With Americans being starved of their jobs by the impact of the Covid-19 virus, I figure it’s time to remind folks that there’s something highly productive to do during this time of uncertainty:  use it as an opportunity to find your “what’s next” and prepare to start at it as soon as the all-clear is sounded.

College Alternative programs are generally open and waiting for you. They are faster, cheaper paths to a new job, career, trade and future. 

I recently dove into the massive database assembled by and found literally tens of thousands of programs – from AC Repair to Welding and Arts to Software Development – across the country and ready to get any of us from here to the future. All are faster, cheaper alternatives to traditional colleges and student loans. Dozens are online only. Hundreds are hybrid distance plus some part hands-on. Thousands are location-based and expanding to include distance learning and online training.

In the words of Dan Patrick – here’s my stat of the day: California leads the country in total trade, certification, professional and career programs, housing over 620 college alternative providers, more than any other state in the union.

Here’s a picture of how fast the database has grown: founded by Ryan Craig and Cassidy Leventhal from University Ventures, veteran investor and entrepreneur Joe Schmoke (and me!), Alternatives to College started with a national index of just over 310 program providers. That was about eight months ago.  Since then, has expanded to include over thousands of providers of training, certification, registration, vocational, career and related programs, with more than 40,000 specific programs. 

Within a year or two, the runway looks like America will have more college alternatives than traditional colleges and universities.  Some are one-off, standalone entities. Others operate dozens (soon to be hundreds) of programs, mostly online or online-plus-on-campus hybrids. That means virtual seats are available now…with physical training (re)commencing after our national distancing quarantines have run their course.

It means you can shop now, start learning and training ASAP online (with the government’s stimulus checks?)  and be ready to start a new job, career and life as soon as the air clears.

So, where are these vaunted alternative, life-changing programs available? Virtually anywhere and everywhere in the USA. After California, the database check found that the next five states are home to 2,300 providers of faster, cheaper alternatives to traditional college. They are: 


CA 621
FL 421
NC 371
TX 341
PA 289
AL 283


“Traditional higher education has been the incumbent leader in postsecondary education for hundreds of years. In 2020, the number of college alternative providers has now just about equaled colleges and universities — and will likely surpass the number of traditional higher education venues before the end of the year,” I was quoted as saying recently.  

In a totally self-serving manner, I also said; “We are delighted to shed more light on this alternative career preparation pathway, and glad that our resource is being used by the millions of people across the country seeking good paying jobs that do not require degrees, and save tens of thousands of dollars in student debt.”

Here’s a recent count of all program providers by location. Detailed listings and descriptions of all the programs is available for free at We’ve gone a step further, keeping the business open and shutting the cash register – providers and schools can make sure they are included in the database and their information is correct for NO CHARGE during the Covid-19 emergency. I call it the Covid-19 Challenge…and invite any and all other providers of information that benefit Americans in need of new lives, careers, jobs, training and paths to join us as entirely free pathways.

As of March 2020, the state-by-state count, including Washington, DC and online only programs, in our database looks like this:


CA 621
FL 421
NC 371
TX 341
PA 289
AL 283
NY 247
MI 244
OH 235
IL 233
IA 211
KS 209
GA 204
NJ 198
KY 185
MA 178
AZ 163
AR 156
CO 141
OK 140
MO 139
LA 136
WI 131
WA 124
MD 119
MN 108
MS 106
WV 101
VA 88
CT 85
SC 84
TN 80
ID 64
UT 63
IN 61
Online Only 59
NM 58
OR 54
NH 46
NV 46
NE 36
ME 35
HI 34
ND 34
WY 29
MT 27
AK 26
SD 23
DC 12
DE 5
RI 4
VT 4
KA 2

So use us. Connect with us. Let us help improve your life and job satisfaction. Learn and prepare for a new craft or career. And start today, while we’re all locked away and looking for something great to do to pass the days.

Good luck!

Leave a Comment