Career Plan After High School

Before you know it, the gym will be covered in blue and white while your high school diploma is being handed to you in honor of your academic achievement. Are you unsure of the path you are wanting to take after high school as a career plan? The most asked question is ‘What college will you be attending?’ Not everyone has or will have an answer for this. Don’t feel pressured. The choices you make now will help form the rest of your life.

The typical choice would be the traditional college route. Don’t just settle for what everyone else is doing. Choose the option that would best work for you as an individual. For starters, there is a trade school, also known as a technical school, which is designed to train students for a specific job in a skilled trade. An apprenticeship is job training that involves following and studying a master of the trade on the job instead of in school. The military is also a very popular option, along with just entering the job force by getting a job immediately. Here are some explanations of options that might be for you.

A trade school is a great option if you plan on staying in Montana. There are thirty schools in Montana that offer to teach a trade. The more popular towns that offer trade options are Bozeman, Havre, Great Falls, Miles City, and Billings. These are some of the trades that those schools offer: electrical technician, business administration, CDL licensure, dental assistant, medical assistant, medical billing, medical coding, pharmacy technician, welding technology, and diesel mechanic. To learn a trade, it is typically a matter of months to a year. If you enjoy this type of work, a trade will help you get out in the workforce much faster than the traditional college. If you have any interest and would like to start the process of getting enrolled, contact Kate Webb the Malta High School Counselor. 

Another route is the apprenticeship option, which would allow you to start a job and learn as you go. You will discover what type of work you enjoy by actually experiencing the job duties firsthand. This would involve media, business, construction, engineering, health care, retail and many more according to The bonuses include gaining independence, developing skills in a specific field, and earning a paycheck while you learn. The best part is that you are entitled to twenty days of paid holiday, plus all public bank holidays according to The apprenticeship route would be extremely helpful for learners that learn in a hands-on style and not in the classroom by textbook. The Phillips County Hospital has a few apprenticeships for certified medical assistants, that are extremely beneficial. Other options include certified coders, limited permit X-Ray tech, phlebotomists, and working in the business office.

Another very different option for entering the workforce is Ezzies. If you are 18 years old and have a CDL, you are eligible to haul oil. At 21 you’re eligible to become Hazmat CDL certified, which allows you to haul propane or fuel. There is an abundance of options out there for everyone depending on their interests.

A Military career is an honorable option for those willing to give everything for our country. If you are debating enlisting in the military, learn more about armed forces’ expectations. First, let's start off with all the bonuses. Right off the bat,  100% of tuition assistance, Montgomery GI Bill-$386/month, monthly drill paycheck, $20,000 Enlistment bonus, $50,000 student loan repayment, and paid job training are all potential benefits. The requirements are that you must be seventeen to thirty-five and a United States citizen. It also requires a high school diploma or GED, and a specified minimum score on the ASVAB test. They expect you to have a strong mind, body, and lots of grit. While being in the military, you will have a life insurance policy and full health care. The requirements for this job are that you will serve one weekend a month and two weekends during the summer. When choosing this career, it could be a way to start your life long career or a way to get your feet under you in order to pay for your education for another career. 

Certain careers that are out there also require certain education levels. For example, the percent of jobs that require a bachelor's degree is 34%. An associate degree is only a 30% requirement, therefore there is a 36% job rate that requires no college degree at all. These percentages can be found at With all of this information, it demonstrates that the number of young adults that enter college after high school is at an all-time high of 70%. This number has risen from 63% in 2000. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 58% of students finish their college degree within six years, about 40% in four years. This doesn’t take into account the 30% of college freshmen who drop out according to 

There are multiple options for everyone considering various career paths. The traditional college route is not for everyone. The pressure of choosing the career path for the rest of your life is challenging. Don’t dislike your decision because it was what everyone else thought you had to do. This is your career path and enjoying the career you hold will shape the rest of your life in the long run. When thinking about life after high school, consider it all, traditional college, trade schools, apprenticeships, the military, and/or just entering the workforce immediately. These are all great options. It’s just a matter of which one fits you the best and which will benefit you as an individual the most. If you have any questions about your future career and need help getting set on the right path, contact Kate Webb at the Malta High School counselor’s office.