Graduation Blues

May 30th, 2010 | By | Category: aptitude, career challenges, challenges, fear, interview, mentor, personality, success

High schools and colleges are having commencement ceremonies as thousands of young graduates leave the comforts of school for the real world.  Many graduates have developed strategic plan for their careers, while others are struggling to figure out what to do next.

Many students believe that something magical happens when they graduate to conjuror up opportunities and career options.  Although many start looking for a job prior to graduation most join the ranks of the unemployed.  Especially in these times of high unemployment finding work can be difficult.  There are several applicants for every job and employers can choose from a large slate of candidates.  Often it takes an outstanding resume to get an interview, and then exceptional skill to land the job.  What if you did not graduate summa cum laude, magna cum laude or cum laude? What if you were just an average student with no real plan on what to do after graduation?

While those who developed strategic career plans along the way have a head start on the others all is not lost.  It is surprising the number of students that did not even consider going to college while in high school.  Some have poor grades and other lack the prerequisite courses to enter college.  Junior college may offer a solution to those who decide late in their high school career or after graduation to attend college.  Most state junior colleges will accept any one who is out of high school.  If you did not graduate from high school you may need to earn a GED – General Education Development which consists of five subject tests which, when passed, certify that the taker has American or Canadian high school-level academic skills. There are night classes available for those who work or have other commitments.  There may be a lot of make up work to prepare you for college level courses but it is worth it.  Pay attention this time around as grades are very important to your future.

The great thing about state junior colleges is that student can transfer to any four state college after successfully completing the first two years of junior college.  This saves students money on the first two years tuition, and enables them to graduate from a college that may not accept them right out of high school.  This is also an option for students attending four-year state colleges that would like to transfer to a more prestigious state school.

Although there are a lot of basic course requirements in college, most students choose a course of study, which requires taking courses in a particular field or discipline such as business, communications, engineering, computer skill, government, etc.  This requires some careful thought to select a course of study that will prepare you to enter a career field.  This may be a difficult choice for some who are not really sure what they want to do.

This is an area that needs more attention.  There are few sources available to coach a student in selecting a career.  High school guidance councilors are tasked with aiding students in choosing a career path but they have limited resources.  In addition, most students do not seek out advice.  Perhaps a good personality and aptitude test in the sophomore year of high school would be beneficial in guiding students toward a successful and enjoyable career.  There are several free on line for those who are interested.

It is important to do some research to determine what careers interest you.  There are a lot of facets to career fields.  For example, not all policemen are involved in CSI (Crime Scene Investigations).  If you notice on TV there are usually a lot of patrolmen putting up the police barricades and directing traffic.  Most careers require experience and additional training to reach the top rungs of the career ladder.  There are a lot of opportunities in most career fields for those who apply themselves.

For those who have decided that college is not for them there are still a lot of choices. Most require a training certification or license but the time and money spent in training will pay dividends over the course of your career.  There are a lot of jobs that did not exist just a few years ago, it is worth your while to do some research and to observe the trends.  For example, the medical field will continue to need more workers as the baby boomers begin to age.

The sooner you begin to develop a career strategy the better.  College and tech school are a lot of work to complete.  The sooner you begin the sooner you will finish and begin on your career path.

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