If someone has a high school diploma and wants to start out with an actual career without going to college, what options do they have?
I have heard of people working their way up in good jobs without college degrees.
It really depends what you want to do. Some jobs that don't require degrees might offer paid training. Sales representative jobs, for example, usually don't require degrees, but it's possible to make decent income. Construction jobs are another option. Some trades (like plumbing) can be learned through apprenticeships. The key here is experience, though. Gaining on-the-job experience and performing well is what moves you up. Of course, some people choose to become entrepreneurs and start a business of their own. There are several options for good employment, even without a college degree.