As your children approach graduation, are they planning for college in the fall? Or are they wondering whether a four-year college is really the best option for them? Depending on finances, career interests, or other factors, your children may want to pursue a career path that doesn’t require a college degree. Fortunately, there are plenty of non-college options available to them!
Trade schools, also known as technical schools or vocational schools, offer one- or two-year programs. When children finish the program, they earn certification in a specific field. These schools teach technical job skills for occupations that are often in high demand. If your children want to be electricians, web developers, cosmetologists, or dental hygienists, trade school may be the best fit.
Apprenticeships are similar to trade schools because they provide hands-on training for a specific job. However, one advantage of apprenticeships is that they non-college options that include paid work. Another advantage of apprenticeships is that they provide an opportunity to work closely with professional mentors. Through apprenticeships, your children can receive on-the-job training and experience in fields such as plumbing, welding, or masonry. This experience increases their chances of finding long-term employment.
Entry Level Jobs
Entry-level jobs often do not require a four-year college degree. Your children should consider their skills, values, personality traits, and life goals. This process can help your children identify the best entry-level jobs that match their interests. Work with your children to customize their resumes for the jobs they apply for. Resumes should highlight any qualifications, experiences, or skills that are relevant for the position they are applying for. Encourage your children to make connections by reaching out and talking to people. Through those connections, you may learn that a family friend or someone in your church or co-op knows of an open position that would be a great fit.
Many famous companies—such as Wendy’s, Dell, Whole Foods, and Facebook—have been founded by or have CEOs who do not have college degrees. If you are homeschool mompreneur yourself, you’re likely well aware of effort needed to be successful. The keys to being successful as an entrepreneur are hard work, strategic vision, a desire to learn, and a willingness to take on increased responsibility. If your children have an entrepreneurial spirit, encourage them to gain experience before starting a business by finding a job in the field that interests them. Encourage them to learn from their supervisors, spend time wisely, and develop diligence.
The important thing to remind your children during this stage of life is to not worry! Failure or disappointment is a great learning experience. They don’t have to have their lives planned out perfectly. They still have lots of time to figure things out! As long as your children seek the Lord first and try their best, they will find joy in whatever they do.