A guide to options after graduating High School.
The first thing that may come to mind when you graduate from high school is “What am I going do now?” You may have an idea of what you may want to do, but it is very important to carefully review and analyze all the options. In Canada there is a huge range of opportunities available after high school, and choosing the one that suits your needs can be a challenge. Overall, whichever path you choose should be the one that feels right for you based on your interests, needs, and goals.
A popular path is getting a job right after high school or continuing the one you had. Most people choose this option when they need time to sort things out, save up for school, or because they want to commit to that specific job. This path can be great if your job offers opportunities for promotions and salary advancement, or if you need some extra money for a post-secondary education. However, if your job does not offer advancement and you are simply doing it to get quick cash, then you may want to rethink what to do because you may later regret and feel you’ve fallen back some years. Staying in a job right after high school can make you re-think your priorities and your future long-term needs.
Another path, which has been increasingly popular recently, is trade schools or specialty schools. According to Trade Career Colleges, a trade school is an institution that teaches students skills specific to a particular job, for example welding, air traffic control, landscaping, or personal training. This is different from college, where they offer a well-rounded course study designed to cover a variety of subjects. According to Canadian Living the employment rate for skilled works such as for chefs, electricians, carpenters, plumbers, and industrial mechanics has been increasingly growing. Trade schools can be useful for recent graduates who want to acquire a particular set of skills which they will use their whole life. Depending on the trade, degree and certification programs can be as short as two weeks or as long as two years, which is why this may be a good choice if you want a well paid job without a committing to a higher level of education. Even though trades can be very mentally stimulating, they are also known to be very hands-on, so if you do not like physically demanding jobs, then trades may not be the path for you.
The final path that you could consider is post secondary school, which mainly consists of college and university. Post secondary schools may be a good path for you if you like learning in a traditional classroom, studying for exams, and having more academic-oriented work. For the most part, post-secondary school can be a unique opportunity to spend your time learning about your interests, experiencing new things, and meeting new people. A post secondary degree can also open many doors for you, and according to a Pew Research survey more than 74% of college graduates say that their education was “very useful in helping them grow intellectually.” If you are thinking of applying to a college or university, you should note that many of them require a minimum high school average between 65% and 85% -depending on the institution- in order to get in. Even though college and university may sound like great options they are not for everyone. If you struggled in the academic aspects of high school, then you may also find the same challenges in post-secondary school. This should not deter you from applying; but you should be prepared for possible difficult challenges up ahead. Take your time to consider your current circumstances, your goals, and interests before applying to any post-secondary program.
The amount of options after high school is almost unlimited; there is something to suit everyone’s needs. Ultimately, no matter ‘what you want to be when you grow up,’ remember there are always options and with the right decisions, you can achieve anything you want in life.