Surprising College Alternatives for High School Students
With the unbelievably high cost of a college degree, it isn’t surprising that many young people are turning their backs on formal education. However, there is an increasing number of amazing alternatives to the college degree. In fact, many of the larger universities are making their course “open-ed.” This means that if you are self-motivated, you can take a college course for free and get all the training you need without the official certification. Certainly, there are career paths that do require a college degree, but you’ll find that there are just as many that don’t require that official piece of paper.
Alternative Paths to Higher Education
Many high school students have no desire to attend a college or university. Formal education may not even be necessary for the career path they have chosen. However, there is typically some type of “credentials” that vocational or technical jobs require on an employee’s resume. This experience or credentialing can come in the form of internships, apprenticeships, hands-on experience, or even vocational or technical school.
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- Explore Summer Internships
- Unschooling High School and College
- AP Classes vs. Trade Training
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Examples of College Alternatives
Many homeschoolers ask the question – Can I serve in the military? The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” There are a few requirements such as a decent transcript, a passing score on the military test, and – of course- physical ability.
Many homeschoolers take advantage of the time right after graduation to volunteer their service. This builds maturity and can also look great on a resume or college application.
Taking a Gap Year
Taking a gap year has become increasingly more common as students feel the need for a break in between high school and college. The gap year is a chance to travel abroad, join the peace corps or even volunteer. In any case, it gives the needed time to recuperate before diving into studies again.
Enter the Workforce
Many students may already have the experience and training to go straight into the workforce. Whether there has been training or not applying for a job is no easy task. Goodwill Industries International is a great place to begin. Most areas have a local branch, and they will help with everything from resume creation to practicing job interviews.
Start a Business
Over the years, we have seen that homeschooling is the breeding ground for amazing entrepreneurial skills. If you’ve got the hankering to become your own business owner, take a few classes on business operation and accounting and set about accomplishing your dream! Read all you can about homeschool entrepreneurs.
Try an Internship or Apprenticeship
If college just doesn’t fit into the future, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, with the rising cost of college education, many students are experimenting with other options. In fact, many career dreams can be fulfilled simply through hard work. Internships are most often an upaid position, however, it is a “foot in the door” and if employers feel your are doing a good job a job offer may follow. Apprenticeships, on the other hand, are usually a paid position where they employer understands that he/she will be teaching the employee a skill or trade. Apprenticeships are typically long term situations.
Jamie Gaddy, B.S., M.Ed., Ed.D. has been a college education professor for over 17 years. Education has been an integral part of her life in both the classroom and as a principal. Six children later found her dissatisfied with traditional schooling and homeschooling became the better fit. She is also a pastor’s wife, remote project manager, and entrepreneur who now homeschools four of her six children (ages 11-17) in southern Georgia. Jamie loves to share about her homeschool experience and help other homeschoolers find success. Connect with her at [email protected]