Can anyone give me advice for a beginner welder that will be going on jobsite soon i will tell you my backround information!

Backround Information:

Im a 19 year kid i just graduated high school this year and i was taking a marine trade programs for 11th and 12th for boating and i picked up on welding because i really liked it although i did not get alot of time with it because like i said it was more for boating. But i choose to do welding for my senior project more in depth so my teacher sent me on an internship for 1month for welding and i did really good with it and passed the bend tests on first try. So when i graduated school i paid to take the full course and now i am attending that school. I just started last tuesday. I am progressing at a really high unusual rate i passed my SMAW 3g test, FCAW 3G test, FCAW 4g test, bend tests and i already setup my test for GMAW-spray 3g test but i couldn't start it because class ended. But i will be starting and finishing it monday morning. But if i keep progressing this fast i dont know what the teachers will have me do because all i have left after this is pulsing 3g/4g and then 6ging. the class is 3 months long and he said people don't normally progress in welding this fast. But he said i could get a good job going at a rate like this. He said either the government or the union would be good! But i dont know what to choose as im a beginner.

So my three choices after the class that ive put together is:

1.Either go to a 4 year college and get a actual degree for it
2.Work for the government, because if you pass their test they higher you and they have this apprentice ship program. Which involves fixing submarines and etc.
3 Or i could work for the union the teacher said

But what stuff would i need, regular welding hood or one with a ventilation system included, and any newcomer tips. My teacher told me to buy a pocket notebook to keep my owns notes because it somtimes can be hard to remember stuff right off the top of your head and he suggested a welding manual for or somthing like that?

i already have my leathers, i just need to buy my tools