TMCnet Feature
October 20, 2020

What Career Paths Can Students Explore after High School?

Life after high school should be an exciting time. For many recent or soon to be grads, this isn't the case. Many young adults feel overwhelmed with which next step to take. Look no further and try your best not to worry, because with a little bit of time you can read up on some of the many great paths out there for high school students' to achieve their future career goals.

Colleges Galore

One of the more common paths for today's youth in the United States is heading off to college. When it comes to college, there are choices for prospective students. One can attend a private college, public college, or a host of different community colleges. Each college offers different degree programs, and each college comes with a different tuition rate. Tuition cost is a major roadblock for students, so it's important to utilize federal student aid or any scholarships that your school may offer. Be sure to check out your prospective school's financial aid office for specific assistance.

After choosing a school that's the right fit, students will work towards an associate degree which runs around two years, a bachelor's degree, which is usually four, or a master's degree which is acquired after you complete your bachelor's. While enrolled, students can explore an array of classes that may draw them towards a particular career path. For example, if you love working with your hands and enjoy your physics class, you would thrive in the field of engineering. Or, if you find caring for others in times of need and biological sciences up your alley, a nursing program may be of interest. Taking in these little clues about yourself and remembering what you love to do is an important tool to use when searching for the best career choice.

Remote Learning

If traditional, in-person college isn't your thing, there are various online colleges too! As an example, online schooling is available at Excelsior College. Even though Excelsior is physically located in Albany, New York, you can attend school virtually from any state. They are not-for-profit and regionally accredited. Excelsior allows you to work at your own pace to start a new career change or finally finish up those transfer credits you've had for some time, which works for students who take a gap year or want to transfer.

The length of time spent earning your degree simply depends on personal flexibility, which is wonderful for students that work while attending school. If finances are a concern, they offer several Excelsior Scholarships that can accommodate students depending on their program of choice.

Certifications and Programs

If working towards a lengthy degree doesn't seem appealing, there are other jobs that require training but do not require a full-length degree program. One of these jobs is a court reporter. Court reporting programs range from two to five years, so the potential to complete it is sooner than a traditional degree is worth nothing. You can be an official court reporter in half of the time compared to a bachelor's degree.

If you're thinking, "How hard is court reporting school?", do not feel discouraged. As with any skill, it can feel overwhelming at first, but practice makes perfect! To enroll in a court reporting program, you will need to acquire efficient and accurate typing. This type of writing is done using a steno machine, which is like a "short-form typewriter." What's even more impressive is that current court reporters have a median annual wage of $70,187 in New York. For a fraction of the cost and time of a traditional degree, you can come out of court reporter school with a real-time career and less debt.

If being a court reporter seems daunting, there are other forms of vocational or trade school programs. This range includes, but is not limited to, hairstylists, massage therapy, X-ray technicians, and HVAC/AC certifications. If none of these certifications suit you, there are many more options to explore.

With some intuition and ideas of what you love to do in your back pocket, along with some newfound variety in your choices, making these big decisions can be smoother sailing for high school graduates who are ready to take the first step onto their career path.

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