Paths After High school

Paths After High school

Aiden J/ Izzy M

Spending your life doing the things you love every day should be a goal for everyone.  For many people, college is not something they want to do. Thankfully, there are various opportunities other than college available to students who have just graduated high school. Going to a university is not the only path possible.  For example, if school isn’t for you, you could work straight out of high school, go to a vocational school, take a gap year or join the armed forces. Some of these options are more popular than others but they are all offered to students after high school.

A traditional four year college or university opens lots of opportunities for a wide range of diverse professional careers. College can be a challenge for anybody which may be a reason why some would choose not to take this path. It requires hard work, and some may not be able to do this alone.  

A two year college may be a great option if you’re unsure about your career path or are not ready for a four-year college. Or, it can strengthen your skills and prepare you for a career with a two year degree, which will be more difficult to find a better job. College is also very expensive depending on your household income, so in most situations, it can put you in debt that you would be paying off for a certain amount of time.  Sometimes people will drop out and end up not liking what they chose to study, so they still have to pay.

teaDeclan O’Flynn a senior in Ipswich high school is taking the more common path by going to the College of the Holy Cross. He thinks that “It’s really the safest path in my opinion you are guaranteed a degree and it looks good when applying for a job”. This popular opinion is common among most teenagers ending high school.

Trade or vocational programs offer a direct path toward specific jobs like plumbing, electrical work, food service, carpentry, construction, and many more. People who struggle in school may prefer this type of hands on learning. Many colleges also offer certificate programs. This can be a good option for people who work better with physical activity. The training involves a lot of practice and repetition. This is a very straightforward path because you know what your getting into and you most likely are aware it would be a good career for you. David Johanson, a very successful plumber, says, “I believe not going to college and earning an income immediately out of high school is the best way to go you can earn money, have no debt, and already begin your way up the ladder at your business.”

Another path out of high school is service in the armed forces. This can be a gruesome, hard working job that not many people can handle. There are many different areas in the armed forces like the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.  These jobs have a potential risk of injury and that’s why it may not draw many high school kids. Positives to the armed forces are that it can get people into shape, give them the honor of serving their company, and can lead to a job or college level education.

An option that high school students are beginning to take more often is a gap year. Many colleges will now allow students to defer enrollment for a year, and let them enroll the next year. Many students spend their gap year exploring interests through internships, volunteer experiences, a job or travel.

If more schooling isn’t right for you specifically then going straight to work can be a rewarding path. But jobs being very competitive nowadays you may have trouble getting a job.  Especially if you have no experience, someone might consider volunteering for a while to build skills. School guidance counselors and community centers can help find internships and volunteer work that could interest you.  In the end, as long as you end up happy and satisfied with what you’re doing each day of your life, then you chose the right option for you.