Once you graduate from high school, you have several options to consider. You could immediately pursue work opportunities or pursue postsecondary training to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to enter your chosen profession.
Individuals who’ve graduated from college or who have been in the workforce for some time can also consider returning to school. Completing additional studies can enable you to increase your income, capitalize on advancement opportunities, or change your career.
Increase your income.
Earning a bachelor’s degree significantly reduces your chances of being unemployed. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree typically earn $32,000 per year more than individuals with a high school diploma. Completing appropriate coursework will also increase the number of careers you’re qualified to pursue, making it easier to find work or change career paths.
Individuals with some postsecondary training also benefit from further education. For example, licensed practical nurses (LPNs) only need to complete one year of postsecondary studies to earn a certificate or diploma in nursing and start their careers. Registered nurses (RNs) must complete between two and four years of post-secondary studies and earn a diploma, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree. With the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reporting that LPNs earned median annual salaries of $47,480 in 2019, the BLS indicated RNs took home median incomes of $73,300 the same year. RNs can go on to earn an online master’s degree to enjoy additional job opportunities that pay more lucrative salaries.
Pursue advancement opportunities.
Family nurse practitioners must earn a master’s of science in nursing (MSN) from an accredited FNP program. FNP programs include studies in biology and pharmacology. Students must also complete clinical hours, ensuring graduates have the knowledge and practical skills needed to succeed. While LPNs and RNs provide patient care, FNPs are qualified to perform health assessments, order medical tests, prescribe medication, and serve as their patients’ primary care providers. Instead of seeing a doctor, patients may be treated by an FNP throughout their entire lifespan.
Advance practice nurses (APNs) with a master’s degree can also concentrate on disease prevention or become nurse anesthetists or nurse-midwives.
The BLS expects opportunities for FNPs in the United States to increase by 52 percent between 2019 and 2029, which is 13 times the national average job growth rate for all occupations expected during the same decade. In 2019, the BLS reported that FNPs earned median annual incomes of $109,820. FNPs can begin their career as an LPN or RN and opt to complete in-person or online courses to prepare for this career advancement option.
Change your career.
You could have health issues prompting you to change professions or want a change of scenery. Taking evening courses, pursuing full-time studies, or completing an online program can provide you with the credentials and knowledge needed to change your career. For example, if you’ve been working in retail and would prefer to work outdoors, you could complete a technical school program in masonry. Masons who specialize as terrazzo workers and finishers pour and level concrete. They also finish the concrete with other materials, such as epoxy. Anyone planning to install a patio this year could hire these masonry workers to create a custom concrete patio or lay pavers. New patios can transform a home’s outdoor living space, which is why homeowners often opt to install a new patio in their backyard.
Perhaps you enjoy electronics and became a solar photovoltaic installer or certified heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technician. The BLS reported in 2019, solar photovoltaic installers and HVAC techs in the United States earned $44,890 and $48,730, respectively. The BLS also reported median incomes for electricians were $56,180 and that line installers and repairers took home $65,700 the same year, while power plant operators earned $85,950. If you enjoy outdoor work, you may want to acquire the skills needed to work as an electrician or line installer and repairer. If you prefer the stability of working in the same location each day, you could strive to become a power plant operator.
You can take postsecondary studies to learn how electricity is transmitted through power lines. Power plants distribute electricity through transmission lines. Line installers and repairers ensure lines transmit power from the grid to businesses and homes. These professionals are essential service workers who may need to perform emergency repairs to lines damaged by accidents or storms.
Returning to school can help you increase your income, acquire the skills needed to advance in your career, or enable you to change your career path. Whether you’re interested in healthcare or physical labor, there are numerous career opportunities you can explore with an appropriate postsecondary education.