In the spring of her senior year of high school, Malavika Vivek had four choices: Caltech, UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, or solutions architect at software company Avasoft Inc.
She chose Avasoft.
Vivek had been working for the company part-time while at a magnet engineering-focused high school in Edison, N.J. When she was offered a full-time position, she couldn't pass up the opportunity.
"I definitely thought about going to college because those schools are all really good. But in the end, I knew I would learn more discovering things on my own and working in the real world," Vivek told MarketWatch.
At 19 years old, Vivek belongs to Generation Z. And while her experience isn't yet common, Gen Z is becoming more open to doing college differently or not going at all, according to a new study by TD Ameritrade TD, -0.53%
The study surveyed over 3,000 U.S. teens and adults, including approximately 1,000 Gen Z (ages 15 to 21), 1,000 young millennials (ages 22 to 28), and 1,000 parents (ages 30 to 60).