What should I do after graduating high school?
I have no idea if I should go to college after I graduate high school.
I have some college credits through dual enrollment, with one of them being an intro to engineering credit. I enjoy engineering and programming but I also love music and art. The biggest part of my decision right now is money because I don't exactly come from a rich family... I feel like I'm taking a gamble if I make a choice.
When it comes to deciding on a career, I would advise you to choose something you love, even if it doesn't promise a hefty paycheck. Remember, no amount of money can bring happiness if you don't enjoy what you do. Strive to find a balance between your passion and income.
Online Skill Development: It's worth exploring online courses and skill development in the areas you're passionate about—engineering, programming, music, and art. Many online platforms offer courses, tutorials, and resources that can help you build and refine your skills. You can start freelancing in these fields while learning.
Explore Hybrid Paths: You don't necessarily have to choose between college and your passions. Some colleges offer flexible programs or allow you to combine interests. For instance, you might pursue a degree in engineering while continuing to develop your art or music skills on the side.
Financial Considerations: It's essential to be mindful of your financial situation. Scholarships, grants, and part-time work during college can help offset costs. Additionally, online freelancing can be a valuable source of income to support your education.
Networking and Internships: Regardless of your choice, networking and internships can be crucial. They can help you gain practical experience, build connections, and increase your chances of landing a job in your chosen field.
Consult with a Career Counselor: Consider talking to a career counselor who can provide personalized guidance based on your interests, skills, and financial situation. They can help you explore career paths and make informed decisions.
Create a Financial Plan: Develop a financial plan that outlines the costs of both college and your current path. Consider the potential return on investment (ROI) of your education and how it aligns with your long-term goals.
Follow Your Passion: While financial stability is important, it's also essential to follow your passions. Pursuing what you love can lead to a more fulfilling life and career. Remember that there are opportunities to monetize skills in music, art, engineering, and programming.
Be Open to Adaptation: Keep in mind that your interests and goals may evolve over time. It's okay to adapt your path as you learn more about yourself and your passions.
In summary, you have options, and there's no one-size-fits-all answer. You can take online courses to develop your skills while also exploring college opportunities that align with your interests. It's about finding a balance between your passions and practicality while considering your financial situation. Remember that the journey of self-discovery and skill development is ongoing, and it's okay to take calculated risks as you pursue your dreams.
James Constantine Frangos
James Constantine’s Answer
Indeed, our genetic makeup does play a role in our professional pursuits, particularly when it comes to our natural abilities. It's undeniable that we tend to enjoy our work more when it comes naturally to us. However, there's a factor that often overpowers this - a deep-seated belief in a cause.
To illustrate, let me share my own story. Half of my family is of Greek origin, who migrated to Australia in 1949. The Australian diet, rich in beef and cooking fats, was a stark contrast to their traditional diet. As a result, many of them started suffering from coronary artery disease. My Uncle Mike, my father's brother, had familial hypercholesterolemia type 4, with cholesterol levels four times the average. Witnessing these early deaths significantly altered my career trajectory. I had initially dreamt of becoming an astrophysicist.
However, in 1988, I became a dietitian-nutritionist in Australia. Over time, I held seven different dietitian roles, including working in remote outback locations with Indigenous Peoples. Another skill I had was computer programming, which I had been honing since high school in 1972.
In 1994, I started applying this programming skill to nutrition education. I would spend late nights coding and then bring the software I created to the diet clinic. Instead of providing clients with generic food group selection sample diet sheets, I began offering personalized food menu plans.
This shift in approach was largely due to listening to my patients. As a medical doctor once told me, "the reason nutrition and diet modifications do not work is because patients do not comply". This was a key lesson for me, and it greatly influenced my career path.
Wishing you the best,
I recommend looking at a few options.
1) Is there a field where you would be able to apply engineering and art? And is it feasible to do it in a bachelor's (or less) degree?
2) Take a few years to work, get experience, and then apply for college when you are both more stable and have more funds. (NOTE: make sure to check how long your dual enrollment credits last)
3) Choose a different career path that allows for less time in college to save money, such as technical schools or OTJ careers that have more importance with interning than educational experience.
Angel recommends the following next steps:
Blessed Be! The answer of what to do after high school is a really challenging one that unfortunately all of us must answer. There are some things to consider; First-are you mentally/emotionally ready for college? Most of my kids went straight to college from high school (I have 7 adult with 3 in laws), 1 regretted it, 1 dropped out and joined the military, 2 went to trade school the other 3 were satisfied but hated having to work full time while in school. I personally enrolled in summer school at my undergraduate college 1 week after graduating high school. For the next 2 years I attended every school session offered throughout those years. By the end of summer after the second year I was so burned out that I took 1 year off. I am explaining all of this to you to show you that if you don't feel ready for college, take the time to work and develop skills and interests until you feel you are ready. 2ndly what are your interests? Can they be turned into a marketable career? If one can turn their passions into a career then work is exactly that a career not a chore. Yes there are millions of unhappy people working who hate their job but love their paycheck. That doesn't have to be the case. 3rd, trade schools/technical schools are always an option. Not every person needs to or should go to college. Society will always need trades people. The pay is usually decent once you are passed the apprentice/journeyman stage. 4th finances, yes higher education is expensive and sometimes one must work for a while to device a strategy to pay for one's education and safe up for some of the costs. 5th and lastly, the military is an option where you can develop life skills, leadership skills, and get training in specific areas. Also the GI Bill helps pay for higher education.
Just try to remember that your education after high school and life journey is actually that, it's a journey that will have speed bumps, detours, accidents, happy and unhappy events along the way. But it is your journey and it is uniquely yours alone to determine how you wish to travel on this journey.
I wish you well
I did end up going to college after high school but I attended a local university so I could enroll in different courses and see what interested me. Writing was always my favorite thing to do and I possessed some good skills. However, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pursue it as it’s a tough field to break into.
I ended up majoring in Art History for a few reasons. Not only do I enjoy art but I love learning about it, critiquing, and researching it. Today, I am employed as an art researcher for appraisals. Clients bring their artwork to the gallery and I delve into the background of it, along with prior auction results and present market demand. I love what I do because it allows me to use all my talents and skills.
Ultimately, going to college is your decision. I will say it does offer more opportunities for your future. While it can be expensive, there are grants, loans, and scholarships available to help you pay the tuition. I worked part time to help with the costs too.
Whatever you choose to do, good luck! Always believe in yourself and don’t feel like you need to figure things out right this minute.
Michael Leibrandt, CCT, CNS-D, VSE, CDCA
Happy to try to help. Most people who attend college or who are thinking about attending college have this discussion. College today is expensive and to take on the financial burden, you want to make sure that you are making the correct choice. Even if you have a successful career, and you definitely will, you'll be paying it back for a little while if you take student loans. Now let's answer your question. If you already have some college credits and you have an interest in some college tracks like engineering and liberal arts then my advice would be to enroll in a college utilizing those credits with a major in engineering and a minor in a liberal arts track. If you change your mind on that order while you are at school, you can always do that. Best of luck!
1. **Assess Your Interests and Passions:** Take some time to reflect on your interests and passions. It's clear that you have a diverse range of interests, including engineering, programming, music, and art. This is an excellent starting point.
2. **Explore Career Paths:** Research various career paths related to your interests. For engineering and programming, you can explore options in technology, software development, or even combining engineering with creative fields like product design. Music and art can lead to careers in performance, teaching, graphic design, and more.
3. **Evaluate Financial Considerations:** It's wise to consider your financial situation. Look into scholarships, grants, and financial aid options to make college more affordable. Consider community college as a cost-effective way to continue your education. Additionally, explore part-time work or internships to help support yourself financially.
4. **Set Short-Term and Long-Term Goals:** Define your short-term and long-term goals. What do you want to achieve in the next few years, and what are your ultimate career aspirations? Having clear goals can help you make informed decisions.
5. **Talk to Advisors:** Consult with your high school guidance counselor or academic advisor. They can provide insights into your options, including college, trade schools, or entering the workforce directly.
6. **Consider Gap Year or Work Experience:** If you're unsure about college, consider taking a gap year to work, gain real-world experience, and further explore your interests. This can provide clarity and valuable skills.
7. **Seek Mentorship:** Connect with professionals in fields you're interested in. They can offer guidance, advice, and insights into their careers, helping you make an informed decision.
8. **Create a Flexible Plan:** Remember that your career path doesn't have to be rigid. You can blend your interests over time or switch careers as your priorities evolve.
9. **Balance Passion and Practicality:** While pursuing your passions is important, it's also crucial to consider the practical aspects of your decision, such as future earning potential and job market demand in your chosen field.
10. **Trust Your Instincts:** Ultimately, trust your instincts and make a decision that feels right for you. It's okay to take calculated risks, as long as you have a plan and are prepared to work toward your goals.
Remember that you can always change direction in your education or career if you find that your initial choice isn't the right fit. Many successful individuals have taken unconventional paths to success. The key is to stay curious, keep learning, and be adaptable as you navigate your journey after high school.
I completely understand the struggle you're going through - it's a big decision and even harder to make when you're unsure. Which is why I say don't make that decision until you are sure!
There's absolutely nothing wrong with putting off college for a year to dive deeper into what you're passionate about or wish to study further. This gives you the opportunity to sign up for online programs or workshops on engineering, programming, music, or art. Reach out to professionals in the field and ask for a chance to talk and get more information. Maybe volunteer in something revolving around these topics. As you go into this, you will begin to notice what draws you more - as a job, as a hobby, etc. Maybe you'll uncover a new discipline on the way, you never know.
I'm a strong advocate for not rushing into college. You can get a part-time job in the meantime while studying and going into these disciplines.
And when the time rolls around for registration again, you'll feel even more confident in your choices and what path you want to go down. And don't forget to get real familiar with Financial Aid, no matter where you end up studying, there might be grants you didn't know you were eligible for!
You got this!
Hope you doing well!
So I have read your question and I would refer you to go for engineering because of you are the only one man to feed your home so this is the right option because in this career you will definitely get the job and a good position... as far as I think that in Art and Music you may find some difficulties during song promotions and Art advertisment because there are so many in competition so I might refer you to go for engineering. I hope my small piece of advice has helped you alot
Best of luck for your future.