Career Options for SHS Graduates Who Can’t Pursue Higher Education

raising graduation cap

After graduating from Senior High School, you’re faced with two decisions: pursue tertiary education or start working. For most students, going to college is the ideal next step. However, if you want to immediately begin your career, there are other opportunities for senior high school students after graduation.

In this article, we explore three main avenues you can pursue during and after senior high school. Whether it’s acquiring specialized skills through Technical-Vocational programs, entering the workforce directly, or venturing into entrepreneurship, learning these choices can help you decide which path to take. After all, there is no one-way road to career success.

What are the Options for SHS Graduates Who Can’t Pursue College?

Collegiate studies aren’t always for everyone. Whether it’s because of your current financial standing or just a general eagerness to start working, there are other ways for you to jumpstart your career. So, here’s a breakdown of what you can pursue after high school.

male tech voc student

The Technical-Vocational (Tech-Voc) Senior High School Strand

Taking the Technical Vocational Livelihood track during SHS is one way to ensure you’re qualified to enter the workforce after studying. By equipping you with TESDA-accredited certifications upon graduation, you’re permitted by the Philippine government to join the workforce.

With Tech-Voc programs, you can benefit from:

  • Skills-Focused Education: Tech-Voc strands go beyond traditional academic subjects. It provides you with intensive hands-on training in specific trades and skills, like construction, automotive repair, or home economics.

    This focused learning approach equips you with the practical skills and knowledge that are sought-after by employers in various industries.
  • Career Specialization: Tech-Voc strands offer a variety of specializations, allowing you to tailor your SHS education to your specific interests and career aspirations.

    For example, within the Information Technology strand, you can specialize in programming or web design. This specialization ensures you develop skills in a particular area, making you a more competitive candidate in your field.
  • Earning Potential: One of the more attractive benefits of the TVL track is that many Tech-Voc graduates command competitive starting salaries due to their specialized skillset and industry readiness.

    This allows you to achieve financial independence sooner and potentially earn higher wages as you gain experience and advance in your career.
senior high school student taking ICT

Popular Tech-Voc Strands

To give you an insight into which specific Technical-Vocational strands are available for you to take, here are some of the common tracks and their specific TVL strand job opportunities:

  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT): Learning about computer hardware, software, and networking technologies can prepare you for careers in IT. Whether it’s cloud support, web development, or graphic design, a career in tech can prove to be rewarding.
  • Automotive Servicing: This strand prepares you for a career in the automotive industry, teaching you skills to diagnose, troubleshoot, and repair various types of vehicles. It opens opportunities for you to pursue specializations like auto body repair or car maintenance.
  • Home Economics: This strand focuses on skills related to food preparation, garment making, and household management. It can equip you with skills for careers in the hospitality industry or starting your own food service business.

    Studying home economics prepares you for jobs like becoming a cook, a seamstress, or a professional in residential management.

Pursuing any of these TVL strands of study is good training for your future occupation. These programs typically tackle the basic principles needed in the workforce, and it all boils down to choosing the specialization you want to take as you build your professional experience.Pursuing any of these TVL strands of study is good training for your future occupation. These programs typically tackle the basic principles needed in the workforce, and it all boils down to choosing the specialization you want to take as you build your professional experience.

Entering the Workforce

Once you’ve accomplished your Tech-Voc studies, the apparent career option for senior high school students who can’t pursue college is to start their job search. Generally, a lot of students prefer this path since it allows them to earn and build their careers sooner than those going to college.

But before you start applying for employment positions, there are a few important preparations you need to make:

  • Research Career Options: Explore the different fields in the industry you’re interested in pursuing. Utilize resources like the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) website or consult with your previous senior high school guidance counselor for opportunities they may know of.
  • Build a Strong Resume and Portfolio: Highlight the relevant skills and experiences you gained during senior high school. Include your internships, practicum projects, or volunteer work that demonstrates your relevant capabilities.
  • Networking for Job Opportunities: Attend job fairs, connect with industry professionals on online platforms, and use your personal network to find potential employment opportunities. Having the opportunity to interact with different companies through networking or referrals lets you present yourself and personally connect with hiring managers.
woman working in manufacturing industry

Common Career Paths for SHS Graduates

To give you an idea of what professions are in store for you, here are some examples of careers you can pursue and their estimated salaries:

  • Business Process Outsourcing (BPO): This sector offers various roles, including customer service representatives, technical support specialists, and data encoders. The salary range of these entry-level jobs is estimated at ₱18,000 to ₱28,000 per month according to Indeed Philippines.
  • Manufacturing: The manufacturing industry provides opportunities for production line workers, quality control inspectors, and assembly line technicians. According to Salary Expert and Indeed, the average monthly earnings of these professions range from ₱15,000 to ₱28,000 per month.
  • Retail: Working in retail offers diverse career paths like sales associates, cashiers, and inventory management specialists. Based on the data from Glassdoor and Indeed, the starting salary for entry-level jobs in these positions is ₱16,000 to ₱27,000 a month.

Any of these jobs are good to consider as the starting point for your career. Whether you choose to be in a call center or construction, what matters is that your vocation aligns with your interests and skills.



If you have a knack for identifying business opportunities, pursuing Entrepreneurship can be the perfect option for you as an SHS graduate who can’t pursue college.

Generally, being an entrepreneur involves identifying a need or gap in the market, developing a business idea to address that need, and taking calculated risks to launch and grow your business. While it requires dedication and hard work, entrepreneurship allows you to be your own boss, set your own schedule, and create a business aligned with your passions.

A few of the resources and programs that can help you turn your business idea into reality include:

  • DOLE’s Negosyo Center: The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) operates Negosyo Centers nationwide. These centers provide aspiring entrepreneurs with training, business development assistance, and access to financing options.
  • DTI Business Registration: The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) facilitates local business registration. They offer resources for entrepreneurs on complying with regulations and legal requirements needed for local businesses.
  • Online Resources: Numerous online platforms offer courses, tutorials, and guides on starting and managing a business. An example would be taking a business senior high school strand with OEd Senior High School, a premier school in the Philippines offering online education.

Keep in mind that flourishing in entrepreneurship often takes time and perseverance. Researching your target market, developing a sound business plan, and acquiring the necessary skills are important tools for your startup’s success.

Exploring Options for SHS Graduates Who Can’t Pursue Higher Education

Graduating high school is a significant accomplishment that opens doors to diverse career paths. Whether you choose to train through specialized programs, start working in your chosen field, or become an entrepreneur, remember that your continuous learning and dedication are the key ingredients for your career triumphs.

As an online senior high school in the Philippines, you can utilize OEd Senior High School’s resources to start building your career. Just hop on our website, explore our course offerings, and choose a program that aligns with your interests, skills, and long-term goals.

Choose OEd Senior High School today and get in touch with us to learn more about our SHS strands.