Underclassmen should consider career pathways soon

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Underclassmen should consider career pathways soon

Jamie Bain

Jamie Bain

Jamie Bain

Angela Glass, Life & Style Editor

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On May 31, seniors will graduate and start their futures. For many graduates, the uncertainty of the future is terrifying. College is pushed onto every kid, leading them to believe that it’s their only option, but so many paths and programs are out there so that young people can have the future they want.

Students should examine all career preparatory options and pick the one that will make them happiest. As an outgoing senior who has recently made a decision about my future, I think that students should consider all options, including college before they graduate.

Military

Enlisting in the military is a great route after high school; not only are you giving back to your country but earning bene ts in the meantime. In order to join the military, you need a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED). Also, you need to be in the good physical condition and pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test.

The benefits you get are incredibly attractive. They provide you with health care, housing, low-cost life insurance, education benefits, and a good salary.

While serving, you can get training in different fields. Depending on your branch, you could learn skills in aviation, engineering, healthcare, human resources, photography, and media. In the military, you can explore what they have to offer you, learn a few trades and figure yourself out so that when you’re done serving you have a plan.

Trade Schools

Not every job requires a 4-year degree. Some only need you to have special skills. Many fields of work can be prepared for with great boot camps and associates degree plans.

Capitol Idea is a nonprofit organization that provides financial support and professional guidance to community members around Austin. If your application to the program is accepted, you choose one of the majors they provide and take classes at Austin Community College (ACC). ey pay for all of your school expenses. Once you finish, they will set you up with a job related to your major. You will be required to work for a few years at that company before switching majors or pursuing more school.

The University of Texas at Austin does web development boot camps that teach you to code in 12 to 24 weeks. They give you a strong foundation on complex websites so you can enter the industry after the camp is over.

Other trade schools offer different programs. Look around in or out of state and see what calls to you. Certain careers require more schooling even more than a bachelor’s degree. A trade school might not be the best option depending on what interests you. If you do choose to pursue this route, please make sure it would work for what you want to do.

Internships/Apprenticeship

The best way to get an inside view on a job is through internship and apprenticeships. is experience allows you to work within the industry you want to pursue; mentors are there to guide you and overall it is a hands-on learning process. It is also the best way to gain experience and skills in the eld you want.

Akins offers a few different internship programs in each academy. See what opportunities your academy offers and prepare for those programs. Many of these internships offer certificates and could be turned into a job after high school.

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Academy (STEM) apprenticeships are not like the other internships Akins offers. These take place over the summer after senior year, you work for an engineering firm during the summer and then the next year they pay for your ACC classes as you continue working with them.

Social Services Academy (SSA) provides eld certifications for every internship. A lot of the other internships offer certifications as well, you could get a job after high school and attend a school or just work. These internships are competitive, so to seriously be considered for one, make sure to keep your grade point average (GPA) up.

College

College is an amazing opportunity if you can go. While it’s expensive and a lot of work, earning a degree can mean the easier acquisition of higher paying jobs. You will still need to work on professional skills to make yourself as qualified as possible for your desired position, but a bachelor’s degree will still provide a significant advantage.

If you’re questioning what you want to do and unsure which major to apply for, you can change your major. Or if you want to save money, attend ACC or another two-year college before transferring to a 4-year school.

Having a degree gives you an upper hand in life, and having the college experience allows you to grow as a person by meeting different people and challenging your beliefs. While in school you can take electives, join clubs and take courses you really care about.

Gap Year

If you are really unsure about what to do, consider a gap year or semester. Some people need a break after high school to learn some life lessons before they commit to a path that will structure their future.

Going back to school will be slightly harder after a year because scholarships for gap years are less common, but it is doable with grants and loans. If you are planning on applying to competitive schools, this is not the best option. If you just need time and decide to go to a trade school or nd an internship or apprenticeship, then you saved yourself student loans.

If you take this route, really take the time to figure out what you want to do with your life, because you can always go back and get an education or follow one of the other paths.

In the end, you live for yourself: and a career that will make you happy, look at the skills you need and make a plan for how you will get those skills. It is important that you make the best decision for yourself to ask trusted adults for their advice and take what they say into consideration. Start thinking about what you want now so you can do your research on different careers and opportunities to get ahead.

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