I do not automatically suggest college as the only post high school alternative.
I was recently meeting with a family from Essex, Connecticut and extolling the virtues of exploring the trades (plumbing in particular) and the military for their son who had straight Ds in high school. So to be clear, I am not someone who pushes college for everyone. But… given my career counseling work for young adults, I know with certainty that the following are true:
1.) The work world is not kind to 18-22 year olds (college age kids who are not in college). Those who are learning a trade or in the military are the two areas where this is not true. Otherwise, most 18-22 year olds are stuck in non-career building and non-career skill building jobs.
2.) Like it or not, there is a stigma to not attending college. Those from places like Essex (or Guilford, Madison, Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, East Lyme and other Shoreline, CT locations) who forego college (and are not on a distinct path such as trade school/armed forces) often feel badly about themselves. This is not my view but simply reporting of the issue from having worked with dozens (hundreds) of young adults – mostly men – who are floundering without college/path. They feel badly and even if their parents or others tell them that “it’s not a big deal”, it is to them. They feel strange dating and they also don’t like to see their friends who in college. This is not good for their mental health.
3.) There are not a lot of good options for those who forego college. My suggestions to consider the trades or the military are almost always dismissed. Suburban kids from idyllic coastal towns in Connecticut are not naturally attracted to either option. If I say kiddingly – social media influencer – most actually listen closely but, of course, most (as in 99%) have little chance on making a living doing so.
Boys are foundering in a way that is changing society. College is still the best option. Don’t let your boy become another statistic. Contact us now.
It’s become something of a ritual to debate the value of a college degree, but as Current Population Survey data show, there has been a sharp decline in employment among non-college-educated men compared with those who have college degrees