<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=417426961758327&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Are you considering taking a Gap Year? Maybe you're graduating from high school this spring and want to explore the world before you embark on college. Or perhaps you'll be finishing up your sophomore year of college in May, and realize that you're still not sure what you want to study or what your career direction might be.

You are not alone. Gap years are becoming increasingly common--in fact, applications for gap year programs are up 61% in the past two years. And now there's even a question about gap years on the college entrance common application. But how does taking a gap year impact your future career?

Check out this recent article by Kate Evans, a self-described "Grown Up Gap Year Expert."

In it she says that "The experts are pretty much in agreement that a gap year, one that is purposeful and structured... can really benefit your life and career. A gap year isn't just about hanging out in a hostel and discovering a love of green curry (though, it IS a dish worth discovering...)."

Kate goes on to share that according to GapYear.com founder, Tom Griffiths, "It's about a constructive use of time that will enable young people to find and demonstrate focus, showcase their abilities, and discover a life path that works for them, both financially and emotionally." 

Survey data from Haigler and Nelson supports the idea that gappers feel better prepared for their careers than had they not done a gap year.  85% of survey respondants "rated their gap years highly in terms of providing them with additional skills and knowledge that contributed to [their] career or academic major."

In short, students who take a gap year start their careers more focused, because they've had time to explore their interests and skills.  So what are you waiting for? Take a gap year now and you will benefit from it throughout your life and career.