College is any type of education after high school! College includes apprenticeships, certificates, or degrees from trade schools, community colleges, private colleges or public colleges/universities!

Today most jobs require education or training after high school. When you pick a career path, be sure to research what education or training you need to successfully land a job!

To find out which postsecondary path is right for your career goals,

Check out our Careers page!


Certificate programs are typically very specific to the field of study and there are generally very few if any general education requirements. This allows you to effectively learn a skill in a relatively short amount of time (usually about one year). Certificate programs can be found at community colleges or trade schools.

Muskegon Community College has certificate programs ranging from Automotive Technicians to Mechatronics to Welding Technology.

West Shore Community College offers a range of certificate programs such as Early Childhood Education, Law Enforcement, and Software Development


Apprenticeships are another pathway to postsecondary education. Most apprentices learn a trade such as carpentry, plumbing, or electrical work. Apprentices work with a mentor to learn skills on the job and may be required to take a class in the evening. Apprentices get paid while on the job and there is typically no cost to any additional classes.

Apprenticeships can be competitive! Employers who hire apprentices look for students who are eager to learn and have an outstanding work ethic!

Click Here to find our Skilled Trades Booklet – outlining educational pathways in 9 different trades.

Find out more about Apprenticeships!

Find a Trade School!


Associate’s degrees (2 years) build on the curriculum of a certificate with additional general education requirements. These programs are often still specific and career related. Associate’s degrees can be earned at community colleges and some four year universities.

Bachelor’s degrees ( 4 years) again build further upon the two year degree, adding more specific program related courses and general education requirements. Bachelor’s may be quite specific or general. Bachelor’s degrees can be earned at both private and public universities.

Keep in mind, a four year degree may provide you with more career opportunities compared to a two year degree.  A good example of this is nursing. You may have more career opportunities as a nurse if you have a Bachelor’s degree than a nurse with an Associate’s degree.

It’s important to talk to people who work in the field you are interested in (family, friends, acquaintances) and career service departments at your college to determine what degree suits your goals!

Click below for more information on how to choose a college, compare colleges, or find out which colleges have your degree or program of interest!


Joining the military can lead to a successful career! Veterans receive many educational benefits when their service ends. Check out the resources below and get in contact with a recruiter if you are interested in the military!




What Is "College"?

College is all post-secondary education including certificate programs, trade schools, community colleges and 4 year colleges and universities. Learn More