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Post high school alternatives to consider

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Post high school alternatives to consider

A career as a dental hygenist is just one example of many paths that does not require a four-year college diploma.

A career as a dental hygenist is just one example of many paths that does not require a four-year college diploma.

photo via Wikimedia Commons under creative commons license

A career as a dental hygenist is just one example of many paths that does not require a four-year college diploma.

photo via Wikimedia Commons under creative commons license

photo via Wikimedia Commons under creative commons license

A career as a dental hygenist is just one example of many paths that does not require a four-year college diploma.

Christopher M. Smith, Staff writer

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Every senior’s mind right now is saturated with the same question: what do I want to do with my life? Although college is the most prevalent route for most high school seniors, there is still a plethora of other options. Regardless of one’s academic performance, there is a path for everyone.

You might think the only key to success is receiving a college education since society has trained our brains to believe in this ideology and that only a college diploma guarantees one a profitable future. Although a college degree can help in many circumstances, success is a result of positivity, perseverance, and progression.

Citizens are realizing that spending an annual average of $35,000 to go to a university is unrealistic. People often disregard the formidable debt that will follow after graduation. On the other hand, trade school is rapidly growing in popularity. These vocational programs are financially the best option. A trade school alumnus has around 70% less student debt after graduation.

Trade schools offer job-focused programs, specifying in skills needed for one’s desired job rather than a general education. With smaller class sizes, and hands on training, it is often much faster than obtaining a 4-year bachelor’s degree; these programs can vary from 4 to 18 months. The most popular programs include web development, dental hygiene, plumbing, electrical, cosmetology, and automotive.  

Although community college is not the same as a trade school, a student can obtain their associates degree in as little as two years. Community colleges are also a great alternative if you’re looking to save money, but also continue your education.

Vocational schools are also notorious for helping their students find a job directly after graduation. Many of these schools have affiliations to companies that are in need of new and certified employees. Specializing in a particular trade can ensure your position in society.

Randy Potts, a 2018 HHS graduate, decided that he did not want to take the traditional path. Instead, Potts enrolled in Lincoln Tech to become a diesel mechanic. Between his infatuation with cars and his ingrained work ethic, Potts took advantage of the opportunities trade school offered.  

“The monotony of going to school every day drove me insane,” Potts said. “Now that I attend Lincoln Tech, I can get my degree quickly and efficiently without any financial obstacles.”

The college application process is more than chaotic. The steps before submitting a college application usually begin a year before attendance. Let’s not forget about the SATs and college essays that can require months of preparation. Trade school does not require any of the same requirements that a traditional college does. All someone needs is a high school diploma or a GED, and admission is guaranteed.

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Christopher M. Smith, Staff writer

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Post high school alternatives to consider