Why are you thinking about education after you graduate from high school? It’s probably because you are thinking about your future and how to make it successful. That means getting a job. But remember, a job is work you do for money. A career is something you love, take pride in, learn from, and advance in! You are really looking for a career. Considering the number of hours you are likely to work in your adult life, the career you choose will affect your quality of life in a very big way. That’s why you want to love what you do.
Think about it. By 2010 42% of jobs will require you to have a vocational certificate or post-secondary (after high school) training. Now consider that information with the fact that the highest growth job areas are in the medical field or in computer technology. There is, in addition, a wide variety of careers that career education can prepare you for: massage/hairstyling, carpentry/electrical/plumbing, instrument making, paralegal and criminal justice work, culinary arts and hospitality, and computer programming/technology.
If you have no idea what career you wish to pursue, perhaps you should take a Career Inventory Test or Aptitude Test and obtain some professional career counseling to guide you in your decisions. A good online site that provides these services at a very reasonable fee is AnalyzeMyCareer . After completing the battery of tests, students can find the careers that they are well-matched for. CollegeBasics recommends that every student should start here before deciding on a college major.
If you already know what you like to do and have a specific career goal in mind, you may want to pursue a program or specialty college that will train you in the area of work you want to do. There are many reasons to select education that will train you for a career, rather than enroll in a liberal arts college education.
1. Career education programs often are not four-year commitments. They may range in length from 6 months to two years and up to four years.
2. Career programs usually yield you more immediate earning potential.
3. Career education can offer work study in your area of interest so that you can get experience while you learn.
4. Career schools allow you to network among people you will work with in the future and who can help you advance in your career area.
5. Career schools often have more flexible class hours so that you might be able to work and earn money as you study, and
6. Career programs provide the latest in technology and technique because they are specialized in your job area.
Types of schools that offer career education are vocational schools, technical or community colleges, online degree programs, and specialty colleges like film school or culinary colleges. What they offer is skill-based learning and hands-on experience. When you are selecting the right career education for you, you should look at several things.
1. Cost – make sure to compare costs of several career schools in different areas. Also weigh the cost of your education against what the salary range will be in your job field to decide if the education will be cost-beneficial.
2. Look at the number of class hours you will need and whether or not there is flexibility in class scheduling. You may be able to take night courses and have day hours for work
3. Determine whether the faculty is well-prepared and has had experience on the job in the training they will offer.
4. Be sure the school offers job placement information and has programs that will help you find employment.
5. Important! Make sure the school is state licensed or accredited by a professional accreditation program.
Where to get started? CollegeBasics can offer you some suggestions. Looking for the right college? CollegeQuest is a great on-line resource for adults seeking to enhance their education and further their careers through distance learning. In addition to providing information on where and how to attain career degrees and certificates, this site provides a comprehensive, and personalized source of classes, degree programs, and related information and services. At Monster.com you can access more career tools, Advice, and information . Finally, check out Education.org, which lists on-line programs by career types such as law and criminal justice, health care, and web design.
Now you’ve got your start. Begin to gather information and make sure you have explored all opportunities and avenues for an education that will get you where you want to go.