In fact, you can operate your business from anywhere in the world!

how to make money without a college degree

As an affiliate marketer you will send the traffic to the company website. If a visitor then purchases something on the site, the company will pay you a commission of up to 75%.

One example of an affiliate program is the Amazon Associates program at As an affiliate you can promote over 488 MILLION products on Amazon and earn a commission up to 10%.

The best part about the Amazon program is that you will earn a commission on any product that a visitor purchases through your efforts. It does not need to be relevant to your niche! If you’re like me, you purchase products across a wide variety of categories when shopping on Amazon.

Amazon is just one such example, there are over 100,000 affiliate programs that you can join, which includes just about any product you can imagine!

how to make money without a college degree

The affiliate marketing industry generated over $3.4 billon in sales in 2016. A number of the industries top affiliates are members of the Wealthy Affiliate community. This is the largest affiliate marketing community in the world with over 850,000 affiliates! When you join, you will get advice from the industries top experts.


Get Started On Your Business Today

College is an incredible expense with the potential burden of graduating with over $100,000 in debt.  Who wants to start out in life carrying that much debt when you can join Wealthy Affiliate for FREE and receive all the tools and training you need to start a full-time online business from home?

==>Click Here For My Wealthy Affiliate Review <==

I would love to hear your stories of college debt in the comments below. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below as well and I will respond. I look forward to helping you create your own online business!







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10 Responses to How to Make Money Without a College Degree

  1. Riaz Shah says:

    Hey Tony,
    I completely agree that you don’t need a degree in order to make money, not everyone can afford universities and even if they graduate with a degree, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be working in that specific field.

    I love your article on building an Online Business, i started a bit late after I graduated, how I wished I would have come across your page back then!

    You would have changed my life but I hope you can inspire other beginners to start early as well. Loving your article, looking forward to reading your next one!

    • Tony says:

      Thank you for the kind words, Riaz. My goal is to inform people that there is another path to success than the traditional college route. Our society has been programmed that you need a college degree to earn full time income and live comfortably, which could not be further from the truth. The colleges and universities have perpetuated this myth in order to continue to raise costs and make more money. I just want to get the message out that there is another way to achieve success and want to help as many people avoid the college debt trap.

  2. Nikos says:

    College is very expensive and entering the job market is getting harder and harder. Starting an online business is also very inexpensive at least if we compare it with an offline one. To start a business in the “real” world you need thousands of $. Who has that kind of money when graduating from college?

    • Tony says:

      I completely agree Nikos. The cost of college is astronomical and most students are carrying a massive amount of debt when they leave. This leaves very few recent graduates with the ability to start a traditional brick and mortar business after college due to the enormous start of costs. This is the reason why online business is so appealing as it requires a significantly less investment as well as the ability to skip college all together and receive the most comprehensive training available at wealthy affiliate, whichwill give any recent high school graduate a significant head start over their college peers as they will be earning full time income without incurring the college debt.

  3. shrey says:

    This really helps a lot of people to understand if college is really important or not. It is necessary for people to choose what they study according to their interests and it is equally important that we have a look at all the other options out there. I wish I knew about this before I had joined my college and that would help me stay more relaxed in college as I would always have a backup plan.

    • Tony says:

      Thanks for the comment shrey. I agree that you need to weigh all of your options and decide if college is right for you since it is such an enormous financial commitment. Having a backup plan is essential and wealthy affiliate offers this through their robust tools and training.

  4. james says:

    hello my friend I enjoyed your website I mainly like the breakdowns you have provided and the charts to explain what things cost and the way you provide the ways to link and make money with affiliating and the step by step way on how new people who would like to try marketing and how they can achieve it keep it up looks good

    • Tony says:

      Thanks for the comment, James. I believe that charts are an important tool in illustrating my points and I’m glad that they could be helpful. The cost of college is so expensive these days so being able to develop an online business at a fraction of the cost can be beneficial to anyone. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me. thanks!

  5. Cathy says:

    10 years ago, I would have objected to the title of this post. I came from an education system that a college degree is a prerequisite for getting a good career that actually pays.

    But it didn’t prepare me for the reality that I am facing right now at my workplace – overworked, underpaid and building someone else’s dream. If I had known better, I would have started some kind of blog 10 years ago. Imagine the kind of traffic that I would have garnered by now. Imagine what I could do with those kind of traffic.

    So to all the college students out there, go get a domain right now and learn everything you can about online marketing. It’s going to reward you in many ways regardless of what profession you are in.

    • Tony says:

      Hi Cathy, thank you for the comment. I completely agree with you that every college student should purchase a domain and learn as much as they can about online marketing. Even if it’s not your full-time profession, it is an excellent way to earn extra income. I’m in the same boat as you being overworked and underpaid. Life is short, so you should be working towards your own dreams rather than building some else’s. There’s so many opportunities to make money online, you just have to know where to get the right training, which is all available at Wealthy Affiliate.

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