You're graduating high school. The world awaits, and you can do anything imaginable. So, what's the grand plan? Find work right away, join the military, or go straight into college?
Perhaps nanny abroad or perform as a mermaid? If you want to make more than minimum wage, you'll need some form of extra education.
High School's New Low
- 64%: Percentage of jobs that will require post-secondary education (anything after high school) by the year 2020.
- 91%: Percentage of jobs for those with only a high school diploma that also require on-the-job training in 2012.
On the bright side, not all dream jobs require a seven-year stint in college. The length and intensity of job training depend entirely upon the desired career. For a locksmith, job training means an apprenticeship; a circus performer completes coursework and training; a five-star general (in any branch of the military) needs a college degree; a crop-dusting pilot requires a commercial pilot's license; and a cook gets lots of on-the-job training.
Just Keep Swimming
Find -- and maintain -- a balance. The investment in training and education (time, money, and energy) should pay dividends in the long term. Focus on a career that allows balance between:
- a job you eventually want to have
- the amount of training you're willing to endure
- the cost of the necessary education/training
- the eventual payoff (salary) attainable in the career
Here's to your wide-open future as a high school graduate. Choose wisely, study widely, and be great at what you enjoy.