College is Cool, But Have You Tried Avoiding Debt?

One of the biggest moments in a student’s life is when they graduate high school. This event kicks off the start of a new era, where opportunities are endless and you can choose your career path. Many students go through high school preparing for college, and many high schools and institutions intentionally prepare and lead students for this path. Four-year colleges can be great options for many students, though there are many other opportunities for high school graduates that they may not even be aware of.

High school students often think that going to college is the best thing to do after graduation. This isn’t always the case, though. After you graduate high school, you are finally given a real choice and autonomy to choose your career path. Automatically going to college because that’s what you’ve always been told to do may not be the best option for you. Going to a trade school or electing other viable career options can lead to great success. Consider all the opportunities you have and how choosing other paths may be the best thing for you after graduation.

Going to a trade school opens many doors for your career and can get you on a path to a lucrative career more quickly than traditional four-year colleges. Thanks to apprenticeship opportunities, on-the-job training and minimal student loan debt, students who attend trade schools after graduation find themselves thriving in a long-term career not long after high school.


Trade school apprenticeships are a key element of entering a career in the trades. Apprenticeships offer a hands-on approach to learning that helps students learn real skills quickly and effectively. Rather than having to sit in a classroom for four years before using what you’ve learned, embarking on an apprenticeship after graduation will teach you skills and get you working in your field quickly. Trade school apprenticeships are a great opportunity for high school graduates as they are often paid positions, and you do not need to know everything about the job immediately.

The average apprenticeship takes approximately 8,000 hours to complete. This is equivalent to the time it takes to obtain a bachelor’s degree. In the same time that many college students take to learn classroom skills, tradespeople have accumulated hands-on experience and are highly trained in their field before even finding a full-time opportunity. Apprenticeships are practical and offer excellent opportunities for tradespeople as an alternative to spending four years in a classroom.

Taking on an apprenticeship can lead to a strong career in the trades. An apprenticeship often occurs after a bit of technical training and what is traditionally known as “classroom learning.” This is one of the best things to do after graduation, as students can take their time and learn technical skills and still have the opportunity to make money. After classroom learning, a trade school apprenticeship will set you on a career path that can often lead to full-time employment shortly after graduating high school.

On-the-Job Training

If you are a high school student debating what to do after graduation, consider how on-the-job training can be beneficial for your career. While four-year colleges often teach many valuable “book” skills, there is still a lot to learn when you get to your first job. Thanks to the on-the-job training that comes with a career in the trades, you will learn and work at the same time. This will save you time and money in the long run, as you will be able to start working shortly after high school.

On-the-job training is valuable for students who thrive in hands-on learning environments. Rather than having to wait four years to get into a job where you still have to learn how to do everything, you can get on-the-job training in the trades.

Minimize Student Loan Debt

Finally, going into the trades after graduation will help you limit your student loan debt. Opportunities for high school graduates are often limited to a number of factors, money being the most significant. While trade schools do require tuition, it is significantly less than most four-year universities.

As you prepare to graduate high school, it can be tricky to think about how money will affect you down the line. In addition to minimizing student loan debt, you can make great money in the trades, even as an apprentice after school. Meanwhile, going to a four-year college delays making significant money in your field, and there is often a large learning curve after graduating.

Going into the trades not only minimizes student loan debt but increases your salary significantly. It is important to take into consideration all aspects of both trade school and four-year colleges before making a decision that could potentially impact your career. Remember, too, that both options are available to you no matter where you are in your career or what you choose after high school graduation.

Explore Career Opportunities After High School

As you choose your career path after high school, there are many things to consider. From sitting in a classroom, to getting hands-on experience to making money right away, students may struggle knowing what to do after graduation. Whether you want to go to a four-year college, a trade school or you aren’t sure, Explore The Trades can help. We are dedicated to showing what opportunities for high school graduates are available.

Trade schools are viable options for recent graduates who are looking to choose a career path that allows them to work with their hands, receive on-the-job training, and earn a living right after they graduate. If you are considering a career in the trades, browse our website and see what opportunities are available to you.