What if college isn’t the best option?

When we have children, there are expectations that society has for us, and for them. They should be outgoing, yet well-behaved. They should do well in school, yet focus on sports. They should sign up for SAT courses, ace the SAT, get accepted to an excellent school, and stride into adulthood flush with confidence. But college isn’t always the best option for everyone. What if your child wants to head in a different direction?

Family therapy can help everyone consider alternatives, and also consider this. Some statistics will tell you that college graduates will gain greater job security and higher earning power. But here are a few other statistics you might not be aware of.

  1. Of the 30 most popular professions, most will require some form of post-high school education, but not a full four-year (or more) degree. Trade schools, community colleges and certificate programs all provide the means to learn in-demand skills for a much smaller financial investment.
  2. Entrepreneurs take a massive risk, but over 22 million people in America have tried to start their own business. That’s over 14% of the workforce, and even if your teen fails, they’ll gain invaluable experience and be able to use that knowledge to try again.
  3. If you’re willing and able to support your teen financially for another few years, volunteer work can be eye opening. It’s an inexpensive way to learn about new fields, meet new people, see new places, and do some good along the way.

Ultimately, the path your child takes may not lead through the halls of higher education. But if it provides them a way of expanding their minds and experiencing real growth, it could be a journey worth taking.