However, what if a student does not function well in the structured academic system? What if her intelligences lay in other areas that Dr. Gardner identified in his Eight Intelligences, like naturistic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, spatial, musical, or bodily-kinesthetic? These are areas that our schools attempt to address but often use methodologies that do not resonate with the student, leaving her feeling dumb and without options. And, finally, what if she has no idea what type of work she is interested in?
Here are some alternative ideas to college. This list is by no means exhaustive, but will hopefully offer ideas that might spark more applicable ideas for the non-college bound students.
200 Best Jobs Through Apprenticeships is a valuable resource that will expose students to ideas for apprenticeships, which oftentimes lead into substantial careers.
The America's Workforce Network is government resource center for apprenticeships.
Directly into the workplace
Working in various jobs immediately after high school can help graduates understand their skill set, their interests, the value of hard work, and the value of furthering their education.
If the student’s interests lie in culinary arts, business, automobile repair, welding, health care, real estate, or travel, trade schools can equip her with the skills, certificate, or degree necessary to be successful in that field.
[A side note: be very cautious of private for-profit colleges. Their sales tactics are stunning, their prices are high, and oftentimes they do not deliver the degrees they promised.]
“Gap Year” Programs
Various missions and colleges have programs to help students determine their next steps in life through self-evaluation of their skill sets and broader life experiences.
YWAM has a wide variety of Discipleship Training Schools (DTS) that provide biblical training followed by specialized outreach opportunities, like sports, the arts, worship leaders, helping the poor and orphans, stopping human trafficking, adventure camps, and much more.
CollegePlus has a 3 month Navigate program that pairs a student with a career counselor to help her through the process of determining her next step.
Bethany Global University’s LEAD program is a 4 month Christian discipleship program with an optional 2 week mission trip that trains young men and women how to be leaders.
Consider the Military
The National Guard and Air National Guard have programs that will help high school graduates experience various types of work in order to determine their career direction. They also provide educational benefits. Research other branches of the military, as well, to gain an understanding of the unique career opportunities each one has to offer.
Add your comments below if you have experience with or know of other non-college routes to careers.