How Can I Help my Child Prepare for Life After High School? (page 2)
Why a Post-High School Plan?
Statistics about education and careers in the U.S. reveal why it's important to have a plan for life after high school:
- 48 of the 50 fastest growing jobs in the U.S. require some type of education beyond high school.
- People who don't have post-high school training are three times more likely to be unemployed than those who do.
- People who have some training after high school make more money and have better opportunities for career advancement than those who have only a high school diploma.
- Freshmen who don't have a career goal or academic major when they enter college are more likely to drop out.
- If your child has a solid plan before graduating, his or her chances for success in postsecondary education increase.
How Can I Help My Child Prepare for Life After High School?
You can help your child prepare if you:
Start in middle school
You need to start planning the courses your child will take in high school while still in middle school. The courses your child takes in high school will greatly affect his or her ability to make a smooth transition to postsecondary education and training.
Take action in high school
Help your child:
- Identify the career or field in which he or she would like to work.
- Discover the skills needed for his or her chosen career.
- Get as much education and experience related to his or her career field as possible while still in high school. This can be accomplished in many ways, including elective classes, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, job shadowing, internships and part-time jobs.
- Collect information on the post-high school training needed to fit his or her career plan.
- Find the schools or colleges that provide the best training for your child's chosen career.
- Look beyond just starting a training program, set a plan for how to finish the program.
Focus your child on a career goal
- If your child does not have a particular career goal, help him or her choose a post-high school program in a general area related to his or her interests.
- Encourage him or her to take challenging courses and continue to think about how he or she can use education to pursue a rewarding career.
- Remember that it's okay for your child to change career goals as he or she learns more about the world of work.
- Also keep in mind that it's better to have a plan that changes than no plan at all.
Reprinted with the permission of the U.S. Department of Education.
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