College, Career, Military: Soon-to-Be Graduates Weigh Options

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College, Career, Military: Soon-to-Be Graduates Weigh Options

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Every student will make a tough decision at the time of graduation. College, career or military are a few of their options.

Based on a 2016 study, 70 percent of students enroll in college after graduation. The remaining 30 percent start their career or join the military. 

“I want to go to college to be a nurse,” sophomore Dustiny Hayek said. “My dream is to go to the University of Louisville. I believe more kids should go to college because they are our future, and they dictate the direction that the economy goes in.”

I believe more kids should go to college because they are our future, and they dictate the direction that the economy goes in.”

— Dustiny Hayek

Freshman Jacob Grammel said he is already thinking about college.

“I want to go to college to be a Psychiatrist,” Grammel said. “I want to go to A&M for at least a masters, and then hopefully at least two years of experience from an internship. I want to help people. I hope more kids will make decisions for them, not to please anyone else. They have to live with it, not anyone else.”

After decades of pushing bachelor’s degrees, the United States Labor Force reports there is now a shortage of tradespeople. With 53 percent of skilled trades workers currently over the age of 45, and more than 20 percent reaching retirement age, manufacturers say the existing skilled trades gap is about to get larger. That’s good news for soon-to-be graduates who are looking for college alternatives. Senior Brendon Carbajal said he is still deciding his future plans, but is considering a technical school.

Trade school could be a better option because it focuses primarily on what you want to do and can set you up to be more successful.”

— Senior Brendon Carbajal

“Trade school could be a better option because it focuses primarily on what you want to do and can set you up to be more successful,” senior Brendon Carbajal said.

Some high paying skilled trade and vocation careers could include aircraft and avionics, electrical, welding, plumbing, automotive, construction, medical and technology.

“I don’t want to go to college,” freshman Kailee Kimbrell said. “College is super expensive, and if you’re willing to work hard then starting a career is your best choice.”

For students who are not interested in continuing their education, joining the military is another option. The military reports that it is on the brink of a recruitment crisis with most branches falling short of their recruitment goals last year. The Army alone is looking to add 4,000 troops over the next four years. Senior Jatyn Cruz plans to join the Marines after graduation.

“I picked this branch because it is what my aunt and dad did while I was growing up and I am used to the lifestyle,” Cruz said. “I think it is way more organized [as opposed to other branches of military] and it is also the more difficult branch but I love a good challenge. I chose the military because I don’t know what I would go to college for.”

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