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Are you curious about what your options are after High School? Or is your child asking you questions about what they should do after graduating? This article can help shed light on their options!

With K-12 as part of the country’s curriculum, high school has been extended by two years and divided into junior and senior high that lasts four years and two years respectively. In a move to prepare students and catch up with the countries’ neighbors in globalization, the additional two years are geared towards preparing students in joining the workforce, if they so desire.

However, entering the workforce is just one of the many choices available. To know more of these choices, here’s a list of your or your child’s options after high school.

1. Work

As mentioned earlier, with K-12, students who graduate from high school are expected to be well-equipped to be part of the workforce. However, given that it’s a fairly new concept, the job market may be though especially if they don’t have any relative experience.

To acknowledge this, it’s best to prepare in advance by building skills through volunteer work and on-the-job training, as well as taking more active parts in both school and community organization. Maximizing connections is also a good idea. Its best to approach guidance counselors, community officials and, even family and friends to help your child’s training and job hunt.

2. Gap Year

Taking a gap year might be unfamiliar for most Filipinos as it’s always expected to go straight from high school to university or colleges, however, it’s still a choice.

Take time to relax and think of what really drives you.

A “gap year” is a period of time in which an individual takes some time off to decide their life path. This year may be used to explore interests, take extramural classes and gain work experiences. The downside of this is that it can be viewed as a waste of time and resources, however, knowing the path an individual want to take instead of wasting time on something that they’re not sure they want is a bigger waste of time.

3. Military

For students who are eager to serve the country and are in the peak of their physical state, entering the army could be a viable choice. There are several factors to consider, just like every other choice in this list.

For one, the training is physically demanding and it requires students to be away from home most of their training years. However, it is also usually subsidized by the government and can stand in for a four-year degree. It also provides many opportunities to pursue higher education and a comfortable compensation for the individual and their families.

4. Certificate Programs

Vocational and certificate programs have unjustly gained a reputation for being easy as they were mostly geared towards physical and mechanical work. However, TESDA, or Technical Education and Skills Development Authority has worked hard to raise awareness about the viability of taking a certificate program.

Honing and updating your skills will be a great advantage at work!

Everything from welding to programming, housekeeping, baking and cooking, TESDA offers it all. The best part is that the program is that it also has an assessment system that is in line with the Department of Education and other countries’ systems, ensuring that its students receive certificates and training up to standard.

Taking these programs also allow students to work abroad with their skills, to have a stepping stone in creating their own business or a head start if they ever decide to go to a college or a university.

5. Two-year Degrees

In the Philippines, college and university are terms used differently compared to how it’s used in the United States. In the country, the terms are interchangeable. However, still, two-year college programs are still present in the country and they are offered by different universities.

These programs are called associate degree programs. Universities and colleges offer ladderized courses that allows students to transition from two to three and eventually to four year undergraduate programs. This is a good choice for high school graduates who are still not sure which four-year undergraduate degree they want to pursue, or if they want to pursue on at all.  

6. Four-year Degrees

Undergraduate degrees are the most traditional choice for Filipino high school graduates. To prepare for this, it’s best to sit down and talk to your child on what their interests are, their choice of courses and look at the universities and colleges that offer these programs.

Most white collar jobs require four year degrees at the very least, thus, putting your child in a favorable starting point once they graduate. The time they spend in the university also helps in making them a well-rounded individual, with the different opportunities it provides within campus.

Universities and colleges also offer open university programs wherein students can take and complete their degrees without the traditional classroom setting.

Each choice presented above has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some are more expensive, while others require less time. Whichever choice your child takes, it’s best to remember that success does not follow just one path and regardless of the path they take, your support will always be needed.

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