HELPING YOUR KIDS: Alternative Electives

HELPING YOUR KIDS: Alternative Electives

While watching our daughter navigate high school, I was thrilled to learn that there are some alternative learning environments to take advantage of. One of these is a Career Center.

As I quickly learned through a seminar in my community, vocational schools these days are not the vocational schools you may be thinking of from 20+ years ago. Vocational schools offer a variety of programs for kids looking to expand their horizons--whether they are on the path to college or not.

For example, some popular vocational school areas of focus:

  • Automotive technology--your car is more of a computer than you realize!

  • Construction--this industry is significantly lacking in skilled tradespeople

  • Cosmetology--one student worked as a stylist while in college making more money than her friends working fast food or restaurant jobs

  • Culinary Arts--try out working in this industry before investing in Culinary School

  • Engineering Technology--hands on work in engineering BEFORE college

  • Fire and Police Training--early certification to prepare for careers in emergency services

  • Pharmacy Technician--certification to land a job in the pharmacy side of healthcare

Other schools also have programs specific to industries in their locations:

  • Agriculture Science--its not traditional farming when you marry technology and agriculture

  • Health Technology--kickstart an education in nursing with multiple certifications

  • Equine Science--always loved horses, learn how to turn that into a career

  • Zoo School--with veterinary or zoology interests, learn directly in a zoo environment

Our daughter has her sites focused on a Digital Design major in college. Spending half of a school day immersed in topics from concept, to design, to delivering animation, graphics, audio and video she can build up her portfolio and jump start her learning. She can still attend her traditional high school in the afternoons in her home school focused on traditional academics (math, English, etc.) as well as participate in after school activities. This seems like a great blending of educational opportunities.

In addition, career schools offer many shadowing and internship opportunities to really get out into an industry and learn more before spending money on a four-year degree in something they may not truly enjoy.

If your student is looking for something more than a traditional high school experience consider looking into your local technical school.

Links for you: Vocational School Careers

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