Do I Need To Go To College?

So I did a vlog about this back in August but I archived it because I decided not to mix my college and career readiness videos with the randomness of my life. I don’t know if I will ever re-release it so until then, let me put it in a blog for content purposes.

When I started teaching high school, the number one question my students would ask me is “Do I Need To Go To College” and my response was always a resounding…

Then I would have students asking “how you went to college and telling us not to go” where I then would have to correct my students and tell them “I didn’t say you shouldn’t go. I said you don’t NEED to go with an emphasis on the NEED.”

The truth of the matter is, many professions today do not require a college education but many of them do require higher education. That means, once you complete high school, you may need to continue education to get certification in a certain career field. I hope you know what a career is. Let’s look at these two scenarios.

Scenario A: Tommy wants to be an Anesthesiologist – the person that puts you to sleep before surgery. Tommy understands that after finishing high school, he needs to complete four years of college to get a Bachelor’s Degree, then he needs to complete four years of medical school, and then four years of residency. So if Tommy graduated at 18 years old, he understands that he would need 12 years of education post-high school to become an anesthesiologist at the ripe age of 30.

Scenario B: Angelica wants to be a Nail Technician. She always gets her nails done in the most creative styles and she wants to service people the same way her Nail Tech services her. After doing some research and talking to her nail tech, she learns that she does not need a college education to pursue this career but she will need a nail technician license or a cosmetology license. This means when she is done with high school – and in some states you can get this while in high school – she just needs to find a nail technician or cosmetology program to complete and then pass the license exam. 

In both scenarios, education was required but the college education was not needed. What you desire to do with your life determines the route you need to take. Now if you do not know what you want to do with your life, my advice is to start with a Career Cluster Interest Survey (CCIS). They should take no more than 15-20 minutes to complete. Before I break down what a CCIS is, let me break down Career Cluster.

A career cluster is a group of careers that share common features. If you like one job in a cluster, you may like others in that cluster as well. There are a total of 16 career clusters. The CCIS is a tool used to help individuals hone in on a career field based off their interests, personality, and skills. If you take the CCIS serious, meaning you answer the questions truthfully, it will do a good job gauging a career field for you. It’s not super specific and will not tell you that you’ll be a sanitation engineer but it can be a starting point for what field to look into. So whether you like to do hair or you like to build computers, if you answer the questions truthfully, it will show up in the results.

Now the CCIS typically gives you your top 3 career clusters and it provides a list of different careers that fall into that. When you see a career that catches your eye, research it to find out what you need to get it. From there, you will have a better idea on how to navigate life after high school so you are not wasting your time in a remedial math class your first semester of college because you did not realize that you wanted to be a street artist until you were 49.

Well, hopefully this helps someone out there trying to figure this thing called life out before .. well .. it’s too late lol. If you need advice on your steps after high school or if you’re in college and contemplating dropping out, let me know and I would be more than willing to help you talk through it. Sometimes we overwhelm ourselves with so many thoughts that we don’t get a chance to think straight. I’m here to help. Until next time.



1 thought on “Do I Need To Go To College?”

  1. Hi Lola,
    I have to agree you don’t have to go to
    College. I believe you must get some sort of education from CEU’s, Cosmetology license to attending seminars. Don’t get me wrong I have gone to college completed undergraduate and graduate education but that isn’t enough continuing to grow and learn elevates you.


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