Graduating from high school is not the end of learning; it’s just the beginning. Exciting, isn’t it? Continuing education after high school allows you to keep up with the latest technologies, advance your knowledge and skills, and open doors to better jobs, exciting careers, and higher earnings.
More and more people are going back to school to get a diploma, or degree either to change careers or to expand their hobbies. And here’s another thing, you now have multiple options when it comes to continuing education. You can study during the day or evening, offline or online, or other correspondence options. With today’s technology and diverse and untraditional program choices, it is easier than ever to go back to school!
In this article
- Where to Study to Continue Education After High School
- Option to Choose to Continue Your Education After High School
- Certificate programs
- Benefits of taking a certificate program
- Benefits of Apprenticeship Programs
- Vocational Training or Trade School
- Benefits of Vocational Education
- College/University (Undergraduate Degree)
- Associate Degrees
- Why Get an Associate Degree?
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Advantages of getting a bachelor’s degree
- Comparison: Which option is best?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Where to Study to Continue Education After High School
A big part of succeeding in higher education and training is selecting the best school to attend. With all the options available, doing that can be pretty overwhelming. But not to worry, we’re here to help. Below is a list of things to consider when deciding which post-secondary institution to attend:
- Open enrollment vs being admitted
- Admission requirements
- Tuition costs and availability of financial aid or scholarships
- Size of the institution
- Student/staff ratio
- programs and degrees available
- Accessibility of the institution
- Allowance of course waivers or substitutions
- Housing options
- Social activities
- Overall campus outlook
Option to Choose to Continue Your Education After High School
There are several choices for continuing education and training. Traditional institutions are not for everyone, and other options may provide better opportunities. Before graduating from high school, it is critical to consider these possibilities to make the best decision. This discussion should include students, their families, and school personnel. The following are some options to consider:
Certificate programs are relatively short-term courses that take about 3-9 months, are not so expensive, and have high rates of completion relative to degree programs.
They offer very specialized education and training that allow the student to develop skills specific to the work field or desired jobs.
Therefore, with its growing popularity, it is one of the continuing education options to consider. Some examples of certification programs include:
- Business certifications
- Health care certifications
- Technology certifications
- Arts and design certifications
- Skilled trade certifications
- Project management certifications
- Digital marketing certifications
- IT service management certifications
Benefits of taking a certificate program
Taking a certificate program has many benefits. Some of them are:
- Certificate programs are cost-efficient.
- They are short-term; therefore, you can graduate in a year or less.
- They provide specialized training directly for your major area of interest.
- Versatility – it can serve as your sole education, complement your current degree or serve as a stepping stone toward your long-term goals.
- Sets you up to be a qualified candidate for portable careers.
- Allows you to first explore a career field before investing many years into it.
- Finally, certificate programs make you more marketable.
An apprentice is an employee who is paid while being trained. Apprenticeships are industry-driven, high-quality career pathways where employees can develop and prepare for their future careers and get paid while at it. This program bridges the gap between school and the world of work and offers a portable recognized credential. Some apprenticeship programs include:
- Mechanic apprentice
- Elevator technician apprentice
- Plumber apprentice
- Electrician apprentice
There are also some professional industry approved apprenticeship programs like;
- CyberDefenses Apprenticeship Program
- IBM Apprenticeship Program
- Microsoft LEAP Apprenticeship Program
- Woz Enterprise Technology Apprenticeship Program
Benefits of Apprenticeship Programs
Apprenticeships have many benefits that can often be overlooked when you’re going through the process of deciding what to do after high school. Below, therefore, are some of the key benefits of taking on an apprenticeship:
- Earn while you learn.
- Receive recognized qualifications.
- Benefit from bespoke support.
- Improve your employability.
- Gain real work experience.
- Develop your skills.
Here are some of the best apprenticeship programs in Canada.
Vocational Training or Trade School
Vocational training is specialized training provided to students to prepare them for a specific job or career. Individuals can receive vocational training as students looking for work or as employees on the job. Vocational training is available for a wide range of occupations, including:
- Pharmacy technician
- Retail marketing
- Nurse assistant
- Culinary Arts
- Automotive technology
In addition, following completion of the training program, some vocational training programs award students with certifications or licenses that demonstrate their competence.
Benefits of Vocational Education
Those interested in pursuing a vocational pathway for their education and career should carefully consider the benefits described below that will help them in their chosen field.
- Vocational schools are less expensive than college or university.
- They take less time; about 1-2 years, depending on the program.
- Pursue specialized programs.
- Gain practical experience.
- Get a flexible class schedule.
- Enter the workforce quickly.
College/University (Undergraduate Degree)
Ah, the “golden son” of continuing education after high school; this is the option most students consider first. While there are differences between a college and a university, they both offer undergraduate degrees. If you decide, however, to go to any of them, there are two options for you to get an undergraduate degree.
We will discuss the two major categories of undergraduate degrees/programs.
An associate degree is a two-year college degree that can be earned at a community college, junior college, or university. An associate degree is a level of education between a high school diploma and a bachelor’s degree. Associate degrees, as opposed to bachelor’s degrees, take less time to complete, cost less money, and have fewer credit requirements. The most common types of associate degrees are:
- Associate of Arts (AA): Associate programmes here focus on business, humanities, arts, or social sciences. They are usually called Associate of Arts degrees.
- Associate of Science (AS): In this field, the associate programs are related to science or math. These are often called Associate of Science degrees.
- Associate of Applied Science (AAS): Associate of Applied Science programs are often used to refer to associate programs that focus on technical and vocational skills. These programs are typically designed to prepare students for a specific occupation or field of work after they graduate.
Why Get an Associate Degree?
With the many advantages of an associate degree, many people have embraced programs like there. Here are some of the reasons why people get an associate degree:
- Associate degrees cost less than a bachelor’s degree
- It takes less time to finish and so has a higher likeliness of graduating
- It can be a stepping stone to reaching more advanced higher education degrees
- You have more career opportunities compared to only having a high school diploma
- People who have an associate degree earn more money than high school graduates
- It offers more flexibility allowing you to work while studying
A bachelor’s degree is an undergraduate degree in which students study a subject of their choice at an academic institution and is commonly known as a college degree. Over 2,000 colleges and universities offer four-year programs in which students can earn a bachelor’s degree.
The two major types of bachelor’s degrees are BA degrees (Bachelor of Arts) and BSc degrees (Bachelor of Science). Other more specialized bachelor’s degrees can be gotten in the following fields:
- Fine Arts (BFA)
- Social Work (BSW)
- Engineering (BEng)
- Laws (LL.B.)
- Science in Public Affairs (BSPA)
- Science in Nursing (BSN)
- Philosophy (BPhil)
- Architecture Degree (BArch)
- Design (BDes)
Students who major in fields such as business, engineering, or science often find that their course content is more tightly organized than students who major in the humanities or social sciences. Majors in business, science, and engineering may be required to take more courses in their major field of study and have fewer electives, or optional courses.
Advantages of getting a bachelor’s degree
For many people, getting a college degree is important to their success in today’s job market. Hence, below are some of the benefits of having a bachelor’s degree:
- Increased access to job opportunities; Statistically speaking, college graduates see 57% more job opportunities than non-graduates. Therefore, it is more profitable to be one than not.
- Preparation for a specialized career: Many degrees are created with a specific career path in mind. Hence, getting a bachelor’s degree will help you learn the skills and habits needed to make a living in your chosen field.
- Increases marketability: Having a bachelor’s degree will keep you in demand because the need for skilled, college-educated workers continues to rise.
- Increased earning potential: The higher your educational qualification, the higher your salary. Bachelor’s degree holders earn an annual salary of $60,996 on average. This is $17,500 more than an associate degree holder and nearly $25,000 more than a high school graduate.
- Personal growth and improved self-esteem: A degree is more than just a piece of paper. It’s empowering; it builds confidence and gives you a sense of accomplishment. As a result, many students reported that the experience of going through college was deeply and personally fulfilling.
- Higher job satisfaction: According to research, having a bachelor’s degree leads to greater long-term job satisfaction. Bachelor’s degree holders also have more on-the-job benefits; hence, contributing to a sense of career fulfilment.
- Positive return on investment: Although the cost of obtaining a bachelor’s degree can be demanding and challenging, many college graduates find that their degree has paid off or will soon. Furthermore, there are numerous options for funding higher education, such as scholarships, financial aid, and grants.
Comparison: Which option is best?
Frankly, the best option will not be the same for everybody. Putting a couple of factors into consideration, the best for each individual will depend on how much it aligns with their career goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Factors do I consider before continuing Education after High School?
If you or your child desires to go continue your education, then that’s fine. However, there are many choices and things to consider. These include; where to study, what to study, how to study, and so on.
What exams does one need to take to continue Education after High School?
People who want to attend postsecondary schools often need to take achievement tests such as the ACT or SAT.
Therefore, students who want to go to college should prepare themselves to take these tests while in high school. However, such tests are to be taken during the college application process in their senior year.
While there are many options to consider in continuing education after high school, after doing research you will get a clearer idea of which path to choose based on different factors like time, budget, ROI, etc. The process can be challenging and it might be tempting to follow the norm and pursue a prestigious degree.
However, at the end of the day, it is best to pursue a career through an education where they feel comfortable, happy and fulfilled. That, after all, is what makes the education worth it.