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I don't know what I would like to do?

As a 10th grader what should I do if I don't want to go to college but still want to get a job. I would like to have a job I think of making stuff by myself is fun and creating it like making a game would be a job I would like to do.

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Alan’s Answer

Hi Dylan,

You can review going to a trade school /vocational college instead of traditional college, but don't count college out just yet being in 10th grade.

Trade school/ vocational college would be job such as machinist, auto body repair, electrician, welder, plumbing and more .

Currently there is a stigma in this country that going to traditional college is the only path one should take.

I've been in both roles so I can speak from experience and I personally don't believe this as you should choose a career you will enjoy doing and live the life you want to have.

I went to a high school vocational school with no plans to go to college to be a machinist, and I found out making stuff with my hands is not my strong point so I went to back to traditional college and now have an engineering role.

In closing, The college experience itself is valuable for more avenues to pursue as Jen's mentions.
With Trade school as example if you want to become a electrician then you remain in the electrician space for your entire career which there is nothing wrong with if you so choose to do this.

Alan recommends the following next steps:

review trade/vocational schools
don't count out traditional college just yet (in 10th grade)
review computer science degree in traditional college (game making/ code programming)
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John’s Answer

Hi Dylan-

In an attempt to not echo others that have responded, another path is self-education and entrepreneurship. This is statistically a tough road and requires mental and emotional fortitude. With innovations in the programming space such as no code/low code and ChatGPT, the barriers to coding and software development are coming down. With that said, a look to critical thinking, business acumen, and marketing are going to be key qualities that you need to develop.

Key things to pay attention to:

1. Income/Profit is not guaranteed
2. Self-learning never stops
3. Markets shift and that means so will the products and services you provide to satisfy your target market
4. The good times are good, and the bad times are bad. You must remain level-headed through both

I'll leave a few book titles that should help you whether you take the traditional education path or a less traditional self-taught path

John recommends the following next steps:

Read: How to Win Friends and Influence People (reflects on how we should interact with others)
Read: Think and Grow Rich (reflects on how to build a company)
Read: Ikigai (reflects on discovering your life's purpose)
Read: 7 Habits of Highly Successful People (reflects on productivity)
Read: First Things First (reflects on prioritization)
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Tyler’s Answer

Hey there Dylan,

It's good to hear that you're already looking ahead and thinking of your future. In today's world of education, there are many routes you could consider outside of college:

• Trade/Vocational Schools - Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC, Welding, etc.
• Certification Courses - "CompTIA" certifications are a good example in becoming equipped for the I.T. industry. Many employers value certifications just as much as degrees, depending on the field/industry.
• Apprenticeships - Learn while you work. This is a good way to get paid while you build skills that you can apply to your career that you're interested in pursuing.

It's okay to consider other options than the route of traditional college/university education, and in many cases, other routes end up being best for the individual that needs something different. I am a great example of this myself, I was not ready for college immediately after high school, and struggled when I attempted to pursue this route. I withdrew from college and entered the workforce, learning through hands-on experience, networking with individuals I identified as adept or leaders in their roles and fields, shadowing whenever I could. Through relentless effort, I was able to build meaningful experience and be promoted into various roles in my time as a working adult; I even took it upon myself to get some certifications (ITIL 4 Foundations & various CompTIA certs) to bolster my marketability and hiring potential.

There is no universal "right or wrong" in the decision you're making, only you can decide that for yourself; nevertheless, no matter what route you choose, be sure to put your absolute best efforts forward into your decision. I hope can you take away something useful from this. Best of luck!
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Jocelyn’s Answer

It is great that you are starting now to inquire of options. College can seem like an intimidating extension of "school" that you are not looking forward to. However, college can be the stepping stone to your great new future. A community college can offer classes that you can attend while attending high school. Try browsing their site for courses related to your passion. Those courses also offer a great way to network and find linkminded students of all ages.
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Jen’s Answer

Make sure to explore a variety of classes, either at your high school or look into what you can maybe take at a local community college during the summer.

One of the great things about college, if you do decide to go, is it provides you with the ability/access to explore so many new things. Many are so certain what they want to pursue in college...only to then take a different path once there.

Don't feel like you have to figure it all out now, but try to set yourself up for as many options as possible by studying hard and putting your best effort into school.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. I am glad to hear that you are interested to be a game developer.
To be a developer, you can start doing your own programming first. E.g. you can try to learn Lua which is a programming language on Roblox platform. There are plenty of resources online. You can learn the structure and syntax online and start doing some simple programming. After you familiar with the language, you can try to learn another language. Practice makes perfect!
I am not sure the reason why you do not plan to attend the college. The Computer Science courses provide you an overview on the computer theory and help to be a become a good developer in the future. You can study Computer Science course in the college and continue your own game developing at the same time.
Suggest you can also seek guidance from tutor, school career counsellor and your parents.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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Sherie’s Answer

Hi Dylan,

Try getting yourself an internship with a video game company in the summer while you are going to Highschool. Usually, internships can turn into jobs and after you graduate Highschool you could possibly have a job you are passionate about without going to college. Find a trade school after you graduate Highschool which is not college but will also give you the training on coding to create the games. There is a lot of money to make in the video game industry.
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David C’s Answer

Hello Dylan,
There some Vocational schools that take the place of a traditional high school in that the basic academics are still maintained, however you get the added benefit of coming out of your 12th year with a trade to be hired or an apprenticeship. The key is your first year as that is what was usually called "exploratory" where you rotated through different trade skills though the year so you get an idea of what interests you. After that, you choose the trade and work to get into a job or career. Unforturnately, there are not many in the US and that is shame as now many trades are need and not enough candidates are available.
I would not encourage college as the answer all since there are more and more academics and manufacturing institutes realizing now that many of the graduates coming out of our colleges today, for example the field of Mechanical Engineering, does not do a good job of preparing the students with working skill sets. Meaning you may not be able to function acceptablity in your new career. I have seen that from personal experience and more than I would like to recall.

Designer Dave

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