Getting ready for life after high school


Leah Gossett

Senior Emporress Gossett in her scrubs for the Health Science Clinicals class.

As an increasing number of students do not wish to continue with a college education after high school, other options have become available. Some of these include certifications and trade schools. However, before someone can even think about that, they need to know what to do in order to move out of their guardian’s home.

“[students] need to figure out how they’re going to be able to support themselves, having those conversations with their parents if their parents are going to help support them when they move out,” head counselor Heather Huffaker said. “What’s going to be expected of them, almost putting together a spreadsheet of ‘what are my bills going to be’ if they are going to be completely on their own.”

For students who want to go straight into the workforce, there are certifications that will help them get a job, and classes for those certifications are offered here.

“Our CTE courses prepare them in many different ways for the workforce whether that be welding or auto tech or culinary arts or whatever that may be,” Huffaker said. “Students get those skills from our classes and then they take certification exams that prove that they know their stuff for those career areas.”

After getting certified, students are able to take those certifications to go get a job, and the person looking at the resume will be more inclined to look at those who are certified before someone who is not.

“That puts them a step ahead by having that certification,” Huffaker said.

As for going into a trade school, places like Weatherford College and Tarrant County College have what could be called trade school programs, because they have programs like welding, auto tech, culinary arts, etc. In addition, a student could go to a private trade school, where they pay money to go learn specific skills.

“Take, for example, a company called UTI (Universal Technical Institute),” Huffaker said. “They train students on working on cars, they are a private trade school. So students pay around $40,000 to go to UTI to get those skills.”

For those going into the workforce without a certification or experience, they need to look at what is required to move up in the company and if there is any additional education required. Basically, what it is going to take for them to move up, to make the money needed to keep them or them and their family economically stable, while getting the benefits they want from that company, before applying for that job.

“Let’s say a student graduates from here and they go work for McDonald’s,” Huffaker said. “You could move up from someone who makes the burgers to someone who’s the manager to someone who owns a franchise and so forth. There is a career ladder for any job.”

By using resources like UTI, going through CTE courses provided to get a certification, etc. students are taking a big step in beginning their life after high school.