The benefits of continuing education after high school

Monday, November 30, 2020
Written by: Mark Richardson

For high school graduates, deciding whether to pursue higher education or enter the workforce and start earning money may be a difficult decision. 

But the benefits of pursuing a four-year bachelor’s degree, a two-year associate degree, or a technical or career certificate can help you get hired in a well-paying job and put you on track for long-term career success.

Many businesses require a post high school credential to even consider an applicant for a job. Pursuing a certificate or degree right after high school puts you ahead of the game when it comes to landing your dream job.

Seminole State’s bachelor’s degree programs in high-demand careers offer many benefits including professors with real-world experience, a hands-on education, advising from specialists who understand the unique needs of bachelor's degree students, and strong business and industry partnerships so your skills are in line with current and future industry needs.

An Associate in Science (A.S.) degree prepares graduates for immediate entry into a career. According to state data, most Seminole State A.S. programs have placement rates above 90 percent.

Seminole State’s Associate in Arts (A.A.) Degree Program is a two-year course of study that parallels the first two years of a bachelor's degree in the State University System. The credits you earn at Seminole State can be transferred to any of Florida’s 12 public universities including the University of Central Florida (UCF).  With our nationally recognized DirectConnect™ to UCF partnership, we also provide an affordable path to the amazing opportunities offered at UCF with guaranteed admission to UCF’s bachelor’s programs as a junior for our AA graduates. AA graduates can also easily transfer to the University of Florida’s UF Online program to pursue a bachelor’s degree in subjects not offered by Seminole State.

Certificates are a great option for those looking for a fast-track approach to a new career or renew or enhance their skills in their existing role. Seminole State's career certificates and Rapid Skills programs blend classroom instruction and practical, real-world training, often in the actual work environment. In many cases, you can also stack credentials, applying credits from the certificate toward an Associate in Science (A.S.) or bachelor's degree at Seminole State.

Seminole State College partners with Seminole County Public Schools and works closely with their high school counselors to offer high school students the resources and benefits of pursuing a college degree.

“Postsecondary education is essential, as students can have more career opportunities, higher salaries, and room to grow in their career paths,” said Meghann Bratton, M.A., Certified School Counselor at Lake Howell High School. 

Today’s in demand careers are technical-related and require either a certificate, a bachelor’s degree, or a master’s degree. Students who pursue these careers can build upon their skills and continue their education while in the field.

“The job market is constantly becoming increasingly more competitive, and students absolutely must earn a high school diploma and pursue a post-secondary education to be considered by employers,” said Haleigh Cain, M.Ed., School Counselor at Lake Howell High School.

There are many options when it comes to continuing education after high school.   While it may seem overwhelming, high school counselors are there to help students determine the best education and career path that will set them up for success. 

And it is worth continuing to higher education to boost lifetime earnings and job security. It is estimated that bachelor’s degree graduates make over $1 million dollars more in their lifetime than non-bachelor’s grads according to a Georgetown University study. [1]

Of the 7.1 million net jobs lost during the economic downturn that followed the financial crisis in 2007, nearly all were occupied by workers holding less than a bachelor’s degree. But only 3.2 million of the jobs added during the recovery went to those without a bachelor’s degree— and the vast majority of those were people with at least an associate degree. Since the Great Recession, almost 75 percent of new jobs have gone to bachelor’s degree holders, and the current pandemic has only exacerbated instability and job loss for those without degrees. 32% of layoffs in the first month of the pandemic were those with a high school diploma or less. 30% of those laid off had some college, but no degree.

Tiffany Mfune, author of The College Completion Glass—Half Full or Half Empty? found, “The benefits of earning a college degree are undeniable; college graduates are less likely to be unemployed, more likely to have health benefits and more likely to own a home. College graduates earn more money, live healthier lifestyles, have longer life expectancy, report greater satisfaction levels and claim higher quality of life.” [2]

With more than 200 degrees and programs, Seminole State continues to work with our education partners, as well as business and industry leaders to ensure that our programs are aligned with the demands of the Central Florida region so together, we can all
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