There are many options other than college and a single career track. University immediately after high school — while a great choice for many — is not the best choice for everyone. 1. Volunteer Service- Opportunities are a fantastic way to get diverse skills and training while discovering what you’re passionate about. Taking some time to volunteer can yield benefits for your community.
3. Travel-Whether or not you participate in a gap year program, taking a year or even a few months to travel can have real benefits. Self-discovery, learning about the world, picking up a new language, experience with different people and cultures — these are things that college alone won’t always give you. These are the perfect years to get a world education, before you get into a career and have more stable responsibilities.
4. Take action for a cause you care about- Is there a cause you are passionate about? A local issue that is specific to your community? Starting a non-profit or volunteer initiative may be easier than you think.
5. Turn a hobby into a career- Do you love sewing bags? Have you perfected the chocolate chip cookie? Many high school students don’t realize that their hobbies have given them the skills to make money. Whether it’s on Etsy or through neighborhood bake sales, you can find a way to make cash doing what you enjoy.
6. Start a business or build an audience- Starting an honest-to-goodness business can sound intimidating. You may feel like you need a perfect idea or have to understand complex accounting; that’s not true! And, if you can get a strong audience- you can monetize it. Start a blog, podcast, social media account and create quality content that people enjoy.
7. Vocational Schools- Technical colleges are a type of vocational school that typically has a little more classroom focus — but it’s all related to the job you want to get. (think IT, nursing, health science, or automotive technician.) Trade school is a type of vocational school that is much more hands-on. Trade schools commonly have degrees for things like electrician, cosmetologist, welder, etc.
Vocational school options: City Tech, NYIT, St. Paul's School of Nursing, Lincoln Tech
8. Online courses- If you know what you want to learn about, you may be able to find the education online through a free or low-cost course. In our times, you can pretty much learn anything you want if you have the dedication to apply yourself.