Does Taking Advanced Placement Classes in High School Lead to Better Career Options?

Advanced Placement (AP) is a program that is run by College Board. The board develops the curriculum, creates and administers exams and provides support for teachers.

The main objective of advanced placement classes is to bridge the gap between what is taught in high school and college, helping to facilitate college readiness.  The program offers 38 courses and exams across 24 subject areas. Students receive college credit if they get a score of 3, 4, or 5 on the AP test.

Does Taking Advanced Placement Classes in High School Lead to Better Career Options?

Taking Advanced Placement Courses Increases Eligibility for Some Scholarships

Approximately 31% of colleges and universities will consider a student’s AP coursework when rewarding scholarships to students. Taking advanced placement exams can increase the chances of receiving merit-based scholarships, which can make a candidate more attractive to future employers. Employers who understand the competitive nature of scholarships will recognize the accomplishment.  Being the recipient of a merit-based scholarship demonstrates exceptional ability in a specific subject area. Ultimately, participating in an advanced placement program will add value to a resume.

Advanced Placement Earns College Credit

Advancement Placement exams are scored on a scale of 1 through 5. If a student earns a 3 or higher, college course credits are earned before arriving to college. Advanced Placement courses may allow students to skip introductory classes and move directly into upper-level classes, which focus on the work that interest students most. Several benefits of moving beyond general education requirements early are: more availability to take elective courses, pursue a minor, or double major. A student who takes advanced placement creates more room in their schedule to explore different academic fields early in their undergraduate career. The students can zero in on a major sooner.

Taking on an extra minor or a double major can transform a student into a more desirable candidate, giving them an edge in the competition. Future employers are likely to be impressed by a double major’s strong work ethic.  Two subject areas allow students to concentrate on a subject that they are passionate about along with a subject area that is more practical

Consider the following facts:

  • Research shows that liberal arts majors who take on a second degree in a STEM field earn on average 9.5% more than their liberal arts peers with only one major
  • Students who combined a liberal arts degree with a business major earned 7.9% more
  • Majoring in two subjects gives you the flexibility to pursue a broader range of career opportunities and capitalize on industry trends

Advanced Placement Classes Allow Students Extra Freedom

Advancement Placement classes lead to students taking fewer courses in college. This freedom allows students room to undertake various activities that enrich their resume. For instance, a semester of studying abroad. Regardless of the career, a well-planned study abroad experience is a valuable asset that will strengthen a resume. According to the 2014 Job Outlook report, potential employers are greatly impressed by students who study abroad. Employers indicate that studying abroad develops skills, such as:

  • Intercultural competencies
  • Leadership skills
  • Self-reliance and responsibility
  • Patience and perseverance
  • Ability to take risks
  • Ability to view situations from unique perspectives
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Language skills

Advanced placement also frees up time for students to engage in extracurricular activities and internships. Some of the extracurricular activities include:

  • Sports
  • Campus government
  • Academic and professional organizations
  • Volunteer and service related activities
  • Arts
  • Greek life
  • Multicultural activities
  • Part-time work

Advanced placement definitely provides many direct benefits. Apart from drastically reducing the time that a student will spend in college and reduce the cost of tuition, advanced placement will help a student engage in activities to build skills that are important in the workplace.

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