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What's next after high school? How to talk with kids about options

Some graduates may not want to head to college and choose to explore other options. Talking about their plan can be tough for parents and families.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Graduation season is in full swing with college graduations underway and high school ceremonies coming up at the end of the month. 

Not all high school graduates will be heading off to college in the fall. Some high school graduates don’t want to go to college, while others want a gap year, delaying college for a year. 

Some parents may not be happy about their kids not going straight to college from high school.

College might be a parent’s dream, but not their kid’s reality. Many parents think that a college education will mean that their kids will get a higher-paying job. 

This isn’t always the case. It depends on the area of study. Several professions require a master’s degree or higher. On the other hand, other jobs don't require a traditional 4-year degree and may have different education requirements. 

For example, the minimum educational requirement for a dental hygienist is an associate's degree. Although, many dental hygiene programs offer bachelor's and master's degrees and require licensure.

Many parents are looking forward to getting their kids off of their payroll. As parents know, raising children isn’t cheap. 

Some parents might feel that if their kids don’t get a decent paying job, their kids will rely on them for money. This is the reason that some parents want their kids to earn a college degree.

As a parent, you can have your kid figure out all the expenses they’d have to pay from rent, gas, car payment, car insurance, utilities, cable, internet, mobile phone, health insurance, retirement, food, vacation, etc. 

Have your kid figure out the average cost of all the living expenses based on their research. Then ask them what kind of job they’d need with what sort of pay to cover their living expenses. 

Then have them compare that to the average salary of a college degree in the area they’re interested. It’ll be an eye-opener for them.

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