Answered by Meredith, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on Sunday, November 1, 2015
In addition to the great suggestions already mentioned, you might want to look into free training programs that will give you the skills necessary to compete with college graduates. These programs will not only provide you with software training, potential college credits, but also give you the soft skills you need such as interviewing, how to dress for a job, how to conduct yourself according to the culture or environment of your particular field of interest, etc.
Most programs will also place you on site with a corporate internship for 3-6 months+ where you learn applicable skills to hit the ground running in an entry level opportunity! Often getting your foot in the door with an employer can be outstanding because you are learning on the job and often times, larger companies provide tuition reimbursement if you are looking to pursue additional education or training certifications.
One such organization that I would recommend is called YearUp (www.yearup.org), but there are tons of options out there that will come up with a Google search local to your area. You can even search by subject area that you would like to pursue, whether it be a corporate or a trade industry track of study.
Some companies will require a degree for certain roles, but often times employers will substitute years of experience relevant to the position, so stay positive- it never hurts to clearly illustrate how you can leverage your skills/expertise into a role you will be passionate about!