The Decision of a Lifetime: Entering the Workforce Perspective


Shelbee Burke, Web Editor

After graduating from high school, many students feel pushed to attend a college or some sort of postsecondary schooling. But if a student is not engaged and willing to be at that college, that may end up being a waste of time and money. According to, 40% of college students in the United States drop out. Sometimes the best option is entering straight into the workforce. 

If a student wishes to join the workforce after graduation, it may be a good idea for them to take classes in high school that pertain to what they want to do. For example, if someone wants to become a ranch hand after graduating, taking agriculture classes that relate to animals, farming and ranching would be a good choice for them.

Tabi Stanec, who graduated from AHS last year, is someone who joined the workforce right after graduating. She currently works at the Animal Center as a Technician’s Assistant. When asked why she entered the workforce right after graduating she explained, “Honestly, I was super overwhelmed with scholarships, emails and always talking about college. Covid helped because it gave me a little extra time to decide what I wanted to do.”

Some careers may require prior or on the job training which could take some time, but not as long as a four-year college education would take. These jobs may also require some sort of state test or certification. Some examples of jobs that may require this include wind turbine technicians, maintenance and repair workers, police dispatchers and medical records technicians. 

Entering the workforce is a good option for students who eventually want to further their education but are not sure exactly what they want to do yet. This option will allow them to earn money that they can then save to pay for postsecondary education. They can also choose to be a part-time student taking online or in-person classes. This would provide them a chance to have a source of income while also earning a degree. Stanec was just accepted into Purdue’s Veterinary Nurse Distance Learning Program, which she will begin in July. She stated, “College will always be there so you do not have to go right out of high school. I took a gap year and I am on a totally different career path than I would have been in if I went to college directly after high school, and I am much happier.”

Stanec remarked, “College is not for everyone, if you have any doubt that you do not want to go, do not go! It is very expensive and they are not lying when they say it is not for everyone.” Entering into the workforce is an excellent option for many high school graduates. It allows them time to decide what they want to do as a career while earning money. It can help them determine what they are interested in and what they are not interested in.