What Are Your Options After Finishing High School?

With graduation quickly approaching, you may be starting to wonder, what’s next?! The choices that you make now can potentially set the tone for your entire career.  Before you decide on your next step, it is a good idea for you to consider all of your options:

Get a job.  You always have the option of getting a job right after you graduate from high school.  Working allows you to earn money and it gives you experience that you can put on your resume.  However, opportunities can be limited if you don’t have post secondary education and it can be difficult to progress in your career.

Go to college.  While some college programs are general in nature, many will give you job related skills.  Depending on whether you are completing a certificate, diploma, or degree, programs take from one to four years to complete.  While you are often able to get a job soon after graduating from college, depending on your career goals, you may want to pursue further education in the future.

Go to university.  Universities offer a wide variety of undergraduate degrees that can be applied to many different jobs.   However, even with a degree, it can be hard to get your first position without job specific skills.  University is a lot more expensive than college and it typically takes three or four years to get a degree, but it is a good foundation for any career.

Pursue a trade.  To become certified in a skilled trade, you need to complete post secondary training, which is called an apprenticeship.  Some examples of skilled trades include electrician, carpenter, plumber, automotive service technician, tool & die maker, chef and hair stylist.  If you decide to pursue a skilled trade, you will train for two to five years under a certified journey person. You are able to earn money while you complete your apprenticeship and after you are certified in the trade, there are a lot jobs available.

You may feel a lot of pressure to choose the right path, but try not to let it get you down.  Nothing is permanent.  Do what feels right and if it doesn’t work for you, you can always try something else later.

(Written by: Karen Bivand, Photo by: David Castillo/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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