After completing high school, many students are left with the looming question of “What’s next?” There is no right or wrong answer, and it will look different for everyone. One option is enrolling in a 4-year program at a college or university. Another is directly entering the workforce or enrolling in a career and technical program that can last anywhere from two to four years. No matter the option you choose, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you should select the path that best directs you toward your goals and ambitions. For some, that is college and for many others, that is something different.
Take this statistic for example. Over 40% of first-time, full-time students who started college in the fall of 2012 failed to graduate from four-year programs within 6 years, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. For most, that provides only a small margin of error as to whether a college freshman will one day see their degree put to use. And that’s a large investment of both time and money to make on such odds. So, before you set your sights on college being the next logical step in your career path, pause to consider whether or not this is the right choice for you.
Reasons Why a College Alternative Might Be the Right Fit for You
You prefer hands-on learning.
If your desired career path and learning style best aligns with hands-on education, this may be a sign that you would benefit from a career and technical program that allows you to experience as you learn. The majority of college classes emphasize learning from a book or instructor. In comparison, NuPaths offers a practical, real-world learning environment from instructors who work in the field they teach and who provide you with hands-on demonstrations and labs.
Your desired career doesn’t require a traditional college education.
There are more and more career options emerging that do not require a traditional four-year college education. This means that you can get started doing the job you love without the investment of time and financial resources often required for college. Career and technical courses through NuPaths offers the training employers are looking for in entry-level IT careers without requiring a college degree.
You don’t want to invest the time in a traditional college education.
Earning a college degree most often requires at least four years, if enrolled full-time. This is a substantial commitment that may not be the best fit, or even necessary depending upon what you’re hoping to achieve. NuPaths offers 6-month training programs that are designed to get people working faster than traditional college degree programs. In 1/8 of the time of earning a college degree, you could be entering the workforce, gainfully employed in a career that is fulfilling and provides an opportunity to advance.
You don’t want the debt that traditional college brings.
For the vast majority of college students, a traditional four-year education results in substantial student debt. Even those who have assistance or are able to receive scholarships, often need additional funds to fully cover the cost of attending a college or university. So while you hopefully emerge after 4 years with a degree and job prospect - neither of which is guaranteed - you most certainly will come out with some form of debt that must be repaid regardless of whether you have a job. In contrast, NuPaths programs offer a variety of opportunities to pay for your training with little to no debt. And because many courses can be completed in as little as 26 weeks partially or fully remote, you will not incur the same degree of student debt associated with a four-year college degree.
You want to build work experience.
One of the most important considerations to make when determining how you wish to further your education is the type of experience you wish to gain. College is most often a full-time commitment, which leaves little room for gaining applicable work experience in the field in which you are studying. It can be a juggling act to even obtain a part-time side job while studying at a college or university. NuPaths programs allow you to work and study simultaneously so that potential employers will see that you have a solid work history and the education needed for an entry-level IT Career. This is a huge advantage to have on your resume upon graduation and applying for a full-time job.
If you’re interested in exploring a career education that is different from attending a college or university, NuPaths is here to provide you with information and resources. Our experienced student success coordinators are happy to speak with you further about the programs we provide and how they can help you achieve your career aspirations. Simply fill out our contact form and we will assist you directly.