Plan My Career

Start your journey – discover your destination

Middle School

Discover Your Interests

High School

Develop Your Skills

Post-Secondary

Pursue Advancement

Mid-Career

Refocus Your Path

Student Learning Trade Skills
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Middle School

It’s Never Too Soon to Start Thinking About Your Future Career

Middle school is a great time to start thinking about the future. There’s no pressure to make decisions now, but it’s fun to begin wondering what direction you will go.

The best place to start is by simply asking yourself: What do I like to do already? What interests me now? Many career paths begin with hobbies and natural skills.

Start with your hobbies

Hobbies can sharpen your mind, develop your body, and lead to studying certain subjects that naturally position you to be passionate about a subject that can become an enjoyable career.

What do you love to do?

Consider what you have already proven to be pretty good at. What kind of activities, games, books, hobbies and interests are you naturally drawn?

These additional resources will help you think more about what you like to do now – and how that can lead you to a rewarding career.

High School

Explore Your Skills

You love it. You’re good at it. Maybe you can get paid for it!

What are your options in high school?

Everyone’s already asking you – what do you want to do for a living? You’re asking yourself the same things.

When considering your future – what to study, what line of work to consider – start with what you already know.

There’s a lot to consider. How can you tell what line of training, education and career best suits you?

Well, high school will go fast – so now is the best time to explore your options.

Career training

Let’s start with career training you can get while you are still in high school. You can begin immediately in high school in two ways – With Career Technical Education and Pre-Apprenticeship programs.

If you plan on continuing your education and training after high school, you have many options to consider. Explore your options for 2-year and 4-year college education or technical training.

Develop Your Skills

High school is a great time to explore your interests that can lead to your next step. Learn more. Find a place to volunteer. Start your next step, based upon the things you love to do now. Here are some additional resources to help you think more about this:

Student Learning Trade Skills
Students Learning with Technology

Career Technical Education

Career Technical Education (CTE) programs begin in high school, preparing 11th and 12th grade students for a wide range of high-wage, high-skill, high-demand careers. Students are trained to begin work upon graduation, and given a solid foundation to continue in college – often with college credits already earned.

Every southeast Ohio high school participates in a CTE program that typically includes a consortium of other nearby schools, providing a variety of students a chance to meet new students with similar interests as they work as a team in hands-on learning experiences.

Career fields typically include careers in manufacturing, public safety, information technology, architecture and construction, agriculture and more.

Pre-Apprenticeships

Pre-apprenticeship programs begin in high school.

Career professions like plumbing, pipefitting, electrical work, welding, heavy equipment operation and others typically require completion of an apprenticeship.

This apprenticeship can begin with pre-apprenticeship training and criteria while still in high school. If students meet attendance, GPA and drug test requirements, they can enter a program and earn while they learn. In addition to a paid work component, students acquire labor union affiliation and upon graduation, be already earning hourly wages often ranging from $25-35 per hour – depending on the field and program.

More Information

To learn more about the pre-apprenticeship programs – including your school’s rules and participating local companies – chat with us or use the resources below.

Make over $25/hour right out of High School with a pre-apprenticeship!

Student Learning Trade Skills

Stuck in Your Career?

You might be in mid-career – but not going in the direction you want. Now you’re ready for a change.

You may feel like your job doesn’t provide you the challenges that will bring out your true talent. You want to acquire the credentials needed to land the job that shows the best you have to offer.

Or perhaps you’ve lost your job as a result of reductions in workforce. What you need is the training and education to get back in to the game in a career that’s valued.

Post High School

Education Options After High School

Your many options include 2-year degrees, 4-year-degrees, advanced degrees and other accreditation and training paths.

Career Technical Education – which is taken in high school and prepares students for jobs upon graduation – also positions you to continue on to earn 2- and 4- year degrees.

Explore your options. Discover which suit you best.

Tell me more about:

Ohio Technical Centers

Education and training in automotive technology, welding and fabrication, health technology, public safety, agriculture, culinary arts and other fields.

2-Year Degrees / Community Colleges / Associate Degrees

40% of U.S. undergraduates attend community colleges. Earn associate degrees and certificates that focus on career readiness. Great preparation for a bachelor’s degree, too.

4-Year Degrees (Colleges and Universities)

Position graduates for careers in education, business, science, education in professions that require bachelor’s degrees or who want to pursue master’s and PhD level study.

Ohio Technical Centers

Many workers who are underemployed or unemployed turn to Ohio Technical Centers (OTCs) for training programs that often lead to direct employment in automotive technology, welding and fabrication, health technology, public safety, agriculture, culinary arts and other fields.

These provide market-driven workforce education and training in more than 90 career-technical planning districts throughout the state of Ohio. They are highly responsive and flexible in meeting the needs of employers to provide customized business services and train their incumbent workers. Services at local OTCs include:

  • Career guidance/counseling
  • Comprehensive assessment services
  • Financial aid assistance
  • Employability/job readiness instruction
  • Job placement assistance
  • Short term training targeted toward high-skill, high-wage, high-demand occupations
  • Training that leads to industry-recognized credentials
  • Specialized services for employers

Didn’t Finish High School? Don’t Let That Hold You Back.

Just because you didn’t finish high school doesn’t mean it’s all over. Lots of people go back and get their high school degree – and so can you! You can earn that high school degree or its equivalent in several ways. One is through our Ohio Technical Centers. Their helpful counselors will explain the details and connect you to a program that will help you earn that credential and keep you moving on track to your new training and career.

Pluses of a Technical College Education

  • Costs less than a four-year college
  • Shorter programs – most last two years or less – you enter workforce sooner
  • Hands-on experience and career-focused education

Considerations

Because of focused programs – if you decide to switch gear half-way through, much of your training may not be applicable to your new field of study.

Student Learning Trade Skills
Students Learning with Technology

College-Bound

Once you get out of high school, you may want to go straight to college. Or you may have been out of school for awhile. You’re in the workforce and you know for sure you want to go to college. Here are your options:

2-Year-Degrees/Community Colleges/Associate Degrees

40% of U.S. undergraduates attend community colleges. Earn associate degrees and certificates that focus on career readiness. Great preparation for a bachelor’s degree, too.

Tell me more!

4-Year Degrees/Colleges and Universities

Position graduates for careers in education, business, science, education in professions that require bachelor’s degrees or for those who want to pursue master’s and PhD level study.

Tell me more!

Two-Year Degrees

Considering the two-year option? You’re not alone. More than 40 percent of U.S. undergraduate students attend community colleges. Students who are 18 to 24 years old make up the largest age group. Community colleges also attract working adults, retirees and others.

You can think of the two-year plan in two different ways:

You are seeking a two-year which can be offered at a community college or a four-year university. Or you are opting for a community college education.

Both will offer you completion of an Associate degree or some other accreditation or certification that will lead to employment. Associate degrees are foundations upon which to eventually earn a four-year Bachelor’s degree.

Community college is the most common type of two-year college. These colleges offer many types of educational programs, including those that lead to associate degrees and certificates. Certificates and some types of associate degrees focus on career readiness. Other types of associate degrees are good preparation for study at a four-year college where graduates can earn a bachelor’s degree.

Pluses of a Two-Year Degree

  • Low-cost plus you can still be eligible for financial aid
  • Designed to make it easy to transfer to 4-year university
  • Study-Life balance – about 60% of community college students attend part time
  • Great option for nontraditional students like older students or students with family and work obligations
  • You can earn associate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs – all in high demand in the workforce
  • Often provide smaller class sizes for more one-on-one with instructors
  • Many offer online classes

Considerations

  • While many community colleges have extensive programs, they will not offer as many as you will find at a 4-year university.
  • While there are some clubs and organizations, there are limits to campus life, as students often work and commute from home off campus.

Four-Year Colleges

Four-year colleges offer bachelor’s degrees on their graduates. The majority of four-year institutions fall into one of several categories: liberal arts colleges, research universities, arts colleges, and conservatories. Each type of school is different and offers unique opportunities to its students, including research positions, extracurricular opportunities, and a selection of academic or artistic programs.

Pluses of a Four-Year Degree

  • Overall, studies indicate that a 4-year college degree increases your earning potential
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you will statistically have stronger job stability
  • A university offers more majors and choices in fields of study
  • A well-rounded college experience that includes on-campus living, group activities, athletics and more

Considerations

  • You can get lost in the crowd – classes can be large and student numbers high. Be sure to research student population numbers.
  • Tuition costs are skyrocketing – soaring more than 300% since 1900. This can leave you with a great burden of debt.
Student Learning Trade Skills

You Started College But Stopped.

Now What?

It’s common to give college or university life a try, but it’s not for everyone. That’s okay. There’s no reason to feel like you’ve failed. You are learning – through trial and error – what is best for you and what isn’t. Anyone with great life experience will tell you that you learn by doing. That experience itself is a great education.

Consider Your Next Options

After trying college, and deciding that’s it not for you at this time, keep moving forward by considering other options, such as:

Ohio Technical Centers (OTCs)

Education and training in automotive technology, welding and fabrication, health technology, public safety, agriculture, culinary arts and other fields.

Tell me more!

2-Year-Degrees/Community Colleges/Associate Degrees

40% of U.S. undergraduates attend community colleges. Earn associate degrees and certificates that focus on career readiness. Great preparation for a bachelor’s degree, too.

Tell me more!

Jobs that will be needed in the Shale Crescent area by the year 2025