Moving Forward after High School: What Options do Cleveland Students Have?

Photo Of A High School Graduation - United Way of Greater ClevelandWith high school graduation rates on the rise, more students are entering the working world with a high school diploma or equivalent than ever before. Moving toward financial stability, students in Greater Cleveland have a number of options after high school—from entering the workforce to attending a university—and there are support services for whatever path students choose.

Attending a College or University

Many higher-paying positions require some type of degree or certificate. Many schools offer scholarships for continuing education opportunities, and outside organizations like College Now of Greater Cleveland provide further funding avenues, as well as mentorship and counseling opportunities.

Learning a Trade

For recent grads who don’t want to spend another four years in school but would like to secure a stable, good-paying job, trade schools offer an attractive alternative. While many high schools have done away with their vocational programs, many community colleges and organizations offer partnerships with businesses to provide continuing education opportunities.

For example, The Centers for Families and Children’s El Barrio Workforce Development program, funded in part by United Way of Greater Cleveland, offers training in hospitality and service industries. It also maintains partnerships with Cuyahoga County Community College and the Cleveland Regional Transit Authority to offer three-month programs for mechanics and train or bus operators.

Going Directly into the Workforce

Some students may choose to move directly into the working world, and they can find stable employment in several industries throughout Greater Cleveland, including restaurant, retail, and nonprofit work.

Cleveland is a nationally recognized foodie paradise and offers recent graduates the chance to work in everything from Korean barbecue to rooftop bars and lounges. The restaurant industry can prepare employees for future careers in culinary arts and possible entrepreneurship.

Retail work can help anyone from fashionistas at major labels to tech-heads working at a computer repair store find their niche.

Nonprofit work through an organization offering a living stipend, like AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps, offers recent graduates a chance to travel while helping those in need at home and abroad.

Programs like Youth Opportunities Unlimited’s Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates can provide career coaching and support, including career exploration, summer job placements, and internships.

These are just a few of the many partners working with United Way of Greater Cleveland to find financial stability for recent high school graduates. Whether grads hope to pursue continuing education opportunities or enter the workforce directly, options abound!

Photo Credit: US Department of Education

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