If your teen has already expressed that they don't want to go to a 4-year university, and you don't think it's in the budget, there are other post-secondary education options you can look into. Having any type of post-secondary education degree after high school will open their career options and allow them to make more money throughout their lifetime, but finding the right field for them will be important.
There are many training options and programs for teens coming out of high school that allow them to find a job specialty without requiring multiple years of studying. Consider the following things.
Explore Vocational Schools
Vocational schools where you can get a trade degree offer many career opportunities. Your teen can go into the fields of construction, the medical industry, health and beauty career fields, green energy and more. These schools offer educational programs that integrate classroom time with in the field training, giving them experience and hands on learning opportunities. These programs are often only 2 years, or sometimes less, and provide your teen with great employment opportunities. For more information about some options, contact a school such as New Mexico Institute of Dental Assisting.
Look for Dual Enrollment Options
If your teen still has a couple of years left in high school, or they are still going to school, ask their school counselor and the vocational schools about dual enrollment options. This means they spend part of their school day at the vocational school, so they have some of their training, or potentially all of it, completed before they graduate from high school. This allows them to start looking for a job as soon as they graduate.
For some career paths, it's possible to enroll in an apprentice program. This is a program where you do the training under a licensed professional in the area where you want to work, and some additional education may be required. Ask your teen what they want to try, and then look into apprenticeship options in your area.
If your teen knows they don't want to go to college but you would like them to have some type of job security, and you would like them to get some type of training after they get their diploma, these are great options you can push and look into. Your teen can explore these different choices with you, and then decide which program is the most interesting to them and what career they would like to pursue for the future.