Life After High School

How to continue your education after high school

  • Earn a two- or four-year degree at a college.

  • Enroll in a certificate program at a community college.

  • Enter an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeships are formal combinations of classroom and on-the-job training.

  • Enter an occupation-specific training program. These are sometimes called trade schools or vocational schools.

  • Enroll in an inclusive college campus program. One example is Think College, a college option for people with intellectual disabilities.

  • Start or continue training in a career or technical education program.

  • Join a branch of the military: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy.

  • Apply to Job Corps. Job Corp is a no-cost career technical training and education program for low income young people ages 16 through 24.

  • Take an online course in a field that interests you. Accredited Schools Online is a website specifically about online postsecondary programs.

  • Try a gap year program.

  • Work and take adult or continuing education classes.

  • Enroll in a one-year program to work on specific skills.

  • Enter a volunteer program where you travel and work for a year in the US or abroad.

  • …and more. You have options!


Some people know from an early age exactly what they want to be when they are adults — and how they can get there. Others aren't sure of their plans, and that's okay too.

Regardless of what you want to be, you most likely will be heading toward higher education of some kind, and our Guide to Life after High SchoolSM can help you prepare. You'll learn about careers, academic preparation for college, how to pay for college, and managing your financial life after high school graduation. You will need about 25 minutes to complete a guide.