Students often follow a traditional path to higher education after graduating with a high school diploma but moving forward with an undergraduate program is not the only option for those looking to continue their education. Here are a few alternative plans available to those eager to forge their path to a dream job or career.
Community college could be a viable option for you if want to refine your interests and take some time out before focusing on a 4-year university degree. These junior colleges can also act as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. There are now almost 1,200 community colleges across the United States according to the AACC, so you should have a location available near to you, and they are also affordable with an average cost of $2,713 per year.
Junior colleges can get you into the world of work in a shorter time frame than other higher education plans and with specialized career-oriented fields covering industries such as tech, automotive, legal and health. You should be able to secure a fulfilling and lucrative job without the need for a complete degree program.
There are more than 4,000 trade schools in the US providing vocational training for a plethora of skilled careers. Trades align closely with “blue-collar” job roles but don’t be fooled into thinking that those jobs are not well paid or technical. You can expect to enter a job with a $42,000 salary on average after completing a stint at a trade school, which usually lasts for two years.
Rather than pursuing a traditional higher education, you could instead target a career in construction, photography, masonry, locksmithing or landscaping. Another compelling facet of the trade business right now is the high demand for skilled laborers. When you complete your course, you will almost be guaranteed a job due to a dearth of talent in respective industries.
Basic online classes without accreditation
Online courses have disrupted the traditional pathway to higher education as students can now access a wide range of digital courses from anywhere in the United States. The subjects and material covered in many online courses are now comparable to college-level, however, the quality of providers can differ greatly so make sure you understand fully what the rewards will be before you begin. For example, while some free courses can lead to university-verified completion certificates, you won’t get college credits.
Degree-level education with accreditation
Bryant & Stratton College – found at https://www.linkedin.com/school/bryant-stratton-college/ – is one of the world-leading institutions providing the full college experience to students, both online and on-campus. From the comfort of your own home, you could pursue a personalized career education with online degrees including a Business Assistant Diploma, AAS Accounting and BBA Digital Marketing in five areas; hospitality, education, technology, human and legal services, and business.
Being regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Bryant & Stratton College will give you the peace of mind that you are earning a top-class, legitimate degree capable of supercharging your career. The flexible curriculum covering real-world experience and practical education will prepare you both for work and the challenges that await during your life. The Career Life Prep courses have been designed specifically to improve the soft skills greatly needed by employers in today’s workplace.
Apprenticeships may be a great option for you depending on the industry you wish to work in. For example, the construction industry now supports 66% of apprenticeship programs in the country so it makes sense to learn a trade while on the job if you want to become an electrician or plumber. There are also more competitive and lucrative apprenticeship positions available in industries like tech where applicants are urged to come up with a workable business plan while being mentored by experienced professionals.
Join the military
The military offers exemplary training in various areas and can be hugely beneficial for both mind and body. The military is an alternative higher education option as it will take you on a new journey away from the traditional path but will ensure you remain focused and capable of learning new skills. It is possible to enroll into a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program during high school so you can get an idea of what this option might entail. The military also focuses on “skills for life” so it can be an incredibly useful experience even if you opt to move onto a degree-level course at a later date.
The traditional higher education route is not for everyone but there is an ever-growing number of alternative options for those not yet fully committed to a four-year degree.