Out of personal experience, I think this is the best way. Because of my high school slacker days, I didn't get into a good college- I didn't have the money or the grades. I did two years at a community college, and earned a general studies degree- good overall knowledge.
I then came across a massage therapy brochure. At a young age, the one thing I cultivated was a love for health. That's when I decide to go to massage therapy college. For $12,000, I came out with a degree/certificate which provided for an opportunity (see Michael Nystrom's comments).
I found a job at a PT place right out of school (99/00)which started at $22.50 plus health ins, plus cont ed $$, and retirement account- great job. That allowed me to work at a great rate and get ahead. Since then, I've opened my practice and am self-employed. I've spent maybe an additional $5,000 in cont. education on top of what my first employer paid for. For about $5,000 I specialized my work, so that even in Boulder, I have very little competition.
Trade schools allow you to learn something of value- I will never be without work as long as I have my arms and my health.
I am not saying that massage is right for you, but perhaps your family's business could use a: electrician, plumber, carpenter, life/business coach, psychotherapist (alternative schools like Naropa careful lotsa liberals).
My sister on the other hand, wanted to be a doctor. Went to a posh college, with a posh loan, and a posh degree mollecular biology, and is currently working as a massage therapist (because she listened to me in the gap year).
Between a $100,000 degree and her $15,000 massage certifcate (inflation) guess which one has been keeping her going? If I can only convince her of a move to Colorado again- I need a business partner.
In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.
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