What’s Next After High School?
Published on August 20, 2014 by Staff Writer
There are few times in our lives when we have as many crucial decisions to make as we do right after high school. Up until our high school graduation, a big chunk of our lives is already planned for us—from first grade all the way until our senior year.
Once graduation is over, the newfound freedom we have to write the next chapter of our lives can be overwhelming.
Whether we decide to go to college, get a job, join the military or get married (or some combination of these), what we do during our young adult years can start us down a path that will affect the rest of our lives.
No pressure, right?
The good news is we don’t have to have it all figured out right now. Many people have changed the course of their lives several times over with great success.
But if you want to go to school, it’s better to go sooner than later, since trying to go back to school later in life can prove difficult when you have kids, a full-time job and bills to pay.
Is college worth the money?
If you decide that college is the next step for you, check out this 2012 Census Bureau report estimating that a person working full-time for 40 years starting at the age of 25 and holding a bachelor’s degree will earn approximately $1 million more in their lifetime than a person working the same amount of time with only a high school diploma.
More data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that as educational attainment goes up, unemployment rates go down. The unemployment rate for people with a high school diploma in 2013 was 7.5 percent, dropping to 5.4 percent for associate degree holders and only 4 percent for bachelor’s degree holders.
Does this data mean you can’t get a good job without a college degree? Of course not, but it definitely can improve your chances.
Choosing a major
If you’re not sure what to study yet, here are a few questions to help get you started, provided by Scholarships.com:
- What type of career can you see yourself in?
- What type of work do you enjoy?
- What are your interests?
- Which subjects did you enjoy studying the most in high school?
- If you completed a career assessment in high school, what did the results indicate? (If you have never taken such an assessment, consider taking a college major test before selecting a program of study.)
- What type of skills do you have?
- Do you have any hobbies that you would like to pursue as a career?
- What were your main likes and dislikes from past work experiences?
Once you are able to answer these questions, you will be much closer to deciding what to study in college.
Choosing a school
After choosing what you want to study, research colleges that offer your desired program and determine what type of degree you want.
For example, if you’re an animal lover and want an associate degree, a veterinary technology degree from a career college might be your best option.
Be sure to talk with your academic advisors to get ideas about what to study. Ask your friends and family how they chose their majors and get advice on how to choose yours. Check out sites like CollegeAtlas to get a comprehensive look at over 7,000 accredited colleges offering your major.
If you still can’t decide on a major, don’t panic! Many colleges require that students take a certain number of core education courses (e.g., English, math, science, etc.) that will give you a little more time to decide on a program.
We can help!
Let us help you begin your next chapter in life. Our admissions representative will help you sort through:
- Degree programs: We have more than 30 paths you can take to get started in your career.
- Financial aid: See what options you qualify for to help pay for college.
- High school scholarships: Find out if you qualify for a number of scholarship opportunities.
- Admissions: We keep it simple and help you at every point in the process.
Learn more about our career-focused degree programs by requesting more information or by calling 1-877-480-3335.
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