Explore Your Options - Iowa College Access Network - ICAN

Explore Your Options

By now, you may already have some thoughts about what you want to do after graduation. High school is your opportunity to try your ideas out and see if they are a good fit for you.

If you don't know yet what you might like to do, don't worry: You don't have to identify a career for life. The important thing is to figure out what you like to do by choosing classes and activities that fit you. This will help you set goals, discover your interests, and a potential future career.

  • Try new activities
  • Take different classes
  • Explore careers through job shadows and internships
  • Choose high school classes and activities that are right for you.

This section can help you discover where your interests lie. It's never too early or too late to start. Like any major decision, choosing a career field is not easy, but the more thought and planning you put into the process the better off you'll be.

Options After High School

Many people believe that “college” means four more years; in reality college means any additional education or training after high school.

A paid job that provides on-the-job training in a highly skilled career. Typically someone new to the field learns the skills needed through training by a master craftsman, who is an expert in their field. They share skills and knowledge to help the apprentice become an expert too.

Nine Month Certificate/One Year Diploma
Full-time programs designed to provide core skills and knowledge needed to work in a specific professional field or enhance a current profession.

Two Year Degree (Associate’s degree)
Generally earned at a community college, a two year degree can focus on liberal arts (general education) as a step towards transferring to a four year college OR a two year degree can focus on specific career training that leads directly into employment. To explore career-training certificate and degree options throughout Iowa, visit www.curricunet.com/iowa_doe. CurricUNET provides program listings for every community college in Iowa.

Four Year Degree (Bachelor’s degree)
A combination of liberal arts (general education) courses and a specific course of study for a major area of interest.

Master or Doctorate Degree
Required for professions in medicine, law and higher levels of education, graduate level degrees are also attained in business administration and other specialty fields.

Military or Specialized Training
There are many options when considering military or specialized training in one of the seven branches of the U.S. military. The first step is to take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) which helps identify the correct Military Occupational Specialty. Basic training follows. There are also military academies and preparatory schools that focus on both academics and military training. Graduates enter service as officers, ranking higher than enlisted military personnel.

Copyright © 1998-2018 Iowa College Access Network. All Rights Reserved.