There are many career paths to choose from, and ECO-PGC has identified 14 pathways beyond high school that can lead to success. And the good news is that you have options.
We hope you find this information helpful as you make important decisions about your future.
1. Attend a Four-Year University (Public or Private)
There are many benefits to attending a public or private, such as long-term earnings potential, less likelihood of unemployment, and increased community engagement. Here are some useful internet resources to help you plan for financial and student success.
2. Attend a Junior College (AKA Community College)
As much as 45% of undergraduate students in the U.S. are enrolled at a community college. Community colleges provide a practical and “make sense” career option for first-generation and minority students who want to transfer to four-year universities or gain the technical skills they need to enter the workforce. Here is a list of important resources to help you benefit from attending a local community college.
3. Secure Internships (Paid or Unpaid)
Finding a job can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have experience. That’s why internships offer a great opportunity for you to gain valuable work experience that will make you marketable to future employers. Here is a list of internship resources at the county, state and federal level.
4. Apply for Apprenticeships
Apprenticeship programs have been around for a long time. Traditionally these programs are thought of only for specific industries or jobs, but the mold is being broken. Apprenticeship programs are being created across industries and sectors. They allow you to 'learn while you earn' and are becoming a standard for career advancement. Here is a list of useful resources about apprenticeship programs which offer a non-traditional classroom learning experience that can give you a huge career boost.
5. Enter the Workforce
Nothing helps more with that transition to adulthood than holding down a full-time job. Your goal should be to move away from the companies that typically hire teens and young adults for part-time work to employers that can provide a future career. Here is a list of resources for young jobseekers who are ready to enter the workforce and find success.
6. Work at a Family Business
After working hard to find their first job, some young people continue to struggle in the workplace. can struggle For an increasing number of American youth, entering the work force is far more challenging that they might expect. Here is a list of resources for young jobseekers who are ready to enter the workforce.
7. Start a Military Career
Although joining the military is not always a popular — or safe choice — starting a military career is a great way to learn more about yourself. This pathway offers you a chance to serve your country, and/or earn money toward a future college education. Here are some helpful resources you can use to make an informed decision.
8. Become an Entrepreneur
There are over 22 million individuals who are self-employed in the U.S., with no employees other than themselves. That’s about 14% of the entire American workforce. With drive, initiative, and a quality product or service, it may be more attainable than you think to make it on your own. Here are some great resources to help you determine if being an entrepreneur will work for you.
9. Join a Volunteer Service Program
Volunteer work can teach teenagers and young adults a lot of valuable life lessons. Whether you want to learn the importance of giving back to the community or you're hoping to gain some valuable skills that will help you in your future job, there are lots of local volunteer opportunities. See the list below.
10. Follow Your Dream Career
A lot of young people (millennials especially) have grown up in a world where everywhere they look, they see examples of their peers who have followed dreams that have led to success. While it’s true that the most important ingredient in achieving your goals is passion, sometimes the decision to follow your dreams isn’t that easy. Here are some useful resources about what it takes to realize your dreams.
11. Register for Career Training Programs
Career training programs offer certificates and industry certifications that you can usually complete between one year and a year and a half. Career Training Programs are meant to lead you directly into an exciting career upon graduating, which is different from a more general undergraduate degree. Here is a list of resources that will allow you to learn more about different career trainings in a specialized field and enter the workforce.
12. Sign up for Online Classes
With students all over the world pursuing online college degrees in many different fields, you can earn a two-year Associates Degree, a four-year Bachelors Degree, all the way to an advanced Master’s or Doctoral Degree. Believe it or not, you can also take Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) which are free online courses open for anyone to enroll. Here is a list of Accredited Online Colleges and Universities and MOOC platforms.
13. Take a Gap Year
Gap year programs are one of the best ways to gain both life experience and useful skills for college applications and future careers. A big challenge for a lot of people can be in knowing where to find the information necessary to organize a gap year. Many people don’t even know how or where to start looking. Here is a list of resources about Gap Year Programs available to you.
14. Travel Abroad
If you want to experience other cultures, learn more about yourself and gain experiences that will last a lifetime, then traveling abroad may be for you. You can travel abroad as a volunteer, an intern, through a study abroad or gap year program. Here are some resources about this exciting career option that will enrich your life.