Will Taking A College Gap Year Hurt My Job Opportunities?


Attending college comes with the expectation that you know what you want to do. While that may be the case for a lucky few, for most of us, career exploration takes time. Completing different courses and engaging in diverse activities are ways to clarify your career goals, but if you seek to stretch yourself, consider taking a gap year working on organic farms, volunteering as a teacher, learning how to become a global health leader, mastering French cuisine or pursuing another opportunity.

Some US universities champion the gap year. For instance, “Harvard College encourages admitted students to defer enrollment for one year to travel, pursue a special project or activity, work or spend time in another meaningful way." While Harvard lets students determine the details, Princeton University offers a more structured option through its Bridge Year Program. Similarly, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers the Global Gap Year Fellowship Program, a college-sponsored opportunity allowing students to design their own experiences.

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