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What Should I Do When I Leave High School: Work After Graduation?

As you get closer to graduation, it can feel like you are at a crossroads with so many options for what you should do next. You’re probably feeling overwhelmed by the input from your parents, teachers, siblings, and friends. They all want what’s best for you, but it can be so confusing.

Don’t worry. This blog series breaks down all the options you have after graduating from high school. First up: heading straight into the workforce.

Should You Work After Graduation?

Surprised? This probably wasn’t your first thought, and may not be what your parents suggest either, and there’s a really good reason for that. Back when your parents graduated, there was a very structured path suggested to them, which often included a university degree. Today though, there are just so many more options available.

In the next 10 years, over 20% of the entire population of Canada will be over retirement age. While not all of these people will retire right away, many of the 7.3 million Canadians will, and there aren’t enough young people to fill the positions they vacate.

There are jobs available right now, meaning you can start to make a significant income as soon as you graduate. You won’t have to worry about saving money for university, or going into student debt. You might actually be able to move out on your own, buy a car, and start to live the life you want.

Where Can You Work Right After Graduation?

You can start a career with a steady income and an amazing work-life balance right away. There’s no need to work in menial or low-paying jobs, because there are cutting-edge, high-tech industries that are looking for employees right now.

There are over 1.7 million people employed in manufacturing in Canada, and as the workforce ages, there will be plenty of opportunity for you to capitalize on. Beyond great pay, benefits, and security, jobs in manufacturing are interesting and keep you engaged. It’s an industry that uses technology to push the envelope, and you can be an integral part of solving complex problems and learning every day.


Options for Education After Working

In some cases, a company will provide all the skills development that you will ever need, with specialized on-the-job training. They may even have apprenticeship programs to support you getting a certification as you continue to work. You’ll get the best of both worlds: a steady income and the option to return to school.

The other bonus when it comes to jumping straight into the workforce is that you can test out the industry, and really figure out what you love. Maybe you were considering going to university to be an industrial engineer - but what if, when you started at a manufacturing plant, you discovered that you’d much rather work with your hands than on a computer? You’ll have saved yourself time and money by working before going on to further schooling. If you decide to return to school after working, you’ll have some money to do so more comfortably.

Consider Working Before Investing in Education

With jobs available now, in exciting industries with steady pay, why wouldn’t you explore the work after graduation option? You can start your adult life on a stable financial footing before you consider whether to invest in further education. You’ll have a better idea of what you really want out of a career, and you may find exactly what you desire in a job, without the additional schooling.

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