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High school is approaching a rapid end for your child, and it is time to have that serious talk about what their future plans are. While your child may be considering a job in the local market, it may not be in their best interests to halt their educational momentum. They have always had pretty decent grades, and this will tend to mean they will do well in college also: if they apply themselves. With that in mind, it will be in your child’s best interests to explain to them why pursuing college now is going to help them out in the long term.

What College Has to Offer

When your child was in high school, they were introduced to a general education that was not very skill oriented or specific enough around which to build a meaningful career. In college, they will take courses that move them beyond basic applications of math, science and other key subjects that are central to modern practical and industrial applications. In many cases, a career path can be more easily fortified by a specific college-based curriculum than by simply working jobs that require little to no skills.

Wages Increase with Education

It is unlikely that your child fully grasps the value of having a college degree. Even if they only go as far as an associate’s degree or some niche technical degree, this can translate to a huge increase in wage earnings over their lifetime. In fact, the more in-demand their degree program happens to be, the more they will tend to earn. This makes good sense; since, as with any other system of supply and demand, those who are in demand simply stand to be the most prized for their desperately needed skills. It is important your child starts to see themselves as one whose skills and education should make them part of the in-demand crowd.

Choosing a College

Part of going to college is choosing the right learning institution for achieving your child’s long term educational goals. They may find that what they are interested in is being offered through an online degree, at a regional campus that is run by an organization like College America. Such learning institutions are often able to help students find the career paths that are currently in demand: including degree programs geared for careers in business, healthcare and information technology.

Exposure Matters

Something important that your child needs to understand is that college is an opportunity that opens them up to more than simply earning a degree. Your child will be in contact with professional educators who, in many cases, are thought leaders that help to define the direction of the fields that students like your child are heading into. This is especially true at research-based universities that push their instructors to publish or perish. Often these instructors will take a liking to certain students and want to groom them for high level research in a given field of study. These once in a lifetime opportunities are priceless. They make it possible for someone learning about a field to get their name attached to groundbreaking research; thus, making that student far more desirable and attractive to large corporations who need first-hand, cutting-edge, innovative thinkers on staff.

College is a time when your child will mature as a person. It is also a time when their insights into how they fit into the ever evolving global economy will start to take shape. Since college will give your child new experiences, a higher education and rare opportunities they will not find anywhere else, the decision to go to college is one your child should think about long and hard. This decision should be made with an informed perspective about what a college education can do for them.