By Divya Kunda,
Although every student has different interests and activities that they are involved in, almost all of them have one common goal: going to college. However, there are also students who plan on taking a gap year or do not even see college in their future.
For them, getting ready for life after school may be a challenge, as many teachers and parents focus on getting their students prepared for college, and not as much the life they lead afterward.
“Most Davis High students [who don’t go to college] get a job and work their way up through the system or get an internship that leads to a job,” Career Center coordinator Julie Clayton said.
Students have many opportunities in store for them for life after high school, many of which do not include college. They can join the military, take up a job or internship, or maybe just take a gap year for extra college preparation.
Clayton mentioned a few options other than college such as getting certified in fields such as auto mechanics, electronics, cosmetology, joining the military, studying abroad, going on a foreign exchange, or getting a vocational degree, which trains young adults to go right to a job.
Some people take a gap year to decide whether going straight to college or taking up a job is more worthwhile for them.
“I still intend on going to college. Taking time to work after high school gives me an opportunity to understand the world better and how college may (or may not) help me,” DHS alumnus Gwen Brinsmead said.
Brinsmead graduated from DHS in 2013 and currently works full-time at a technology start-up company.
Not attending college does have its benefits.
“Right now going to college really isn’t the smart idea unless you are trying to go into a growing field. If you want to build up tons of debt and then four or five years later try to find a job and be unsuccessful for the most part go right ahead,” DHS alumnus Thomas May said.
May is currently employed and is working full time at Nissan of Vacaville in the sales department. He said that “[he expects] to be a salesman in less than a year” and in “a few more years down the road [he] could be manager for an entire dealership, without a single dime or minute spent in college.”
However, DHS may not offer much help towards getting student ready for a job after high school.
“They mainly have to learn basic skills from parents. We don’t has many classes to help prepare students to get a job,” Clayton said.
May mentioned that it was “not so much high school that prepared [him] for the position but more the work experience [he] got while in school.”
“Developing a professional network in the field you are interested in is key. High-school is not what prepared me for this position. I’ve always done work outside of school that prepared me professionally,”Brinsmead said.
Having a job or an internship during school or the summer after high school can make a student stand out among the many applicants applying for a job.
Brinsmead said that “during [her] senior year of high school [she] held a remote, part-time job as a UX/UI Designer at Appcelerator” and that “it is an important part of [her] resume.”
“I was in the ROP Auto Shop class and I was a senior which meant I could get an internship at a local automotive business and I could leave school to go to that job. And that is where the experience that was key to getting my current job came from,” May said.
According to May, his job does not require a four-year degree from college and “in five years [he] will have had five years of work experience under [his] belt, a salary that reflects that effort, and [he] will be debt free”.
“College isn’t for everyone. If you like working an honest job, find one that has good advancement opportunities and put in your time there and you will be satisfied,” May said.