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What would you self-teach yourself at a library that would land you a job later? It might work for programming, but not for that much else? "Hi I'm your new physician, I learnt how to operate reading books in the library" :-)

Since you asked, there are a variety of jobs that fit the criteria of not requiring a college degree and that are learnable from books, practice and practical experience alone.

Sales, Software Development, Blogger, Author, Administrative Assistant, Fire fighter, Telecom engineer, (think Comcast/Verizon installers) Appliance Repair, Personal Trainer, Dietary Advisor, etc.

None of these may be a person's 'ideal' job, but the majority of them pay well and can be gotten with learnable education, practice, or a good interview.

Blogger, author, and administrative assistant do not pay well in the vast majority of cases and cannot be gotten easily -- decently-paid positions in those fields are very competitive.

Sales is usually commission-based.

Fire-fighter requires physical fitness. Appliance repair requires appliances. Personal trainer and dietary advisor... are those even real jobs outside the tiny enclaves of the very rich?

They are. Personal trainers typically work at gyms and are 'for hire'. Dietary advisors are probably less common, but I was just looking for a few example fields for things you could learn from the library, for which I think that fits the bill.

You're not wrong that there are barriers to these jobs, but that's true of anything. As IT professionals, we're used to seeing "minimum 10 years practical experience + portfolio + FizzBuzz tests" as job requirements, but almost every job has some barrier to entry, whether it be related experience, references or what have you.

Construction jobs (in boom times) are more plentiful, but require physical fitness, tools and the ability to be handy. Pizza delivery generally requires a vehicle, insurance, a clean driving record, etc.

There is no magical place that people can go to become employed, but I tried to pick fields that had learnable skill sets or (in the case of the first few, definitely sales) jobs where one's pluck and enthusiasm could go a long way towards landing. I've worked with a LOT of salespeople over the years, and it's all personality-based at the entry levels, if you can convince the person to give you the job, you can get the job. It isn't until one tries to progress in sales that past performance even becomes that big a deal.

Could pickup some more standard IT skills which would help you doing admin type work?

Carpentry? Sewing?

Carpentry learned in a library! Wow, no wonder that people make ignorant "just pick yourself up by your bootstraps"-type comments. Complete and utter disconnection from reality.

Tell us, what are the things you could learn at a library that could translate into earning income?

I don't recall saying there was anything that you could learn in a library that would translate into earning income. Though if I were in a situation where that was my only option, I'd personally pick web programming. That probably has the lowest barrier to entry of anything you could actually learn by just reading a book.

Would you hire a carpenter who had 0 experience but had read a lot of books at the library when you could alternatively hire a carpenter with actual experience?

Is sewing still a viable source of income? There are a few shops where I live, but they all seem to be run by old people with immigrant background (no offense, it just might indicate that they are willing to work for little money).

Carpentry takes years to learn the official way where I live. And you need tools.

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