Educational Alternatives for Your Child

working at home

While the normal educational path for your child would be to go to college after high school, this doesn’t always have to be the truth. People are becoming aware of college alternatives while the price of college education skyrockets. Considering that the price of tuition for some colleges can reach up to $46,000 a year, you may want to present your child with other options.

Here are some of the more popular choices that they can take.

Go on a Gap Year

A sabbatical year is often a good idea for your child. Not everyone who leaves high school is ready to jump into college. In addition, interesting gap year programs are not the tour of the world kind of thing that many parents think of. They often provide children an opportunity to explore the world, but they also have them working. They might be doing volunteer work in another state or another country.

If you want your child to get the most from a gap year, then you should sit them down and ask them what they want to do. Those who want to just stay home and take a break from schooling for some time is fine. But be open to the idea of your child going on a learning adventure far from home. This might spark something that will help them decide on their next step.

Enter Community College

A community college is much different from a formal college. For one, they don’t offer the normal four-year courses. These public institutions have one to two-year courses that provide one of two things: training in a trade or a preparation for a transfer into a college.

For those who want to start earning money fast, entering community college and getting two years of training in their preferred trade is a great choice. As a public institution, the tuition is very low, and they can quickly recoup the costs of it in their job. As for transfer preparation, the academic classes can provide credits toward any bachelor program that your child wants to go into. With the right classes, they can cut their college tuition in half. You’ll have to confirm that those credits will transfer correctly though.

student at school

Trade School Training

Trade schools offer something similar to what community colleges offer: training in a trade. The big difference is that trade schools are often for-profit operations and are a bit more expensive. But these trade schools often focus on a particular trade. This means that a certificate of training from one of them can carry more weight when it comes to hiring. For example, if your child went to an HVAC trade school, this can increase their chances of being hired as HVAC technicians.

When your child is looking at which trade school to enroll, you should help them out by doing some research. Look for federal and national certifications that the institution might have. This can help determine whether it is worth the money to attend it. Additional research should go into the median salary of the school’s graduates. Your child is looking to attend a trade school to start earning money so you’ll want a school that will give them the best return for their investment.

Become an Apprentice

Apprenticeships are what people usually went into during the Middle Ages before formal education became a thing. They are still pretty alive and well though. To put it simply, it is on-the-job training combined with some classroom learning. Your child can expect to get paid a decent wage while working towards a certification in the job of their choice. These can be in a variety of fields including construction, healthcare, manufacturing, and more.

The great thing about apprenticeships is that they are ideal for those who learn by doing. While there are classes, your child will be working a lot, and they will learn the skills they need by doing it almost immediately. It sounds intimidating but some people learn better when you throw them in the deep end. If your child is one such person, then this choice is for them. Additionally, it doesn’t hurt that they are earning money from their education. It does take a bit longer than your normal college course sometimes. Apprenticeships can last up to six years but that should be fine.

Not everyone has the temperament for college. If your child has a different way of learning, you should give them a chance to explore their options. This might save them a lot of time and money as they make their road in life.

Scroll to Top