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For many students this is a time of great anticipation while awaiting replies from colleges. However, for many other students it is a time of dread while they struggle with plans for after graduation. Their future may include attending college eventually, but not right now. Some have never considered going on to further education, much less attending college. Others could not care less if they ever opened another book. All of these are understandable positions, but...

Consider this:

  • People who have an education beyond high school increase their earning potential and job opportunities. Based on lifetime earnings that can mean 36% to 44% more than those who have only a high school degree.
  • Those with a high school diploma earn a median income of $27,000/year, while those with an Associate Degree (2 years) earn a median income of $34,000/year, and those with a College Degree (4 years or more) earn a median income of $49,000/year according to the Oregon Employment Department.
  • Your chance of being unemployed at some time almost doubles if you have only a high school diploma.
  • You are graduating into a high tech world and the fastest growing jobs will be those that require higher levels of education and skill. You have approximately 45 years of employment ahead of you - how do you want to spend that time?

Education beyond high school does not have to be a four-year degree:

  • Two-year community colleges are an excellent place to begin exploring career options. You can study anything from Accounting or Auto Repair to Wildland Fire Technology or Winemaking. A student can attain a certificate in a specific field, and Associate Degree or be in the transfer track to a four-year school.
  • If two more years of education sounds like a lifetime consider a certificate program. Career opportunities in these programs are also endless from Aviation Maintenance to Radio-TV Videography to Dental Assisting. Certificate Programs vary in time commitment from a few months to a year.
  • A technical school may be the best answer to satisfy your interests. Key technology jobs will increase by an average of 75% by 2006 according to the U.S. Department of Labor. An interest in electronics, computers, and the Internet could lead to a career in Telecommunications or Computer-aided Drafting or Industrial Design.
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