College is enlightening, exciting, expensive, and time-consuming, …and it’s not for everyone. Plenty of career paths do not require any college education, and the push to send everyone to college has faded into the background in the face of a changing workforce. Instead of focusing on college-bound course requirements, homeschool students who don’t plan to attend college have the opportunity to use the flexibility and freedom of your homeschool choice to turn them into a competitor in the job market.
And the job market is waiting for young people who are willing to demonstrate a solid work ethic, attention to detail, and a willingness to work independently and as part of team in plenty of different fields. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics analyzed educational attainment for workers 25 years old and over and reported that the majority of industries provided job opportunities for individuals with only a high school diploma or equivalent.
It’s time to encourage your non college bound homeschool student to see the opportunities available to them in the future! Here are some important ways to get them ready for the workforce and give them an advantage over their peers attending a traditional school.
Sure, most teens need to plan ahead. That’s undeniable. But for homeschool students, even if college isn’t in their future, they are still going to need to document their educational experience. If you are using an accredited online program or homeschooling through a service that provides you with transcripts and a diploma, then you’re already on the right track! You will be able to prove that your student has their academic minimums taken care of for any job that requires proof of graduation.
If you’re putting together curriculum yourself with some individual online courses and some self-created coursework, then you’ll want to keep ample records of the work and be in communication with your state’s Department of Education to make sure you’re homeschooler will be able to work in any position they want in the future.
Some jobs will require a high school diploma, while others are satisfied with a graduation equivalency exam (the GED). For students who aren’t going to earn an accredited diploma, being ready to take and pass all sections of the GED is essential to prepare them for the workforce.
Independent Career Research
Freedom and flexibility are two key words for homeschool families. And what important words they are! Using the freedom and flexibility you have as a homeschool family to make sure your student has a solid grasp about their skills and interests will provide them with an impressive foundation to build on. Employers are thrilled to find young people who have a solid idea about who they are and what their goals are.
One of the steps you can take to make sure your homeschool student is ready to for the workforce is to help them explore their skills and interests by taking a couple of free online aptitude tests. Doing so might help your student recognize strengths they didn’t know they had, giving them the encouragement and support they need to achieve their goals.
Once your student has a couple of ideas about what they might want to do after high school, you can help them explore those careers through the Mapping Your Future tools recommended by the U.S. Department of Education. Your student can review careers by cluster, checking out fields related to healthcare support, farming, construction, military specialties, food service, and many others. Job exploration can open your child’s mind to all the possibilities they have stretched in front of them.
Your child can even start experiencing roles related to their interests right now! Homeschool students have the chance to use a flexible schedule to either job shadow or easily fit a part time job into their schedules. This advantage can help them either walk right into a position after high school because of their experience or eliminate work experiences that they know they don’t want to pursue as a career.
You can find opportunities for virtual job shadowing online, but if you call around to companies in your community that specialize in your student’s career interests, you’re sure to find someone who will open their doors to your student. Job shadowing opens your student’s eyes to the realities of the type of work they’ll be doing so that there are fewer surprises when they start on their path after high school. Another advantage job shadowing does is that while they’re observing, they are also making important connections in their field of interest.
Having a part time job teaches plenty of important skills: time management, teamwork, professional expectations, structure, and general responsibility. Beyond the workplace, a part time job offers your child the chance to learn about managing their money and gives them a chance to save for a solid foundation once they graduate. On top of these benefits, a student who works develops interpersonal skills that can give them far more confidence than those inexperienced in the workforce.
Do you want your child to stand out in the crowd when they start their career journey? Then helping them have a better understanding of who they are and giving them time to explore their interests is an exciting way to do that. Homeschool students have time to explore their hobbies, figure out what they believe, and learn about their strengths and weaknesses. They also have a more flexible schedule to add volunteer work and community engagement activities to the list of experiences that will help them see the world through a more mature and empathetic scope. This type of independent and introspective behavior will help your young person stand out in a sea of their peers.
About Northgate Academy
If you’re not already a Northgate Academy family but are interested in using our faith-based online high school program as an accredited choice for your Christian student or as a resource for homeschool coursework, you can check out our programs online. Although we welcome and support our part-time students as well, every full time student at NGA is assigned an Academic Success Coach, can email their instructors with questions, can reach out to staff through online chat and text, and has access to one-on-one tutoring through Train The Brain.
Still have questions? Feel free to send us a text at 763-412-4701 or call us at 800-339-7132. Our academic support team will be happy to answer your questions or help guide you to the best program for you or your child.