Your Virtual Counselor! Dream Big, Set Goals, Take Action!
The California Career Center. Dream Big, Set Goals, Take Action!

Setting Post-High School Goals

Setting goals is an important step toward success since goals give you short term motivation and a long term vision.

In this activity you will be asked to select the top options for pursing your goals. There are many ways to start a career and begin earning a living. Categories include:

  • Earn
  • Earn and Learn
  • Learn


One option is to go directly to work after high school and begin earning a paycheck. Some students begin work in a family business or choose an entry-level position in some other job. There are some jobs only require a high school diploma including retail sales, food industry positions, cashiers, office clerks, and laborers. Most of these jobs will include on-the-job training that can last from one month to one year or more. 

Earn and Learn

Another option is to earn a paycheck while working in a position that continues your education. Some examples include apprenticeships, military service, Americorps, or Jobs Corps. 

Learn to Earn

Finally, you may elect to continue your education after high school by attending college or other post-secondary training programs full time. You might work while you are full-time student, but these jobs are usually temporary and serve as a means for earning necessary income.

In addition to deciding which of these options to pursue, it’s critical to identify the education/training requirements for your career goals. Use this Setting Post-High School Goals Activity to connect your career goals and key requirements. You can find a PDF version of this activity and all other Career Center activities on the Student Activities page.