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What Should you do After High School?

written by: Brenda Barrett•edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 12/8/2011

Should you go to college after high school? There are several arguments that say you should and several that say no. Let us explore some of them and help you to make up your mind.

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    Statistics show that 30 to 40 percent of an entering college class will not complete their studies with their classmates. Some persons will find that college is not to their liking and then seek other forms of training, or go directly to work. Others may drop out for a while to earn money to support their studies, to support their families or to raise children.

    What should you do after high school? This is a question that many persons tussle with and agonize over. The options may come down to two choices: college or straight to work. Before making any major decisions, let us explore the advantages and the disadvantages of each option:

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    Advantages of Going Straight to College

    1. The earning potential of a person who completes a college degree significantly increases after leaving college. It is a reality that most businesses base their reward system on educational achievements or how much training was completed for a particular job. Most reward systems look at KSA, which means knowledge, skills and abilities. These are very important criterion for many pay scales. The higher your knowledge, skills or abilities, then the higher your reward.

    2. A college degree indicates to the world, and your future employer in particular, that you are trainable. This is more attractive to employers, than if you had no certification.

    3. Gaining a college degree is a self development exercise. College is not just about school work, even though that is undoubtedly important, it is also about responsibility and enhancing your educational horizons, extending your brain to analyze and evaluate information that may be handy in your next job.

    4. A college degree lends credibility to your position, as a specialist in any area. For example, if an ordinary person without medical credentials performs several successful heart operations, even though they were successful at heart surgery, they will be rejected by law as a doctor without the relevant certification.

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    Disadvantages of Going Straight to College

    1. There is a school of thought that espouses the idea that a college education does not encourage creativity. In fact, a college education limits those persons who are prone to think outside of the box. Proponents of this argument usually site entrepreneurs and business people who did not go to college, or dropped out of college, but have had success in their individual areas. Bill Gates is a sterling example of this school of thought.

    2. College may stifle your entrepreneurial spirit and delay an implementation of those business ideas in the short run. It might be best to take advantage of present available opportunities.

    3. College is expensive, it's best not to incur huge debts in the short run, but to work to pay your way through college.

    Despite the several arguments put forth, it is best to chose whether you go to college after high school based on your individual situation.