College & Career Readiness
A whole big, wide world of possibilities awaits you as you begin to plan your path for life after high school. In Amarillo ISD, our goal is to make sure when our students graduate, they are prepared for success in whatever they choose to do after high school. The choice is yours. Aim high and don’t give up. You can achieve your goals and have a successful career in an area of work you enjoy.
Education past high school = more money, more job options and more freedom. Most of the best jobs available now and in the future require education and training beyond a high school diploma. Check out this “Why go to college?” graphic which shows potential income and unemployment rates for different levels of education.
Where do I start?
Success starts with planning. If you make a plan, you know where you are going and what you are working to accomplish. Your pathmay change along the way, which is okay, but it’s better to start with a plan which changes than no plan at all.
Start in elementary school.
1. It’s never too early to start planning for life after high school. You can start by using your time in school to explore your interests and learn about who you are and what talents and abilities you have.
2. Get involved in different activities like sports or music or school clubs, and build your skills by learning how to do new things.
3. Think about different jobs and careers you’re interested in and how much education and training you would need to get that job.
Explore in middle school.
1. Start planning courses you will take in high school while you’re still in middle school.
2. The courses you take in high school will greatly affect your ability to make a smooth transition to college or other training after you graduate, so it’s important to take challenging courses in a variety of subjects.
3. Before you leave 8th-grade, you will need to choose an endorsement area which will provide a path for you in high school.
Take action in high school.
1. Explore your own talents, interests and abilities, and identify the career or field in which you think you’d like to work based on the skills needed for the career.
2. Choose an endorsement area and program of study which match your chosen career field. Get as much education and experience related to the career field as possible while you’re still in high school.
3. Collect information on the education and training you’ll need after high school in order to get a job in your chosen career field. Then research what schools or colleges offer degree programs for the career.
What are my options?
There are many ways to pursue education and training after high school. Here are some options.
Colleges and Universities
You can earn a four-year, bachelor’s degree in your area of interest and increase your opportunities in finding employment in your chosen career field. You may decide you want to pursue post-graduate work beyond a four-year degree for either a master’s degree or a Ph.D. (doctorate degree).
Community and Junior Colleges
You can earn an associate’s degree if you complete a two-year program of study. Also, many classes taken at a community or junior college will transfer to a four-year college or university.
Technical Training and Certificate Programs
Many community colleges and technical schools offer six-month to one-year programs which lead to certification in a specialized field. Additional job skills will raise entry-level salaries, improve working conditions and allow for more advancements and promotions.
A Military Career
Joining the military allows you to do several things at once. You can serve our country, earn a salary and receive training by entering the military, whether you choose to make it a life-long career or not. You can also earn a college degree while in a military program or receive financial help from the government after you leave the service.