February 21 2020 - In 2019, over 19 million people enrolled in college. While attending college is an exciting time for both young and more experienced adults, not everyone is eager to follow the path of traditional college.
So what do high-school graduates do after high school if not go to a four-year university? Some enroll in trade school.
But is a trade school as good as a four-year institution? What are the benefits of trade school, and how do you know if you should apply?
Let's discover more about trade school vs. college and see which comes out on top.
What is a Trade School?
When you enroll in college, you're deciding to study a subject, earn a degree, and get a job in that field. With a degree, there are likely several jobs to choose from that's related to what you studied in college. In other words, an English degree means you could teach, write, or have other job options.
At a trade school, you're pouring your energy into learning a specific trade, focusing entirely on that work. When you graduate, you will have the skills you need to get a job and start working quickly and will bypass many general courses to zero in on your specialty.
The Benefits of Trade School
The traditional college path is very much going strong, but there are several reasons to take the path of trade school instead.
Here are seven reasons why you might consider signing up for a trade.
The average cost of getting a bachelor's degree from a 4-year college is around $127,000, depending on the location of your college. In-state colleges are less expensive, next come out-of-state colleges, and finally, private institutions. These numbers include tuition, fees, books, boarding, and more.
The cost of a trade school is significantly lower, rounding out at about $33,000. To cover the cost of college tuition, most students need to take out student loans. For the student who chooses a trade school, they will take on significantly less debt.
The majority of students will complete their degree in about four years. However, if they choose to pursue higher education, as a graduate or doctorate level, their education can take longer and cost more.
With a trade school, most students graduate within one to two years, adding more time for you to start your career. Depending on the trade you decide to pursue, some programs take less than a year!
3. Not Prepared For The Big World
About 25% of college freshmen drop out their first year. Various reasons are stemming from financial pressure to changing a major or their mind altogether. This leads to a waste of both time and money because they have no degree and have likely accumulated student loans.
If you believe attending college is "the right thing to do" but feel unprepared, look into going to a trade school and uncover your options first before making any decisions.
4. Job Demand
The programs available at trade schools, like the Intercoast program, are geared towards helping you learn skills of a trade that's in high demand. For a job to be in high demand, means that the field needs more workers because there is a shortage.
Trade school provides hands-on training to ensure that you know the trade inside and out, giving you real-world experience with the latest technology, so you can be considered an expert in the field.
5. Class Size
In a traditional college at a lecture hall, you could be with many other students and getting lost in the shuffle. A professor might have limited hours to speak to your concerns, or they may be busy with other classes.
Class sizes make a huge difference in trade school! They are smaller and allow the instructor to spend time with their students and address their questions adequately. Also, you'll make connections with students who are studying the same trade.
6. Job Placement Assistance
Most trade schools pride themselves on placing students in jobs directly after graduation, and some are not afraid to show their success rate.
Some trade schools even prepare students for things like interviewing, resume writing, and the like to increase their chances of landing a job. Trade schools are committed to helping you find work quickly after you graduate.
7. College is Not For Everyone
Cost, time, and future salary should not be the only deciding factors when it comes to choosing between college and trade school. If you have a passion for working with your hands, creating art, or desire to be a part of the non-clinical medical community, you don't have to submit yourself to higher education to fulfill these dreams.
A trade school offers you opportunities to work doing what you love, and sometimes that's more valuable than a high salary.
How to Apply to A Trade School
Applying to a trade school is similar to applying to a four-year college.
You'll need to have a high-school diploma or GED.
Do some research on the school and the trade you wish to study. Make sure the school has a good reputation and a high job-placement rate. Most schools provide the application online, and you can apply anytime.
Once you've been accepted, you can speak to someone about financial aid and get your schedule. Work out a plan to make sure you can handle your class load.
College Vs. Trade School
The benefits of trade school are numerous and should be seriously considered when you're getting ready to graduate high school or just want a career change. Having skills for life and keeping up with your trade can lead to a fulfilling life with a satisfactory paycheck.
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