It’s May and there are soon-to-be high school graduates around the country finalizing their college plans and packing up their family cars to head…
It’s May and there are soon-to-be high school graduates around the country finalizing their college plans and packing up their family cars to head off to four more years of formal education. Bank accounts are suffering and loans are being applied for, in many cases, to make the next four years a reality. The big question circulating through the media for the past several years asks: Is college worth it? And, more importantly, is college right for everyone?
While entering college immediately after high school has been a cultural expectation for the last several decades in the United States, that shouldn’t be reason not to question it. If you’re in no better a position to get a job with a college degree, it may not seem very practical to put yourself under mountains financial debt along the way. There are options outside of college, ones that offer practical experience and opportunities that equip you with skills and knowledge applicable to real-life, working environments. The Job Corps offers specific, skill-based training for various trades and industries. Apprenticeship programs and service opportunities like Public Allies, NCCC, VISTA, and others associated with AmeriCorps place individuals in established positions to work as part of a team, collaborate with others, think critically about current issues, and grow through experiential learning to take on new jobs in the future.
Ultimately, education comes in many forms and college is only one among many options to explore after high school.