Only High School Diploma - Am I ******?

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 19th, 2017 2:59 am
Dec 20, 2016
9 posts

Only High School Diploma - Am I ******?

Hey guys, currently an almost 21 year old guy currently out of school. I have some work experience under my belt, mostly in the culinary industry, but I think getting into that was a mistake that I predicted long beforehand but still got into it. I have a few years of work experience, and good references that can back me up. I excel while I am working with my hands on the job. I have tried college, but I absolutely hate school. I have dropped out of three different programs.

I only have my high school diploma and I guess my culinary college diploma. Am I ******? I'm currently looking at a career in the Air Force because the civilian world in trades seems not to be "in demand" as I've always kept hearing -- I've tried applying to various things but of course nothing has happened. I honestly don't really care too much about what I'm doing as a career, as long as it pays fine. However I'm eager to learn on the job, this is where I excel; it's really disheartening to be a great and dependable employee yet be judged on a piece of paper. I took a lot of arts in high school, so I don't have a lot of the math and physics some unions might require. I planned on getting into the film industry but seeing the life people have to go through to get by made me change my mind and want me to get something more stable.

Are there are trades I should be looking at? Should I be cold calling businesses more often? Or should I go the military route? I've honestly got nothing to lose at this point.
Last edited by Mars2012 on Mar 15th, 2017 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: bypassing swear filter
33 replies
Mar 14, 2017
34 posts
No you're not "****".

A) you live in Canada, trust me that is already a great advantage than the rest of the world.

B) 1. The internet and e-commerce has lots of money in it.
B) 2. Learn to code (HTML5, CSS, and one of these ruby/python) and you will make already 50,000 a year, and trust me these are not hard, and there are courses online. Check out, or stacksocial, or simply google "Web design programming course". Make sure it is HTML5, CSS, and/or RUBY/Python. Everything else is very intensive, and is programming for something else (making software, data management, gaming, etc), unless you want to get into these. And there are jobs for these too.
B) 3. Learn how eBay, PayPal, and Amazon works (along with importing, exporting)
B) 4. Use the skills you learned from HTML5, CSS and ruby to build your first e-commerce website (again, trust me it is NOT that difficult).
B) 5. Learn how to deposit funds into your Bank account from Ebay, Amazon, PayPal, Stripe, and your Website. (And also how to obtain a merchant account)
B) 6. Learn how to use a professional camera (DSLR), trust me again, this is NOT hard. You do not need to be hollywood level, but just able enough to take quality photos of your products. It is better than rendering, unless you are selling a software/designing something new no need to learn how to render.
B) 7. Learn about online marketing (how forums, reddit, Facebook, instagram, youtube, tv advertisements, billboards, bus advertisements influence people into buying stuff, especially buying stuff they do not need.), and how you can use it for your own business.

C) Don't do this on your own, if you find 2-5 good friends and you share you car, your large house, and your business, life will be easier than being a lone wolf trying to pay rent, internet and phone bills monthly.

Divide rent by 5 people, divide internet bill by 5 people, divide 2 shared cars by 5 people, and since you have 4 other people in your life that are doing the same thing it will reduce stress significantly.

Ultimately, when I was alone and doing e-commerce online I made around 1.5k a month and worked every day (couldn't expand properly), but with a group of 3 people, I am making roughly 3-6K a month, and only work 1 weeks worth of hours (40 hours a month) and can think of expansion.
Deal Addict
May 18, 2009
3450 posts
Richmond Hill
I know coding can be self-taught but many if not all employers need a fancy paper to back that up (i.e. a diploma/degree).
If you like me, i will like you back, on this forum
May 8, 2015
54 posts
All over the place
No, you aren't screwed. There are opportunities out there. You have to be resilient.

What you need is work experience. Pick up a part-time job for a bit of money while you are figuring out your next move (military or whatever else you have your mind set on).

The forces are a great option for the right person. Plenty of training and learning (all paid for), post-secondary education paid for, salary/stipend, pension, benefits and more. You could always speak with a recruiter to see if it's something you'd be interested in.

If you have someone that is in the trades industry, contact them and see what they can offer. Plenty of trades offer very well paid careers.

You could also take short online courses while working part-time to pamper up your resume. It all adds up.

If you look at the Job Bank website, you'll find plenty of jobs that don't require a post-secondary education. Get creative, reach out to people and be open to everything. You're not the first to be in this situation and you won't be the last. Stay positive and stay away from the negative folks. ;)
Deal Expert
User avatar
Oct 26, 2003
26501 posts
far from it, i know someone with only high school making more than i do, and he is a regular on this forum
4930k/32gb/256gb ssd/8tb hdd/win10pro/msi 290
bst/free stuff/btc/ether
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jul 12, 2003
7099 posts
Plus you are only 21, you can still catch up on the post-secondary school if you want and willing to. Even w/o post secondary education, you can do a lot of stuff as a career and make good money.
Life is Fk ed only if you never try and never put effort on it
Retired Forum Moderator February 2009 - June 2015
Jr. Member
Feb 8, 2017
161 posts
if arty have you considered graphic design? yes more schooling but at least there seem to be jobs if you are good. if not then as others have mentioned trades? real estate? both require more school/apprentice. i guess military is an option too.
Dec 20, 2016
9 posts
yesstyle wrote:
Mar 16th, 2017 9:26 am
I know coding can be self-taught but many if not all employers need a fancy paper to back that up (i.e. a diploma/degree).
Actually coding was one of the things I dropped out of. I just found it very... hands off? In some way it sort of felt really theoretical, even more so than math because there is never a defined way to do something, you have to create it.
Deal Addict
Aug 13, 2007
3887 posts
schweiny wrote:
Mar 16th, 2017 3:22 pm
What about policeman and TTC driver?
Good luck getting into either of those jobs.
Dec 20, 2016
9 posts
Wouldn't mind TTC but I think being a truck driver would be a bit better. Let's say I'd prefer hauling cargo than people.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 27, 2004
35832 posts
You like the military? Or do you only like it bc of the low barrier of entry?
If its something you actually like and respect... its a great fit because militart is all about hands on learning.

They got recruiters who sniff you out... but if youre a level headed guy who isn't afraid of following directions and putting in hard work... it could be a great fit.
Dec 20, 2016
9 posts
UrbanPoet wrote:
Mar 16th, 2017 5:23 pm
You like the military? Or do you only like it bc of the low barrier of entry?
If its something you actually like and respect... its a great fit because militart is all about hands on learning.

They got recruiters who sniff you out... but if youre a level headed guy who isn't afraid of following directions and putting in hard work... it could be a great fit.
I actually do like the military. I've been considering joining the navy since I was in Grade 10. If I'm being honest, I don't want to join to be subjected to combat situations, hence why I'd prefer the air force or navy. I also like how it's hands on and no-bs. Although I have to be honest, I do like the fact that they offer so many opportunities without a bachelor's degree and their straightforward recruiting model; "Apply, pick what you want to do, if you qualify we'll train you". Unlike in the civilian world where it's "pick a vague subject, study vague subject, then somehow throw yourself into the workforce and social engineer yourself to land something mediocre.

Considering I'm somewhat of a solitary kind of guy though I work really well in teams (restaurant experience taught me a lot), and I don't have access to a lot of connections, the way the military handles employment is appealing. Maybe that's why generally a lot of "damaged goods" go that route.
User avatar
Oct 3, 2008
332 posts
I found the military to contain a majority of people who used it as a last resort, so take that for what its worth. I used it as a means to make quick cash and high tailed it when I was asked to put my life on the line in Afghanistan. You might call it dishonorable but I've seen the people that come back from war first hand. It truly changes people. And not in a good way. That PTSD thing they talk about, it's no joke.

Same thing would go for law enforcement or paramedical or firefighting. Some of the things you see are traumatizing. So take that into consideration before you sign up.

Also those reports you always here about sexual harassment and racism and all that jazz... all true and very prevalent and hush hush. Its the military. Its a very different world than the 'civi code of conduct'.