A Reddit poster asked this question, and here are the top responses as of June 17.
Not all these suggestions may sound appealing, but some of them do seem worthy of further exploration. In looking at comments on the TEFL certificate idea, it appears that a college degree is almost always a prerequisite.
Related to suggestion #5 is the newly announced NanoDegree.
A Smart Way to Skip College in Pursuit of a Job
Udacity-AT&T ‘NanoDegree’ Offers an Entry-Level Approach to College
This week, AT&T and Udacity, the online education company founded by the Stanford professor and former Google engineering whiz Sebastian Thrun, announced something meant to be very small: the “NanoDegree.”
At first blush, it doesn’t appear like much. For $200 a month, it is intended to teach anyone with a mastery of high school math the kind of basic programming skills needed to qualify for an entry-level position at AT&T as a data analyst, iOS applications designer or the like.
This is another quick way to qualify for a “livable wage”.
… offering a narrow set of skills that can be clearly applied to a job, providing learners with a bite-size chunk of knowledge and an immediate motivation to acquire it.
It may not offer all the advantages of a liberal arts education, but it could offer a plausible path to young men and women who may not have the time, money or skill to make it through a four-year or even a two-year degree.
AT&T will accept the NanoDegree as a credential for entry-level jobs (and is hoping to persuade other companies to accept it, too) and has reserved 100 internship slots for its graduates. Udacity is also creating NanoDegrees with other companies.
The hardest part is finding the motivation and persistence to follow through. All these options require a motivated person willing to put in the hours needed to obtain the skills and certification. The short time span is an advantage here, certainly compared to the four-plus years needed for a bachelor’s degree.
Another challenge is to avoid taking on crippling student loan debt, so students must be careful about choosing schools that offer a good value.