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Now what?

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Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013 8:00 am

Everyone knows that continuing education after high school is a must for any young person if he or she hopes to be successful in this economy. A high school graduate is expected to go off to college, get a meaningful education and re-emerge four years later with a shiny new degree and a high-earning career.

What many people seem to forget is that a four year college or university isn’t the only option for high school graduates.

With the cost of college skyrocketing, “is it worth it?” is an important question to ask. For many, the answer is “yes.” Individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher are not only much more likely to get a job, but keep it and turn it into a career. On average, someone who graduates from college earns twice as much as someone who doesn’t.

But for others, the choice isn’t so clear. College is expensive and time consuming, especially for students who know school isn’t their strong suit or are unsure of what they want to study. With the economy and its cut-throat job market, looming student debt is a growing deterrent for many high school graduates.

In the past decade, graduates have been flocking to technical colleges. It’s cheaper, it usually takes less time than a traditional degree and there are all kinds of job opportunities for skilled workers.

Sometimes the right way to go is a two year college. Credits are significantly cheaper and if a student doesn’t know what he or she wants to do yet, it’s often the economical decision.

Enlisting in the military is an option that is often overlooked. Not only does the military provide a whole slew of benefits for recruits (most of the branches pay for a significant portion of college tuition), but serving your country also comes with plenty of opportunity for career advancement.

For others, entering the workforce makes the most sense. Whether an individual isn’t very good at school or just dosen’t like it, sometimes going straight from high school to a job is the best option.

The end of high school marks the end of a major part of every person’s life. But regardless of how graduates choose to further their education, whether it be  at college, trade school, in the military or on the job, there are plenty of opportunities out there, as long as they’re willing to work for them.

34% of Aitkin High School graduates are attending a four year college or


37% of Aitkin High School graduates are attending a two year or technical


8% of Aitkin High School graduates are joining the United States Armed Forces.

21% of Aitkin High School graduates are undecided or entering the workforce.

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