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Postsecondary Education & Training Options: The Basics

There are many different types of training after high school that qualify as “post-secondary education.” In addition to college, various other options exist to help you prepare and train for the career of your dreams.

The ABC’s of Post-High School Options



An apprenticeship combines on-the-job training with job-related instruction. Apprentices learn specific skills necessary to perform the job, gain experience, and eventually earn a nationally recognized certificate or credential. Average wages for an apprentice start at $15 per hour (Source: US Department of Labor).

Most apprenticeships are designed for high school graduates or job seekers with a GED; however, some opportunities exist for high school students prior to graduation. Searching and applying for apprenticeships can be similar to looking for a job. 

Community Education & Workforce Training

Idaho’s Workforce Training Network helps retrain Idahoans who have lost their jobs, offers training to help people advance their careers, delivers industry or employer-specific coursework, and offers formal training for apprenticeship programs. 

Workforce Training Centers (WTCs) are housed at each of Idaho’s six technical colleges. While prospective students need to apply for programs, college entrance exam test scores and previous school transcripts are not required for enrollment. 

Four-Year Colleges

While they’re referred to as four-year colleges, Idaho’s public institutions award bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees, some of which take more than four years. Students preparing for a career in a profession that requires a bachelor’s degree, or want to consider working in academia, the sciences, or law, will get their start at a four-year college. 

Idaho’s colleges and universities require students to have earned at least a 2.6 GPA (though some schools might have higher minimum requirements) and most expect applicants to submit college entrance exam scores. 

Private four-year colleges often have higher minimum requirements for GPA and college entrance exam scores. 


Whether you are interested in aeronautics, laboratory science, communications, finance, health care, or something else, there are opportunities to train for nearly any career within one of the six branches of the U.S. military. And, you’ll learn leadership, analytical, and logistical skills through your service that can benefit your career throughout your life. 

Each branch of the military has its own standard for joining, but all require that you take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and possess a high school diploma or G.E.D. You will also be required to pass a physical exam and fitness test. 

Proprietary Training Schools

Proprietary schools are postsecondary schools that offer courses of study but do not provide, offer, or sell degrees. This includes organizations that provide career-specific training skills, like those needed for truck driving, massage therapy, and lineman jobs. 

While these schools do not often require a minimum GPA or college entrance exams, you may be asked to apply and submit a resume or other documentation of previous work experience or educational attainment, based on the program of study. 

Technical Colleges

Technical Colleges train students for specific careers that do not require bachelor’s or other advanced degrees. Programs are available in agriculture, business and marketing, engineering and technology, education, health sciences, family and consumer sciences, and trades and industry and can take anywhere from 6 months to two years to complete. Idaho’s technical schools are located at Idaho State University, Lewis-Clark State College, and the community colleges. 

GPA requirements are similar to those at two-year colleges and college entrance exams are generally not required. 

Two-Year Colleges

Idaho has four community colleges and two universities that also award two-year degrees through their technical schools. These schools award associates degrees in many of the same areas of study (majors) as four-year colleges, from business to liberal arts studies. But, they also provide career training programs that prepare students to enter the workforce with an industry-recognized credential. 

To enroll in a for-credit program at one of Idaho’s community colleges, you will need to have earned your high school diploma with a GPA of at least 2.25. College entrance exam scores are not typically required when applying.  




Learn More.

Get more details about each of these training opportunities to decide which is right for you.

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