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Keema School for Independent Study

Keema School for Independent Study

Career Options: What's Next?

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There are many options to consider when thinking about what you want to do after finishing high school. Do you want to:

  • Work
  • Attend a Post Secondary School
  • Join the Military
  • Apprenticeship
  • Volunteer
Attend College

Attend College

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Many options exist for those who want to receive formal training or education past high school. Types of post-secondary schools include:
  • Vocational schools
  • Technical colleges
  • Two-year colleges - Transfer to 4 year colleges or universities
  • Students can work toward earning:
  • Certificates
  • Diplomas
  • Associate degrees
  • Bachelor degrees
  • Advanced degrees


group of people dressed in uniforms for different jobs

High school graduates may decide that they want to find full-time employment and start bringing home a regular paycheck. Certain things should be done before beginning the job hunt.

  1. Discover your interests: Reflect on past part-time jobs, volunteer work, and everyday tasks that were enjoyable.
  2. Explore job options:  Find out what types of jobs are available to high school graduates who have little or no further training.  
  3. Conduct informational interviews:  Sit down and talk to someone who is currently working in a job that might be of interest.  
  4. Network: Ask friends, family, and neighbors if they have any connections to help find a job.  This may be the best way to find employment, because the majority of jobs are not advertised.

With some of the initial work out of the way, it is time to start getting organized.

  1. Update or create a resume: Be sure to stress education, part-time and summer jobs, clubs, and awards.  
  2. Locate job openings by checking:
  • Local newspaper
  • Internet
  • Local library- Section devoted to teens
  • One Stop Career Center - Hillsdale
  • Family, friends, and neighbors
  1. Apply for a job. This usually means submitting a cover letter, resume, and job application.  
  2. Prepare for the interview. Research the company and job before going on the interview. Also, rehearse some answers to possible interview questions. 
  3. Follow-up. Write a thank you note. This helps remind employers who you are and lets them know that you are still interested in the job.


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An apprenticeship might be a great option for those interested in receiving supervised work experience, a classroom education, and a paycheck. An apprentice works with an experienced worker to learn a skilled trade like carpentry or plumbing. The apprentice receives training both on the job and in the classroom. Joint employer and labor groups, individual employers, and employer associations sponsor apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships generally last about four years, but range from one to six years. The pay that an apprentice receives increases progressively over time.
Military Option

Military Option

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The U.S. Military has give separate services: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy. The military trains people in many occupations. Every recruit signs a legal contract for eight years of duty. Usually, two to six years are spent on active duty. The rest are spent in the reserve forces.
After basic training, enlistees will receive technical or job training to prepare the enlistee for a job in the military.

Service members receive basic pay, allowances, and benefits for serving in the military.

Tuition assistance at colleges and universities is also available.

The following general enlistment qualifications are the minimum standards set by the Department of Defense.

Each service may choose to have higher standards than are listed here.

Sometimes services make exceptions to these qualifications.

  • U.S. citizen or an immigrant legally admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence
  • 18 years old or older (or age 17 with consent of parent or legal guardian)
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Achieve minimum scores on the ASVAB test
  • Good health and pass medical exam
  • (minimum height, weight, and vision requirements also exist)
  • Good moral standards


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Students can decide to take the time to give back to their communities by volunteering.  Volunteers gain valuable skills and meet new contacts that can help lead to future employment.  Volunteer opportunities are endless but may include tutoring and mentoring kids, building homes, or responding to national disasters. This is another way to gain experience and possibly lead to employment.

AmeriCorps is one organization where people can participate in volunteer activities while receiving a modest living allowance, health insurance, and training.  Some programs even provide housing.  Members can choose the type of program and the location where they want to serve.  Full-time and part-time assignments are available.  After completing one year of full-time service, AmeriCorps members receive an education voucher that can be used to cover future costs of college or vocational school and pay back student loans. 

For more information about AmeriCorps, visit their Web site at: