What’s Next? A Guide to Life After Graduation


15845975 – strategic journey as a business man with a breifcase choosing the right strategic path for a new career with blank yellow traffic signs with arrows tangled roads and highways in a confused direction

So, it’s your senior year of high school and everyone is deciding on which college they should attend and what major they should choose. If none of that sounds appealing to you, join the other 42.8 percent of people who didn’t enroll in college. It is important to know that just because you graduate high school, it does not mean your only options to be successful in life is college. Here are some other realistic alternatives!

Getting a Job
After graduating high school you can jump straight into the full-time work force. Instead of entering a job that hires teens temporarily, find one that you would be interested in to further your career. Find a job you see yourself working at for a long time and use it as a stepping stone to build a long term career. Work your way up to being a manager and see what other options they have for you from there!

Trade Schools
Trade or vocational programs offer a more out of the classroom, hands-on learning expereince. Trade schools are good for gaining experience for a long term career. You can earn internships or apprenticeships throughout your schooling that fit your specific interests. The internships not only help you get certifications or any licenses that are needed but they can also turn into full time positions!

Gap Year
If you aren’t ready for a career or college right out of high school, a gap year is a good option. A gap year means taking a year off so that you can explore what would be the next best step! Taking an internship, traveling, or getting a job can open your eyes to something new and possibly more interesting than what you originally planned to do after high school.

The Military
The military is a good option for those who need structure or desire daily physical activity. Training takes a lot of discipline so this may not be an option for everyone. However, beyond the physical aspects, going into the military can lead to a college education or an entry level job. You can earn and save money for your future education. You also get a chance to serve your country.

Earning a Career Training Certificate
Many careers value real life hands on experience rather than a degree from a college. Not all careers even require a degree. These programs help people move into the workforce with hands-on, supervised work to earn a certificate. They also might offer apprenticeship or internship opportunities to further your education and long term career.