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Juniors, Seniors Should Think About Life After High School Now

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Local high schools have been in session less than a month, but juniors and seniors should already be thinking a year or two ahead.

To start, that means filing a federal student aid application as soon as possible after it becomes available Oct. 1. Tulsa Regional Chamber Interim Executive Director of Workforce and Mosaic Kuma Roberts said it also means thinking about what they might want to do for a living.

"And then what opportunities are provided for them to make sure that they can get hands-on experience before they start paying money to get training in that," Roberts said. "So, internships, apprenticeships, anything that lets them have an experience before they actually get to college."

Students should be thinking about a possible career regardless of their post-graduation education plans.

"What we want them to know most is that there's an option for them no matter what they choose, and we want them to have those opportunities right in front of them and know that they can stay right here and make a great, living wage," Roberts said.

Roberts said the advanced manufacturing, energy, aviation and health care industries all have jobs with good wages, even for students who aren't leaning toward a bachelor's degree.

"Some jobs don't necessarily need a four-year college degree. Some need a two-year degree, maybe a certificate, so, it really depends on what path the student is wanting to take," said Tulsa Public Schools Academic Coordinator of Advanced Learning Jeff Mason.

Around 1,000 Tulsa Public Schools upperclassmen got post-graduation information Monday at the fourth-annual “Go To College” fair sponsored by the Tulsa Regional Chamber.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.