This is the perplexing question that every parent faces as their child enters high school and they start thinking about what happens in the next three or four years. Should we start saving now for college, how much will it cost us and what options do we have ? These are all excellent questions and many can be answered through high school counselors and other resources.
Two areas that parents and students should investigate before graduation are community colleges and career & occupational training programs. Both of these can be exceptional ways to save money and give a student the additional college and career experience that will help prepare them for the future workforce. Community colleges can offer the first two years of college experience much cheaper than a four-year state or private institutions. Many community colleges are offering career and occupational training programs that are exceptional.
Here are some facts that are worth knowing about: 35% of the students entering college their first year dropout, only 40% of the students who stay in school graduate in four years and 60% of the students who stay in college require six or more years to graduate. This only adds to the increased cost of the education and the indebtedness that students find themselves when they finally do graduate.
There are many excellent, high paying jobs that don’t require a four-year college education. Students and parents should explore these options to see if the student has interest in the area and the demand for jobs is sufficient for employment. Here are just a few jobs that pay well and have high demand in the USA: dental hygienist, web developer, medical secretary, paralegal assistant, auto mechanic, firefighter and many more.
Even with younger children parents can start the college and career exploration process by talking about jobs. When a child goes to the dentist for teeth cleaning have the hygienist explained to them what they enjoy most about their work. Almost everywhere you go someone is doing something that could be interesting as a future occupational opportunity for your child. Help them learn to ask good questions and think about those options early on.