After High School…
Most careers require more than a high school diploma. The key to getting started is getting the right kind of training or education after high school.
If you get a degree or technical certificate after high school, you can:
- Earn a lot more money over your lifetime
- Better compete in today’s work world
- Be less likely to be unemployed
- Have more job and lifestyle choices
- Learn more and meet new people
- Help your family and your community
Considering a Career-Technical Center?
Florida has 45 public career-technical centers that offer certificate programs that prepare students for a wide range of professions, for example: emergency medical technicians, travel agents, interior designers, court reporters, electricians, dental assistants, fire fighters, architectural draftsmen, law enforcement officers and web designers. Career-technical centers are a low-cost option and can be the quickest way to get trained and certified for certain jobs. High school students who meet Bright Futures Scholarship eligibility requirements can apply for a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars Award that pays 75% of tuition and fees to attend a career-technical center.
What about looking into a Florida College?
Previously known as community colleges, there are 28 Florida colleges that have 61 campuses and provide classes or services at 177 sites. Going to a Florida college is a convenient and low-cost option. No matter where you live in Florida, you are no more than 50 miles from a Florida college. Tuition and fees for Florida residents in 2007 were an average of $68 per credit hour or $2,040 for a 30-credit year.
Florida colleges offer two-year degrees that prepare students to transfer to a university or to enter jobs requiring special skills. You can earn Associate in Arts (AA), Associate in Science (AS), and Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degrees. Earning an AA degree at a Florida college guarantees admission into one of the State’s eleven universities to complete a four-year Bachelor’s degree. Some Florida colleges offer Bachelor’s degree programs through partnerships with the state universities or an accredited private college or university. In addition to these partnerships, several Florida colleges offer their own Bachelor’s degrees in selected program areas for which there is a high need for employees (i.e., teaching, nursing, and information technology).
Florida colleges have an open-door policy, which guarantees admission to a college credit program if you have done any of the following:
- Earned a standard high school diploma
- Earned a high school equivalency diploma
- Previously demonstrated competency in college credit coursework
Have you researched Universities?
Florida has 11 state universities, some with branch locations in addition to the main campus. State universities offer Bachelor’s degrees, as well as Master’s and Doctoral degrees. Because space is limited at state universities, students must compete to be admitted. Last fall, about 57% of first-time-in-college applicants to all eleven universities were offered admission. Admission to some universities is very competitive, with acceptance rates of less than 35% of applicants. Tuition and fees for Florida residents last year averaged $113.56 per credit hour, or $3,407 for a 30-credit year.
There are also Private Colleges & Universities!
In addition to public institutions, Florida has more than 200 private colleges and universities. Within the group of private colleges and universities are 28 Independent Colleges & Universities of Florida (ICUF). These private, nonprofit institutions serve more than 120,000 students at 180 sites around Florida, and they offer Bachelor’s degrees at 18 Florida college campuses. ICUF enrollments vary from fewer than 100 to nearly 25,000 students, and their average class has 19 students. These colleges and universities award 26% of Florida’s Bachelor’s degrees and one-third of all degrees.
- Bright Futures Scholarship
- The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program establishes three lottery-funded scholarships to reward Florida high school graduates for high academic achievement.
- College Board
- This is online help for those interested in attending college.
- FACTS.org is Florida’s official online student advising system! High school students, college students, parents, and even counselors can use the services provided on this website to help plan and track educational progress in Florida! FACTS.org is provided free by the Florida Department of Education to help students make informed choices about their education.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook
- This is the online version of the nationally recognized guide to careers published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Princeton Review Online
- This site contains many tips designed to help individuals succeed in college and develop a career.
- “So You Are Thinking About Dropping Out of School”
- This site, presented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has a graph measuring unemployment in relation to educational achievement.