Preparing for College

What alternatives to college are there?

Question: What if I don't want to go the traditional college route or join the military? What can I do after high school?

The first step to take is to find out what kinds of schools are available in your area. Let your fingers do the walking, as they say, and look in the "yellow" pages of your local phone directory under "schools" or "schools--technical and trade" to see what areas you can study.

The reason technology and career schools are appealing to many high school graduates (and adults) is the directness of approach. When you compare the time, course load, and expense of the two- and four- year college degree programs with that of the technology schools, it's easy to see why tech schools look good to some students.

Some aspiring students have very definite ideas about what they want to do. They are reluctant to spend time and money taking what seems to them to be irrelevant courses that don't deal directly with their chosen profession as is often the case in college and university programs. The programs at career and technology schools are geared to be completely relevant.

For example, in college, to fulfill a liberal arts requirement in the humanities, you might have to take a course such in Religious Studies or Anthropology. If your major is music history, these two courses may seem irrelevant. There's none of this in a career school. You can study and become certified in computer repair technology, health-related skills, electronics technology, and a host of other needed professions in a short time.

Even though, in the long run, college graduates tend to earn more than other segments of the population, the immediacy and pertinence of the technical school education can prove to be a valid and successful option for a number of high school graduates.