Not everyone follows the same path after high school. Some attend trade school. Some attend four-year universities. And others even opt for careers that don’t require higher education. But whatever path you choose, one thing is certain — you need a clear plan.
Option 1: Attend trade school
If your career goals are to learn a trade and enter the workforce quickly, attending trade school might be the right path for you. These types of programs offer a direct and clear path to specific careers. For example, if you have a keen interest and aptitude for automobiles, you might be well suited for an automotive & diesel technology college in NY.
But attending trade school doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be working with your hands in a field like this. There are all kinds of trades you can learn. You can be trained for various IT jobs, cosmetology, bookkeeping, and many others.
Option 2: Get a diploma
Technically, getting a diploma in a field is the same thing as attending trade school. However, with many trades, you have to earn your two-year associate’s degree in order to graduate. But there are many careers that require very short training programs where you’ll receive diplomas or certificates. One example is a Medical Assistant Diploma Program in New Jersey. This type of training will typically take 9-12 months, but they vary between different schools. Other fields that only require diplomas are nursing, interior design, carpentry, pharmacy technician, transcription, and many more.
Option 3: Attend a university
Enrollment may be shrinking at a lot of four-year universities in America. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a viable option. In fact, statistics show that college graduates earn about 37.5% more than professionals who only graduated from high school. But not all degrees are created equal. Of course you should stick to what you have an aptitude for, but there are plenty of fields that are much higher earners than others. Petroleum engineers, for instance, typically earn higher salaries than high school teachers. Of course, it all depends on how you put your degree to use.
Option 4: Join the military
The military is certainly not a career for everyone. But it can be a great fit for those who thrive on structure and hard work. And the US military has some great benefits in all its branches. For one thing, they’ll pay 100% of your college tuition, should you decide to attend. This even includes a housing stipend and allowance for books and supplies.
Option 5: Attend school online
Many of the degrees or certificates you can get in the classroom, you can also obtain through accredited online and continuing education degree programs. More and more people are leaning toward online education for either all or part of their training. And the reasons are simple. For one thing, you can save money attending college online since you won’t likely have travel, meal, daycare, or housing expenses. For another thing, you can schedule coursework around work and family obligations.
No matter what path you choose, it’s easy to find an option for your education. You can attend a traditional school with face-to-face classes or enroll in a program entirely online. You can even opt to go straight into the workforce or join the military. The most important thing is to have a plan. And the best time to start planning is while you’re still in high school. And if you’re having trouble deciding on a career, talk to your school counselor about career assessment and aptitude tests. But don’t be afraid to choose your own path!