For many students, deciding what to do after 12th Grade can be overwhelming. You have the opportunity to pursue higher education or begin your career, but you have so many options it can be hard to know where to start. If you’re unsure what direction you want to go in yet, don’t worry—that’s perfectly normal! This guide will help you determine which path is right for you and walk you through the steps of beginning your journey.
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The U.S. Model of Education
The American education system is known for many things, including its focus on standardized testing. The U.S. model prioritizes college as a means of social mobility and tends to offer vocational and general education courses in addition to subjects like math, science, and English. Many students in other countries don’t have access to these subjects in school, so international students should consider taking advantage of U.S.-based educational opportunities if they want an actual American high school experience. It can also be helpful to get your feet wet by taking an online course or two before committing to a degree program—this way, you can find out what classes are available at different schools and even sample material from various disciplines. It’s never too early (or late) to start planning your post-high school future!
The World Model of Education
As of 2010, all countries subscribe to one of three education models. The first model is called The World Model and is used by most modernized countries across Europe and North America. This model involves a high school diploma or equivalent, followed by four college years. Most people in these countries will pursue a bachelor’s degree after high school graduation; however, some students choose to get an associate’s degree instead. In addition to college degrees, many students in The World Model also enroll in vocational schools for training in specific fields such as accounting or cosmetology.
The Asian Model of Education
In Asia, higher education is not only an opportunity for personal growth and career success—it’s a virtual prerequisite for social mobility. Students in countries like China, South Korea, and Japan are expected to spend days preparing for and taking tests. The average student spends four or more hours studying outside of school daily; some spend up to 10 hours per day focused on homework and test prep. This is often referred to as cramming or burning the midnight oil. These extended hours spent studying can be grueling, but they also teach students how to manage their time effectively and take ownership of their educational experience.
All Three Models have Similarities.
One of the most common criticisms of America’s education system is that it overcomplicates high school graduation requirements. Students have a dizzying array of options, and it can be difficult for them (and their parents) to choose. For example, while a typical path through high school might look like: elementary school ,→ middle school, → high school, students in different states may face other prospects—which can feel intimidating and confusing. However, as you dig deeper into each model, you’ll find that they all offer similar opportunities. Whether you want to pursue college prep or vocational training after high school, plenty of pathways are available for your future success.
Some Differences Between the Systems
The number of educational options after high school can be dizzying. Some choices are available for any student, no matter their post-graduation plans. Other options are only open to students who have decided on a specific course of study. In addition, some programs allow you to earn college credit while still in high school; others don’t award college credit until you’ve completed an associate degree at a community college or university. Understanding how each option works and which one might work best for your situation is essential.
How Does This Affect Which Classes Students Take?
If students are not planning on going to college, they might be able to get a head start on their future careers by taking classes that help prepare them for those positions. Students must also have an idea of what they want out of life because many jobs require certain degrees. It is also beneficial for students to make sure their credits will transfer over if they plan on continuing their education in college. This can save time and money. Students should consider these factors when deciding which classes to take after high school.
How does this Affect Which Degree Students Pursue?
A common way students decide what they should do after graduation is by determining what field they’d like to study. For example, if you have a passion for science, you might decide that your best option is a bachelor’s degree in biology or chemistry. Or, if you enjoy history and want to pursue teaching as a career, you might pursue an education degree. But there are many other factors to consider when choosing which program is right for you. These include how much money you can expect to make with each degree, how long it will take you to complete each program, and whether any prerequisites are required before enrolling in specific programs.
There are many paths you can take after 12th Grade. You don’t have to be held back by traditional notions of success and what it means for your future. With some research, creativity, and initiative, you can chart your path toward reaching your goals and landing a career you enjoy.