Employees are often paid more and have opportunities for promotion based upon their training and education. There is also a great deal of personal and intellectual satisfaction for achieving a college education or other post-secondary training. Upon your graduation from high school, the largest share of job openings, 48 percent, will require a high school diploma and/or up to four years of post-high school education, career/technology training, or specific work experience. Another 17 percent require a  college degree or more. There are many options for students to continue their education after high school to be better prepared to enter the work force. In general, postsecondary schools can be divided into two major categories: career/technology training schools and colleges/ universities.


    Industry Specific Training Programs Industry Specific Training Programs are privately owned and operated schools that offer a wide variety of training options in areas such as cosmetology, mechanical repair, court reporting, paralegal services, travel services, secretarial, and medical assistance. Typical vocational training programs are short, lasting from five to twelve months. However, some training programs (such as court reporting) can take up to two or three years to complete. The main appeal of these schools is their concentrated curriculum, job-training focus, and short course length.


    Technical Colleges

    Technical colleges are most often state/public supported and offer several different types of programs including applied associate degrees, technical diplomas, apprenticeships and   certificates. Associate degree programs are typically designed to prepare students for a technical occupation and include occupational, general education, and elective courses.  Technical diploma programs are often offered to meet the needs of businesses and industry to assist employees in meeting certification requirements for specific jobs. Apprenticeships are offered for those people interested in working in an industrial or service trade. The applicant enters into an agreement with an employer in which the employer assumes the responsibility of teaching the trade to the apprentice. Completion of certificate programs indicates that a particular person has completed coursework in a focused area of study.


    Colleges and Universities

    Two-year colleges generally offer programs of study with an associate’s degree conferred upon completion. The courses are designed to transfer to four-year colleges, should community college students decide to pursue higher education. Some two- year colleges offer specialized job training in certain areas. These studies are designed to prepare students for the work force as soon as the program of study is complete.


    Four-year  colleges  and  universities  offer  bachelor’s degrees  and  a  much  wider  variety  of  studies  and curriculum. Many also offer graduate studies (studies after a bachelor’s degree is completed) with opportunities to earn a master’s degree, doctorate, or professional degree (such as a medical doctor or lawyer). The curriculum is much broader than a two-year school and is designed to accommodate a variety of interests. There are colleges that specialize in a certain area of study, such as music.


    Public colleges and universities are subsidized by the states in which they are located and are generally less expensive than private colleges. However, the cheapest rates go to residents of the state in which the college is located. Non-resident students usually pay much higher fees. Private colleges, on the other hand, are funded through endowments, tuition, and donations. They usually cost much more, but do not rule them out! Private colleges can often offer enough financial aid and scholarships to make attendance at a private college financially feasible for a student’s budget.

    For more information, visit: www.fastweb.com; www.scholarships.com; http://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/future/eligibility-center