Options After High School

Community College

Attending a community college is an excellent way for students to continue their education and either obtain an Associate’s degree or attend approximately 2 years and transfer to a college or university. Community colleges also offer many certificate programs that train students for different jobs/trades. Certificate and transfer programs vary by each campus. Refer to the college’s website for specific information.

College or University

Going straight from high school to a college or university is another option for students to continue their education. Colleges and universities offer Bachelor degrees in many areas of study and some campuses are well known for specific disciplines/areas of study. Students have many options in state and out of state.

California has 2 university systems: the California State University (CSU) system and the University of California (UC) system. Both systems require that students complete A-G coursework, take the ACT or SAT and have a minimum GPA.

Private institutions both in and out of state are also good options for students to consider. Costs and entrance requirements vary at these campuses, so make sure to visit the institutions’ websites to learn the specific requirements.


The US Armed Forces are made up of the five armed service branches: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy. Recruiters from the different branches of the military can help you as you investigate a military career. When speaking with the local recruiters ask about the acceptance requirements, job opportunities, benefits and obligations of service. You will be required to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) if you intend to enlist in any branch of the military. 

Visit Military.com for more information on any branch of the military.

Career Technical Education

Career Technical Education (CTE) is a term for educational programs that specialize in the skilled trades, applied arts and sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation. Some examples of these programs are: automotive technology, construction, welding, culinary arts and early childhood education. Many community colleges offer certificates programs for certain jobs or trades. There are also private trade schools that offer similar training programs.Investigate your options carefully. Ask about job placement rates for recent graduates. Also, compare the costs of different schools.

Visit Career Technical Education at American River College to learn more.


You can research and apply for jobs either in person or on different websites. You will need a resume and possibly a cover letter to apply for many jobs. You can attend job fairs and network with as many people as you can to let them know that you are searching for a job.

Visit California Career Center to get a head start on resumes, cover letters and interview skills.