High school graduation season is in the air as thousands of young adults across the country count down the minutes to freedom from the daily grind of classes and rules of their last 12 years in the classroom.
I attended my cousin's graduation last weekend and observed a group of people who were on that day bonded by the stripes of Southwest High. However after listening to the post-graduation plans of many of them that bond quickly broke and sprouted new paths in every direction imaginable.
When I graduated from high school I recall my class being less diverse in post-graduation plans. Most students were heading to college with a vague idea of what they wanted to study. The rest stayed local and took up vocational trades like car repair or firefighting.
My story of 19 years ago is nothing like what I experienced last weekend. Students these days are much more educated on careers that are available while they are in school so they can pursue specialized certifications or training to get a long-term, rewarding job immediately following high school. Careers requiring short term or part time college are also options that graduates are considering now for jobs that accept entry level employees with a plan for continuing education as they grow within the company. Those seeking advanced degrees are much more specific about their path to success by planning for internships and work study programs throughout their college years.
Many of the graduates I spoke with had a good understanding of the employment situation in our country right now. They know that understanding technology and doing more than just going to college by way of internships and work-study programs are key to standing out when applying for jobs.
My cousin has plans to obtain an associates degree as a registered nurse (Median Wage: $64,690) with a goal to get an advanced degree in cardiology nursing where she'll be able care for patients following heart surgery and work with incredibly talented doctors in advanced healthcare centers. She learned about this career path option when a nurse from the local community hospital came to her high school to recruit graduates. Having a one-on-one conversation with a nurse about the different career paths within nursing shed new light on a career that she assumed was just about long hours, waiting rooms and insurance coding. There are paths for administration, quality assurance, IT, marketing as well as the specialty healthcare areas like Neonatology, Critical care, Advanced practice and Genetics.
High School graduation is such a momentous occasion for the graduate and their families. The day after can be either just as exiting as your take steps toward your new path in life or can be quite the opposite if the graduate hasn't had the opportunity to consider the plethora of education and career options available. No matter what your high school GPA was, you can still be on your way to a rewarding career. Simply call a professional in an industry you are interested in and discuss the training and education options available to qualify for that industry.