As high schoolers, a college education is presented to us as essential. Many of us fear that without it, we are doomed to our parent’s basement forever, but this is a total misconception. The fact is, that if you’ve heard that the sole destination for a high school graduate is a four-year university, then you’ve been believing fake news. Some of Lake Shore’s brightest students will go on to the military, or a trade school. There are other very respectable professions that don’t require degrees that kids we know will go on to take, and If you don’t feel like college is for you, then you should join them.
There are some alternatives to college that are rarely considered. Charity work or religious vocational schooling, like seminaries, allow students fresh out of school to not only help people, but get a steady paycheck from a job they can believe in. An option that more young people are gravitating towards is the skilled trades. Professions that include, carpenters, locksmiths, painters, welders, and electricians are all referred to as skilled trades and are done by those who want to work with their hands. If you are mechanically inclined, if you like having a tangible result of your work that you can be proud of, then a fulfilling career could be only a couple courses away. Attending a vocational or trade school could put a student on a job site, in a fraction of the time that a university could, and earning impressive money for someone only a couple years out of high school. Andrew Montgomery, Senior, plans on becoming an electrician through a local training program. “Jobs like plumbers, construction workers, electricians, are always in demand. People will always need these services and if you’re skilled, you can make a lot of money” says Montgomery, explaining why he wants to go into the field.
Many people take the path of the military, but an aspect of that is rarely considered. The Peace Corps, in the eyes of many, presents the opportunity to travel the world, help those in need, and have some irreplicable experiences, and no higher education required.
What’s important to remember in all of this is that motivation and education are still required, but a degree is not. Maybe we won’t all become Zuckerberg, or Kanye, but a future without a college education can be an incredibly bright one. When responsible plans are made for life after high school, a fulfilling career can be obtained whether one spends four years on a campus or not.