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After High School: Work or College?

05 August 2013, 14:09

As you come to the end of your high school education this is surely one of the most important questions that you will be contemplating. This is also a very important decision to make as it will likely affect your future in the long term.

Before making a decision it is imperative that you carefully consider your career path in order to make the right decision for you as an individual. With this in mind, here are the main pros and cons that you should consider when deciding between going to college and getting a job straight out of high school.

College loans and salaries

The cost of going to college often puts young people off. It is likely that you will require a loan in order to pay for your education meaning that you will then need to pay this back with interest later on in your career. This being said, the benefits of a college education and degree often outweigh the negatives.

This is because you will most likely be on a greater starting salary that those who went straight into work and will probably have better promotions possibilities for the future.

Another possibility is to decide to go to college and at the same time do some part-time work so you will still have some money to pay your college loan and expenses, and at the same time gain some work experience. There are plenty of part-time job vacancies for example in your local free-classifieds website, so check out if there's anything interesting you'd be able to work on while you study.

Experience and learning

If you already know exactly what you want to do as a career then it may be worth simply looking for a job straight after high school in order to get a bit of experience under your belt.

However, this is not a possibility for all professions as many will require a degree in that field in order to land the position in the first place. For this reason, it is important that you do your research in order to understand precisely what is required of you beforehand.

The entrepreneurial path

Is becoming an entrepreneur the right path for you? As a general rule those who go to college and get a good degree tend to have greater job flexibility and the potential to earn higher salaries.

However, this is not always the case as there is a startling number of incredibly successful entrepreneurs without a college education. If you have the motivation to acquire the finances in order to start your own business then perhaps college is not the right path for you!


When making this life changing decision, it is crucial that you weigh up your own strengths and weaknesses as an individual in order to understand what will be best for you in the long run.

If you enjoy learning and believe that you will benefit from a college education then it is often best to not worry too much about the financial aspects beforehand. On the other hand, if high school was not stimulating and/or tough for you, then going straight into the working world will often benefit you as an individual.

This being said, you will need to make this decision alone with the help and guidance of your family and friends. However, by considering these aspects you will find yourselves well on the way to making the right choice.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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