After years of school, finally entering the “real world” is certainly cause for celebration. Graduating from college is an incredible achievement and with it comes unlimited opportunities for the future.
But what exactly do you do after you graduate from a community college? What are your first steps?
Many community college students spend so much time and effort focusing on passing their classes and keeping up their GPA that they fail to really think about what comes next. You don’t necessarily need to plan the next ten years of your life down to the finest detail, but you should have some kind of game plan in place for when you finish school. If you aren’t quite sure what to do after you finish community college, here are five suggestions.
1. Update Your Resume and Beef Up Your Interview Skills
The whole point of going to college is to get the education and experience you need to land your dream job. Just because you have the right degree, however, doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get the job you want. You need to make yourself look valuable to potential employers and that largely comes down to two things – your resume and your interview skills.
When you apply for a job, potential employers will look at your resume first. If they don’t like what they see, you’re unlikely to make it past that first round of cuts and you probably won’t get an interview. You could be the most charismatic person in the world, capable of crushing
Deciding which colleges to apply to is difficult enough, but you add to that the stress of writing a personal essay for each of your applications. Your personal essay is supposed to give college admissions teams a snapshot of who you are as a person and who you hope to become but you don’t have to spill your guts or transcribe your whole life story. To increase your chances of getting accepted, first learn just how important your essay is and then take the time to learn the Dos and Don’ts of college application essays.
How Important is Your Application Essay?
Every year, colleges and universities receive hundreds or even thousands of applications. Many of those applications are virtually identical in terms of GPA, class load, and test scores – so how do you make yourself stand out in a crowd? The college application essay is designed to give you a chance to speak directly to the admissions committee, to tell them who you are and why you want to go to their school. But is your application essay more important than the rest of your application or is it just one factor that admissions committees weight evenly with your GPA and test scores?
According to an article published on Time.com, college application essays aren’t as important as they are cracked up to be. In fact, Stanford sociologist Mitchell Stevens worked alongside admissions officers at numerous top-tier liberal arts schools for 18 months and he discovered that in cases where students met
A significant number of community college students choose to take that route because of the affordability. According to data from College Board, in 2011, community college students paid on average $2,713 in tuition and fees, as compared to $7,605 for students who attended an in-state four-year institution. At less than half the cost, community colleges pose significant financial benefits for students who are on a tight budget.Reference: Center on International Education Benchmarking
However, time seems to be the biggest enemy of students who begin their post-secondary education at the community college level. The College Board’s report shows that of the cohort of students who began their community college studies in 2005, only 21 percent graduated within three years – a full year longer than is traditionally required. Many of the financial benefits gained by attending a two-year institution are lost if students aren’t able to complete their degree on time. Yet, students who enroll in a two-year program are the ones who are most likely to be impacted by factors that extend their graduation timeline.