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Posted 7/19/16

Options Besides College

While many homeschoolers have the goal of college in mind, it is not the only option for the home-educated student. In fact, in some cases, it may not even be the best option. Instead, it is reasonable to suggest that the best option is the one that matches the needs, skills, talents, interests, and goals of the individual student. So what are the options if your student decides college isn’t the right choice for him? Here are just a few to consider:

Options Besides College for Homeschoolers

Trade School

As homeschoolers, we, perhaps more than anyone, understand that there isn’t just one way or place to learn and neither is there just one purpose for learning. If your homeschooled student doesn’t want to go to college, a trade school might prove a better fit. At a trade school (vocational school, tech school), your student can learn the skills he needs for a very in-demand career. Plumbers, electricians, welders, locksmiths and the like are always in demand. If your child is interested in HVAC or truck-driving work, trade school has much to offer him as well. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that trade school programs run the gamut from accounting and EKG training to film and video production and surgical technology, which means attending one of these schools doesn’t translate into accepting limited career options. Additionally, one of the best advantages of trade schools is that they often offer job placement assistance.


With an apprenticeship program, your student learns a trade while working on the job. For the student who wants (or needs) to earn right away, this can provide the best of both worlds. Apprenticeships typically combine some traditional instruction, often in a classroom, with paid work, allowing the participant to start out slowly and gradually move on to more responsibilities and more complicated tasks. Upon graduation, an apprentice has journeyman status, and often, an offer of employment from the company that sponsored the apprenticeship.


If your student is self-motivated, up for a challenge, and persistent, entrepreneurship may be the way to go. Your student can start out small, with very little financial investment (if necessary), and grow a business that can sustain not only him but eventually employees if he sees fit. Today’s businesses are operated out of homes, storefronts, commercial spaces, trucks, and portable carts as well as the vast opportunities available online. With this option, the sky really is the limit, and if your student is willing to work hard, there’s no telling where entrepreneurship will take him.


There are many jobs that do not require a degree. If your student feels ready to start working, he can seek an entry-level position in a myriad of fields. While this idea can be anxiety-producing for parents who envision their beloved adult child forever in a minimum-wage job and struggling to pay bills, numerous people have started in entry-level positions and worked their way up to higher-paying jobs with better benefits and good job satisfaction.

The Military

Many people choose the military after high school. Enlistment can offer a range of benefits, including job security and a steady paycheck, free housing, free healthcare, and opportunities for advancement, training, and education. In fact, your student can attend college after leaving the military and have his college education funded by the government.

There is life after homeschooling that doesn’t require college. If your student doesn’t want to seek a traditional four-year degree, he can still choose from a myriad of options to build the kind of life he wants to live.