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Tips for Graduates: Options Other than 4-Year Colleges

Tips for Graduates: Options Other than 4-Year Colleges

July 09, 2019

Only a few generations ago, high-school graduates rarely went on to college. But, through the years, going to a 4-year college after graduating from high school has become the standard. It goes without saying the world has changed. And with the rising costs of 4-year colleges, parents and students need to consider other options. Tyler Gehrking, KCEO instructor at Willmar Public Schools discusses other options for high school grads.

{AUDIO} Tips for Graduates: Options Other than 4-Year Colleges

Get work experience

Kandiyohi CEO (KCEO) is a class offered to 20 area high school juniors and seniors that meet from 7:15am to 8:45am Monday through Friday during the school year. Students meet at local businesses. Over the course of the year, they will have experienced 80 business cultures and met over 150 business people throughout our community. If you or your child has already graduated high school, job shadows and internships are great options for the summer months to gain this work experience.

Consider a "gap year"

Taking a year off after high school can be a great option. However, it must be executed with intentionality. Pick four or five different industries and setup two to three-month "micro-internships" at each one. Try to be an assistant to the highest level employee or manager. Add value where you can and don't do it for free. Accept some pay, but live at home during this gap year.

Check out Praxis

Praxis is a unique nine-month internship program started by Issac Morehouse. The first three months is leadership training which includes speaking skills, marketing and website design. During this time you pick a number of different industries in which you'd like to work. Praxis has partnerships with startup companies across the nation to pair you with during the remainder of your time in the program. The cost is $12,000, but during the apprenticeship you’ll make a minimum of $14,400, and the average salary upon graduation for Praxis grads is $50,000/year.

Go to Technical School

Getting a tech school education is the most direct-ROI education that exists. There are companies in the Willmar area that will pay for your tech schooling at Ridgewater College then hire you once you graduate. Obviously, tech schooling isn't for everyone, but if you enjoy this type of work, it's a great alternative to the typical 4-year college.

If you need help navigating your next step after high school graduation, we'd be glad to help.

You can call me at 320.222.4236 or you can email me at