The most traditional option for after high school remains to be the classic college experience, but that doesn’t take away from the reality that only 33% of Americans over the age of 25 have a four-year college bachelor’s degree or higher. This means that the remaining two-thirds of Americans are finding alternatives to college. If you’re uncertain what to do when you finish high school, here is some information on the classic college experience, as well as some of its alternatives.
Four-Year College Degree
At college, you study to earn yourself a bachelor’s degree in your chosen major. The biggest difference between high school and college is the size. At college, you will attend lectures which are filled with hundreds of other students, and more often than not, you’ll spend most of your time in those lectures writing down notes. You’ll also have to complete assignments for which you will earn credits. To earn your bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to earn a minimum of 180 quarter credits.
If you don’t think a big classroom full of students is for you, or you simply don’t have the time or money to go to college, you could always take an online class to earn your bachelor’s degree. You would be able to complete a class in your own time, for a reduced price, and sometimes even for free. There is a range of different courses available from a psychology degree online, to maths, and even arts, so it really is a great option for you, if you still want a degree, but don’t want to have to attend college.
Get A Job
Not everyone wants to attend education for another fours year. Some simply want to head out into the world of work as soon as possible and start earning money. If this is the case, then you will want to write a killer resume and start job hunting. Look in local newspapers, online, and ask around (you never know, someone might know of a job that isn’t being advertised yet). You may be able to work your way up in your job, and could be running the place in a few years.
Community college has been found to be incredibly good value for money, as well as a great way of earning a job. In just two years, you could earn yourself an associate’s degree that will allow you to work in a range of different fields and jobs, such as a web designer or veterinary technician. As the first two years of bachelor’s degree classes are pretty much the same as in community college, some of these associates degrees will also allow you to transfer to college and earn your bachelor’s degree. This could save you a lot of money, compared to completing your whole degree at a four-year college.
Whether it be halfway across the world or in your hometown, volunteering is an incredibly rewarding way to fill your time after college. Volunteer work also always looks great on your resume and college applications, if you decide later on in life that you would like to attend college. There are volunteer opportunities in almost every country, so consider where you would like to go, who you would like to help, and how, and get looking online.
Start A Business
The world of work is great and all, but not everyone wants to work under someone else. Some people would prefer to be their own boss. If you’re particularly hard-working, driven, and independent, you may want to consider starting your own business. Brainstorm some ideas of what you would like to sell, and conduct market to give you some idea as to whether or not it actually would sell. Then, all you’d need is some funding. You could always set up a page on a crowdfunding website if you’re strapped for cash.
Joining the military is a very popular decision for high school graduates. This is probably because of the range of benefits that come with the choice. Most military workers get most, if not all, of their living expenses and healthcare paid for (healthcare is often paid for your family too), as well as earning $30k+ a year. You also get the opportunity to travel the world with a group of people with whom you will quickly become very close.
If you want to continue in education, but don’t want to have to take classes that don’t relate to your career aspirations, then a technological college could be an option for you. Technological colleges offer career-driven courses that only teach skills specific to trade careers, such as plumbing and carpentry. This is a perfect option if you know that you want a career in a specific trade, and only want to focus your learning on this trade career.
If you’re still unsure as to what to do after college, then why not take a gap year? Not only will a gap year give you time to decide what you want to do with your future, but it will also give you time to have some fun before heading back to education. Often, people dedicate their gap years to traveling or working, but you can do whatever your heart desires. The possibilities really are endless.
It’s silly to expect every single eighteen or nineteen year old to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives, so don’t worry if you’re not sure what you want to do with your future. You’re not alone. Although college is a popular option, it certainly isn’t for everyone, and definitely isn’t necessary for everyone. If you’re unsure about whether or not you want to go to college, then give yourself some time to think about it before sending off any college applications. There is no point in spending four years of your life (not to mention a lot of money on college tuition) on college if you’re not one hundred percent sure that it’s the best option for you.
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