Non-College Options for High School Homeschoolers
With the unbelievably high cost of a college degree, it isn’t surprising that many young people are turning their backs on formal education to embrace something much more affordable. However, there is an increasing number of amazing alternatives to the college degree. Internship, apprenticeship, on the job training, and much more are some of the options available.
In fact, many of the larger universities are making their courses “open-ed.” This means that if you are self-motivated, you can take a college course (sometimes referred to as a MOOC) 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. In fact, formal education may not even be necessary for the career path they have chosen. However, there is typically some type of “credential” 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.
STEP 1 – Research the field that is of interest.
STEP 2 – Get in touch with an actual person that has trained to work in that field and ask a lot of questions! Job Shadow or request a voluntary internship.
STEP 3 – Develop your plan with the information you gained!
Articles to Read on Alternatives to College Education
- From Home Education to Higher Education – What Homeschoolers Want to Know
- Homeschooling for High School
- Ignite Interests with Career Exploration
- Top Job Skill Employers Want to See
- Where to Start with High School Internships
- Internship Opportunity
- Explore Summer Internships
- Unschooling High School and College
- AP Classes vs. Trade Training
Real Life 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. Click for more information on Military Programs for Homeschoolers.
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. If your student volunteers make sure to log all volunteer hours and track the experience they receive on our free volunteer hours log.
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 unpaid position, however, it is a “foot in the door” and if employers feel you are doing a good job a job offer may follow. Apprenticeships, on the other hand, are usually a paid position where the employer understands that he/she will be teaching the employee a skill or trade. Apprenticeships are typically long-term situations and the employer expects the trainee to work for him for some time. Still wondering how to start? Read more in our article on Homeschooling Internships.
Get a Free Education Using MOOCs
In the last decade, hundreds of universities have started putting their courses online for free. These courses do not come with certification or credentials but are open and free for anyone to use. One of my favorite articles on getting a free business education, which by the way is perfect for budding entrepreneurs, is this article 6 Free Courses that Will Teach You the Same Stuff You’d Learn in Business School.