You’re approaching the end of high school, and you think you have to get a degree right away to have a meaningful career. You have other options for the next stage in your life. Consider these alternatives:

Become an apprentice

Get hands-on experience in a trade while earning a paycheck and receiving industry-driven training. The Registered Apprenticeship program trains qualified individuals for lifelong careers. Check out the U.S. Deptartment of Labor’s website for more information.

Apprenticeships offer many benefits. Your paycheck may increase as training progresses. In addition, apprentices may earn college credit for any industry-specific courses they take. You could also receive a nationally recognized certification in your industry.

Take a “gap year”

A gap year is a period of time between high school and college that people use to explore areas of interest. Popular ventures include traveling, working, or participating in an internship.

Gap-year advocates say that time out of the classroom teaches students life lessons that make them more mature, worldly, and self-sufficient. A gap year tends to improve a student’s performance in college; they feel refreshed and have a greater passion for learning.

Taking a gap year requires organization and setting goals. With research and planning, you can design a gap year that’s fun while still being an educational experience.

Work at a job that doesn’t require a college degree

Many jobs don’t require a college degree yet offer a competitive salary. Consider jobs such as air-traffic controller, construction equipment operator, bus driver, real estate broker, or carpenter. You can start your work experience right after high school and quickly move up the pay scale. Plus, you’ll never have debt from college tuition.

Enlist in the military

A career in the military is another option if you thrive in a strict and structured environment. In addition to serving your country, the military offers career options after your service. You also can earn valuable work experience that you can apply to civilian jobs later. After you’ve fulfilled your military commitment, you may decide that you’re ready for college. If so, programs such as the GI Bill are wonderful in that they help military members access college affordably.

No matter which path you choose after high school, CapEd is here to help you with this next step. Call stop by today for one-on-one assistance from one of our professionals.

Copyright 2011 CUNA Inc. (revised)

Published September 9, 2011
This entry was posted in YAM and tagged .

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