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Is Higher Education for You?

Increasing your skills through higher education is more than just a trendy thing to do. Learn the benefits and options for higher education.

Remember, higher education is also called college or postsecondary.

Not Sure You Really Need College?

Higher education is a way to boost earning power and employability. Use the Reality Check tool to find out how much money you'll need to pay for the lifestyle you want. See which careers will let you earn that much, and see if they require higher education.

In Middle School or High School?

It's not too early to plan for college. KnowHow2Go has answers about college, including steps to get ready, find help, explore your interests, and more. Use this four-step guide to learn how to make your dream of college a reality.  The guide is available in English, Hmong, Spanish, and Arabic.

  • Videos: Scroll to PSAs. Watch public service advertisements designed to encourage young people to prepare for college.  
    You'll also find "Tough" videos that help you discover how tough classes like foreign languages, math, and biology prepare you for college.
  • Challenge your friends: The Share feature on this page lets you put your friends to the test.

Dropped Out of High School?

Going to college is still an option for you.

If you don't have a high school diploma and aren't currently enrolled in high school classes, you might be eligible to take the GED. The Tests of General Educational Development is a group of five different tests measuring the skills and knowledge you'd typically learn in high school. Many employers and schools consider a GED to be equivalent to a high school diploma. Learn more about Adult Basic Education and GED.

What Are Your Education Options?

View the various education and training categories listed in the table below. Explore the links for more information.


College Education Definition
Community or Tribal College Offers a two-year associate of arts degree that can transfer to a four-year college or university.
Technical or Career College One- to two-year training programs that lead to specific careers. Short-term training also available.
4-year College or University Earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in your chosen major.

Learn more about types of Minnesota State schools or search for Minnesota State colleges and universities.

Additional Training Options Definition
Certifications An examination or a record of work-related credentials. Issued to an individual by an external organization to communicate a certain level of skill attainment. Required in some occupations, such as nursing assistants and financial advisors. Search for certifications.
Professional Development Training to enhance your job skills. Check with local or state business and professional associations for training options. Or search for short-term training.
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) A federal program that gives workers the chance to learn the skills and information needed to compete in the new economy. Under WIOA, training programs are certified as meeting certain performance standards. Learn more about WIOA.


Work-Based Learning Definition Search for Opportunities
Apprenticeship An employer's formal training program combining on-the-job learning with technical instruction for a specific trade. Learn more about registered apprenticeship. Search for a registered apprenticeship
Internships Opportunity for hands-on, real work experience. May be required in some college majors, or may be an entry-level internship you apply for after graduating college. View internship links
Job Corps A free education and training program for low-income young people at least 16 years of age that helps them learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED, and find and keep a good job. Visit Job Corps website
Job Shadowing Follow someone on the job throughout the workday to learn what it's like to actually work in that career. Learn more about job shadowing

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