Finishing high school: What to do after graduation

From getting a job to going to post-secondary school, find the right path for you by considering your options after high school.

Graduating from high school is an exciting time. It can also feel scary, because you have to decide what you’re going to do next. Your options include:

  • •    enrolling in post-secondary education
  • •    getting a job
  • •    taking time off 

For each option, there are many different paths you can take. Consider the following:

If you’re thinking about enrolling in post-secondary education:

  • •    Do you want to go to university, college or technical school?
  • •    What programs are available?
  • •    What are the grade requirements?
  • •    What is the cost?
  • •    What are some potential funding sources (savings, scholarships, bursaries, grants, student loans, etc.)?

If you’re thinking about getting a job:

  • •    What type of work is available?
  • •    What employer connections do you have?
  • •    What are your skills and work experience to date?

If you’re thinking about taking time off:

  • •    Do you want to travel, volunteer or get a part-time job?
  • •    Do you want to learn new skills?
  • •    Do you want to take additional high school courses?

Making an informed choice

To make an informed choice, consider asking your parents, guidance counsellor, teachers and friends for advice and support. 

You can also:

  • •    Think about your future: what do you hope to do? What type of work appeals to you? This does not have to be your final decision, but thinking about what kind of career interests you can help you choose your next steps.
  • •    Find out how to get started: what type of skills or education do you need? Talk to a career counsellor (at school or in your community) or someone who works in the field that interests you.
  • •    Attend career fairs and information sessions: check out events for prospective students offered by post-secondary schools with programs you’re interested in.

Friends and family members may have expectations or opinions about what is best for you. Consider other people's ideas, but remember that what you do after high school is your decision. Keep in mind that most people have several jobs and switch career fields many times over their working life. You can also return to school as an adult or take courses one at a time to build new skills and knowledge.

If you would like to know more about this topic, feel free to speak or chat with a counsellor.