Being educated is power and it is vital to any person who expects to have the opportunity to create a more successful, satisfying life. When making choices regarding your education it is important to take the necessary time to carefully consider all of your options. Determine what level of education and the type of degree you will want to seek, the career field you want to prepare for, and where you can afford and access the education you plan to attain. Whether you earn a diploma, license, or certificate will have a tremendous impact on the occupation you can pursue and the wages you can earn. Ultimately, your education will impact the overall quality of your life.
In America a child’s educational experience begins in pre-school or kindergarten and progresses from 1st grade to 12th grade. Unfortunately, approximately 30% of youth make the decision to drop out of high school which in my opinion is the absolute worse decision any young person could ever make. No one, should have dropping out their best alternative when it comes to making an educational choice. However, if someone does they should at least attain a GED certificate which is a high school equivalency credential that requires passing tests that measure proficiency in science, math, social studies, reading and writing.
After graduating high school opportunities for further education are limitless and often times overwhelming for a young person to have to make. Although schools provide counselors and a variety of interest tests and career planning classes students don’t often focus on the process the way they should and they end up putting the decision off as long as they can. When that happens choices made often end with up with unfavorable outcomes. In my opinion, because schools have to focus so much on preparing students for taking standardized tests, career planning often doesn’t get the attention it should which is a costly mistake that educational leaders and parents need to address.
Below are a few options that teens and adults returning to school can consider for furthering their education. Although this list doesn’t include every possibility it does include the most common options to consider exploring that will prepare you for a career.
- Trade or vocational schools: their goal is to produce job-ready graduates who will earn a certificate or license in order to qualify to work in a specialized field. When exploring careers be aware that there are approximately 1600 careers that require certification.
- Apprenticeships and on-the-job training: depending on the trade you choose you may also be able to seek an apprenticeship or an on-the-job experience leading to a job-ready certificate and license.
- Two-year community or technical college: most two-year colleges are open admission and require either a high school diploma or GED to gain acceptance. Community colleges offer affordable tuition and are great places for people to gain a fresh start academically. You’ll be able to choose between degrees that prepare you to get a job directly upon graduation or a transfer degree that prepares you to transfer to a four-year college.
- Four-year college or university: four-year degrees are available in hundreds of majors and career fields that offer a more well-rounded education with 10-12 classes in a specific major with the rest in liberal arts, English, history, psychology, and language courses.
- Master’s and PhD’s: These are advanced degrees earned upon completing a four-year degree that prepare people for professional level occupations.