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Deciding on college or career

young adult thinkingIn the game of Life, you are immediately asked to decide between going to college or jumping straight into a career that you will pull from a deck of cards.

Thankfully, in the reality of life, we have the gift of time. While it often feels like the end of high school means you must choose now, you can choose for now and then choose again later. Life itself is a process of learning about and becoming yourself. You might dedicate yourself to one career and then find it doesn't suit the person you are becoming. Careers can be switched. You can return to college or even go for the first time well into adulthood.


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Choosing college is not just one choice. This can add to the overwhelming aspects of making the choice. Which school will you choose? How will you pay for school? What will you study? Many more questions will keep popping up while you are in school.

The good news is you do not have to answer these questions alone.  If you are beginning the process of choosing a college to attend while you are in high school, your parents or guardians are likely to be a useful resource for helping you sort through these decisions. Another valuable resource will be offered through your school guidance counselor. Many, if not most, schools have individuals dedicated to easing the process of preparing for higher education.

Paying for school can be tricky. There are many ways to do so. You have likely heard about the FAFSA, which will set you up with federal loans. Scholarships are a good way to go and there are several available that are worth applying for that will lessen the burden. TRIO staff are available here at the library and they are a wonderful resource to help you fill out a FAFSA and look at other ways to plan for your success. TRIO staff are available to assist with financial aid applications, school applications, career exploration, GED referrals and English-as-Second-Language referrals, regardless of your age.


So, you have chosen not to go to college. There is a wide world of interesting, fulfilling career paths outside of the college driven sphere. Jumping from high school into a career can be a strange and stressful thing. You are technically an adult but there are many individuals and institutions that will not view you as one just yet. How do you go about choosing a career? Do you know what you want to do? How do you figure it out if you don’t?

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Learning Express Library, which you have access to with your library card, has a set of questionnaires titled “Find a Career Match.” There are two brief questionnaires, or quizzes, that will each suggest occupations for you based on your skills and your interests. They are a good way to gauge what you want to do and there are no rules saying you can’t change your mind and go to school later on. Some of these suggested career paths, especially in the interests path, might require college or trade school educations. Although you might find a way to do what you are passionate about without a degree.Don’t forget one of the best resources you have access to – your local library! We have a team of Business and Career Librarians dedicated to empowering you in your journey. Feel free to reach out or stop by for assistance! 


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