Not everyone is ready to make the transition to college immediately after high school. In fact, students may decide to defer their college plans for a variety of mental, emotional, social or financial reasons. Usually, they will attempt to secure employment as an alternative to continuing education right away. In doing so, they may actually make their path to success that much clearer.
Working for a year or so gives students the chance to save up money for college tuition, books and other expenses. Some employers even reimburse students for college costs if their area of study is related to the job. The military is also an option, offering monetary support for future schooling as long as the enlisted individual serves a certain period of time.
Gaining Work Experience
It can be difficult to decide on a major before you've had any real career experience. Working after high school allows you the opportunity to try out different fields, deciding what suits you and what doesn't. You will also learn how to work well with your boss and co-workers, which are valuable interpersonal skills for any job.
Learning About Interests
Even if you don't plan to pursue a career in the place you're working, you can still learn helpful skills. For example, you may not enjoy waitressing in a hectic restaurant, but you will quickly master the art of multitasking in this environment. These are skills that you can later highlight in your resume and interviews.
Enhancing College Applications
By working after high school, you will have something new to add to your resume and college applications. Colleges may look more kindly on a well-rounded, persistent applicant who had to work to pursue her dreams of higher education.
Honing Job-Search Skills
You will have to learn how to write a resume, search for jobs and develop interviewing skills if you take the working route after high school. That means you'll already have a jump on your peers, who likely won't have this kind of experience until after they graduate from college.
Because you're entering the working world early, you have a chance to build up a network of professional contacts. These relationships can come in handy later when you need a reference or recommendation. Someone you meet at your job might also be able to introduce you to someone in your preferred career path. Or you may perform so well at your job that your employer offers a full-time, better-paying position once you complete college.
April Marie has written and edited for newspapers, magazines and newsletters. She covers business communication, management, technology, art, health and fashion. Marie earned her B.A. in journalism from New York University.