High school graduation is an exciting time, but it can be nerve-wracking if you don’t have a plan for after graduation. There are many different pathways you can take after graduation, and it’s essential to find the one that best suits your future. Let’s take a look at some of the pathways you can take after graduation and look at why an apprenticeship might benefit you! Post High School Pathways
- University or 4-year college – One of the most popular (and expected) pathways for students is to pursue an education after high school at a 4-year college. While this is a good option for some students, it isn’t necessarily the best option for all. Depending on what you would like to do as a career, a 4-year college could be counterintuitive. On top of paying tuition for four years and likely needing to take out student loans, you may be able to start a career in the industry without a 4-year degree.
- Community college – Many students opt to attend community college to obtain an associate degree or to complete credits to transfer to a four-year college. With rising tuition costs at universities, community college is a good pathway for students who are trying to save some money and gain an education.
- Enter the workforce – After graduation, some students choose to forgo a continued education and enter straight into the workforce. Whether it is out of choice or necessity, almost 30% of young adults do not further their education after high school. The choice to enter the workforce could result from necessity, such as the need to financially contribute to their family or the rising costs of tuition. Entry-level positions with a high school diploma can lead young adults down many paths but usually have limitations concerning career development.
- Internship – Some students might opt to participate in a summer internship after graduation. Internships offer valuable experience to students and are something you can put on your resume for future employment. However, they are typically unpaid, so the option relies on whether you can afford the opportunity.
- Apprenticeship – An often-overlooked option for continuing your education after graduation is an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship programs offer students an education and experience within their chosen field – while getting paid. The goal of apprenticeship programs is for the apprentice to grow into a career with the company they start at, which takes the stress of the job search away from young adults.
- Hands-on experience – With an apprenticeship, you gain hands-on experience in the field you plan on entering. While you will gain the knowledge needed for the career, you will also learn technical skills in a real-life work environment.
- Learn while you earn – In addition to gaining hands-on experience, with an apprenticeship you will also earn money while gaining that experience. One of the biggest benefits of an apprenticeship is that you earn while you learn, making it an excellent option for those who want to get an education, but need a steady income.
- Pathway to a career – Apprenticeships serve as a pathway to the career you intend to pursue, usually with the company you serve an apprenticeship with! By getting to know the company through an apprenticeship, you have a better chance of maintaining a career with them, which eliminates the stress of job-hunting and allows you to create a pathway to success within your chosen career.
- Gain an education with little to no debt – Many apprenticeships are employer-sponsored, meaning your education is paid for as long as you accept the apprenticeship or employment offer. This is a great way to enroll in a training program at no out-of-pocket cost.
- Kickstart your career – Many students who attend community or 4-year college, or even boot camp training programs, will have to wait longer to enter the workforce. With an apprenticeship program, you will kickstart your career and become that much closer to promotions and advancements within your profession.
- Software Development – As a software developer, your role in the workforce will range from being a software engineer to a web developer. You may be doing computer programming, designing application software, or evaluating emerging technologies. If you have an interest in coding and creativity, software development might be the field for you.
- Cyber Security – With the growing use of technology by organizations everywhere, cyber security is only becoming more important. As a cyber security analyst, you are the first line of defense against cyber-attacks. You’ll be responsible for making sure critical infrastructure stays online so that sensitive information can be protected.
- End-User Computing – End-user computing technicians provide technical support to users who are not familiar with systems. You’ll help support operating systems and organizations.
- Software Testing – As a software tester, you are responsible for testing systems and applications software. You will act as a quality control operator for all software at an organization, which is an important step in making sure different applications run smoothly.
- Network Administration – As a network administrator, you will be responsible for supervising and monitoring the networking and communication systems of the company. By monitoring and troubleshooting network availability, you help to ensure the company stays operational at all times.