The Facts You Need To Know About Trade Schools Vs Four Year Colleges
Today more than ever before the pressure to go to college is on the minds of many. If you have just graduated high school, or if you are an adult that has been unable to get any traction in your career path, then you are likely considering college. But what about trade schools, are they a good choice?
When it comes to considering between these two types of education, there are many factors that may not be so obvious, but are important to examine before making the decision. Many jobs and career paths will themselves determine which of these you must choose. So if you have made up your mind on the exact job you want, then the choice may be made for you.
If you want to be a mechanic, this will require you to go to a trade school as a college or university will be unable to give you the training you will require. If you want to be veterinarian or an attorney, then college will be your only choice. Still, there are those careers that have the choice. If you are interested in computers, you could choose a trade school that offers training in repairs or other skill sets, but college is also a choice.
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In 2017, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma*.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics
Advantages Of College
According to government statistics, those who receive a four year degree, or bachelor’s degree, typical make an annual salary above $45,000 while those with only a high school diploma make less than $30,000 a year. If you are not sure what you want to do or which career is best for you, college allows you a couple of years before you will have to choose your specialty of study.
College life is seen as a coming of age opportunity where many are living away from home for the first time and they have more freedom, but still have the restriction of campus rules to give some structure. As most colleges require students to live on campus the first two years, it is a chance to make lifelong friends and future business contacts.
Disadvantages Of College
While the average annual salary is higher for those who have a degree, so are the cost to get that degree. It is possible to get an education for less, but the statistical average of a four year degree is well over $100,000. Many student loans come with low interest rates, but these rates still raise the amount paid by a considerable amount over the length of the loan (s).
Although a bachelor’s degree is called a four year degree, it is notable that forty percent of all those who start a degree program quit before completing it. Of those that do finish and graduate with their degree, sixty percent of those graduates took 5.5 years or more to complete their degree program, not four years. This is a substantial investment in time and money that some just can’t or don’t want to make.
One of the biggest disadvantages is that most colleges and universities require you to take many subjects that have nothing to do with the area of study you are interested in. Academic English, social studies, science and others are among the required courses of degree programs.
Advantages Of Technical School
The cost of this type of preparatory school is considerably less. In fact it can be a full 70% less. Because this type of school focuses on job skills training and does not require the academic study of unrelated topics, it can be completed in much less time and still gives you real working skills and experience that is lacking in college degrees.
These schools take two years instead of four because they skip the required college level high school topics that are required for all degree paths at the four year universities. As these types of schools focus on the specific skills needed for a particular career path, the percentage of those that finish and graduate are significantly higher than at four year colleges.
Tech schools are easier for many adults to attend as they offer a range of class times including evening courses. There is no requirement to live on campus and as the study is focused on skills training it often keeps students attention and gives them a feeling of progress.
Disadvantages Of Technical School
These schools are seen by some as not being of the same high standards as a traditional college. The education is sometimes frowned upon as lacking in rigor and the discipline to work through the academic requirements set by traditional universities. The academic requirements set by a regular college is seen as instilling critical thinking and writing skills as well as building a strong foundation in the fundamentals of education.
If later you do wish to complete a four year degree, you will not be given any credit toward you degree from the skills learned at technical school. Additionally, these schools are focused on job skills training and lacks the social environment created at many colleges and universities.
Certainly there is a lot to be said about either of these educational choices. It really comes down to what your goals are, how much you are willing to spend on your education and how much time you want to invest before being able to apply your newly learned skills.
Some Additional Facts To Help You Decide
According to a government study the difference in average annual salaries of those that graduated technical school vs traditional college is about $5,000 annually with the college graduate having the higher salary. But if you were to factor in the added cost of a college degree along with the 2 or 3 years of additional time to complete it and you included the extra cost along with those extra years of lost income, the typical technical school graduate can put in their pocket the same or slightly higher amount of real world lifetime earnings as the college graduate.
It is not really a matter of which is better, but instead is a choice of which one best suits you needs and goals.