Every parent wants the best for their child. They spend 18 years preparing their children for the world after high school. Many expect their child to continue their studies at college. What do you do when your child comes home and says “I don’t want to go to college”?

It can be helpful to find out why your child does not want to go to college. It could be as simple as nerves or being unsure of what to study. Having your child meet with a college counselor or a recent high school graduate who chose college can help alleviate some misguided expectations and ease their nerves. If your recent graduate feels they are not ready or they are unsure of their future path, they might consider taking a gap year in order to hone in on their future career path. Recent studies show 90% of students who take a gap year before going to college return to school, and many colleges have formal deferment processes and opportunities for a gap year.

If the traditional four-year college route is not for your child, but they still want to continue their education, there are other options. There are many accredited online and community colleges where an individual can earn an associate or bachelor’s degree. 75% of individuals who recently earned an associate degree were employed in 2018.

For some, college is not part of their career path, and if your child simply does not want to go to college, you cannot force them, as it is ultimately their future. In 2018, 31% of high school graduates were not enrolled in college. While college is an important part of our education system that opens many doors for high paying jobs, it is not the only way to have a successful career. However, if your child makes the choice to not attend college, decide how you are willing to financially support them. Will they be required to have a job or pay rent if you allow them to continue living at your house? What will their responsibilities and privileges be?

If your recent graduate directly enters the workforce and forgoes college, it can be difficult to figure out what job opportunities are available to them and how to apply for those jobs. At Family Houston, our employment coaches work with clients to help them navigate the struggles with finding a job while working closely to help them advance in their careers through vocational trainings, certifications, and workshops. Vocational trainings are organized educational programs which prepare individuals for occupations requiring something other than a bachelor’s or advanced degree such as carpentry or welding. Family Houston is a part of the United Way THRIVE collaboration and partners with them on a variety of vocational trainings including programs to become a bank teller or insurance agent. Job fairs usually accompany the end of a training, and partnerships with organizations help these individuals get hired quickly.

Family Houston’s employment coaches can also help their clients create or improve a resumé, apply for jobs, figure out ways to move up at a current job, and help prepare them for interviews. Our coaches are located in Clear Lake, Fort Bend, and Waller.

At Family Houston we understand this decision can be a difficult one for you and your child, but we are here to help. If you would like to make an appointment with a Family Houston employment coach call (713) 861-4849 or email family@familyhouston.org.