We all know what a crazy year 2020 was, and the affect it had on all levels of education. With schools embracing a more virtual approach, you may be wondering what the point of attending a traditional brick and mortar school is. High schools often focus on four-year colleges when preparing their students for graduation. In fact, most of the time, they make it sound like it’s your only option. And though it is the best option for some students, it is not the best option for all of them.
Luckily, there’s another, often over-looked option: trade schools.
Most students and their parents forget that trade schools are an option. Maybe they simply aren’t aware of any trade school programs in their area. Or maybe they’ve fallen victim to the cloud of stereotypes and misconceptions that surround trade schools. If you didn’t know trade schools were an option, you may not even know what they are.
So what is a trade school? A trade school, also called a technical or tech school, is a post-secondary educational institute designed to train students for a specific job in a skilled or mechanical trade career. Trade schools offer hand-on training to prepare students for work in their specific field. Even if you have little to no prior experience, trade schools will teach you what you need to know to successfully advance your career. Trade schools can be highly specialized while other might offer a few different programs.
Now that you know what a trade school is, here are the 5 best things about attending one:
1. You can start when you want.
Maybe you missed that March 1st deadline for college applications. Luckily, trade schools don’t have set beginning and end dates like more traditional schools. This means that you don’t have to wait until the spring or fall semester to apply or even start your program. With the advantage of rolling admissions and multiple start dates throughout the year, you can start whenever you want with little no wait time.
2. They’re faster.
When most people think of traditional colleges, they are thinking of another four years in school. This can be daunting for even the most academic of students. However, trade schools allow you to earn a career certificate or degree in two years or less, especially if you follow their recommended course outline. There are even trade school programs that can be completed in as little as a few months. Not only will you be in school for less time, but this also means you can start your career sooner as well.
3. They’re smaller.
If you attend a trade school, one of the first things you’ll notice is the size of your class; it’ll be pretty small. No matter what kind of school you attend, whether it be a four-year college or a trade school, smaller class sizes are always an advantage. Smaller class sizes mean that you’ll have more opportunities for one-on-one interactions with your teachers, and it will be easier to connect to your peers. This helps to create a better learning environment and a better support system.
4. You can save money!
We’ve all heard about student loan debt acquired by those who attend four-year colleges. In 2019, 69% of college students took out loans and graduated with an average debt of $29,900. The average cost of attending a trade school is around $33,000, and that’s for the entire education. At some four-year colleges, you may be spending that in a single year between tuition, room and board, books, and other miscellaneous fees.
5. They’ll help you get a job.
Not only are trade schools going to teach you all of the most relevant and up-to-date skills you need for your field, they are going to help you find a job once you’ve completed your program. A lot of trade schools even have counselors whose only job is to find employment for their students after they’ve graduated or earned their certificate. When looking at trade schools, be sure to ask them about their job placement rate post graduation.
Although it may seem like trade schools are for people who know exactly what they want to do in life, this isn’t always the case. Trade schools can be a great place to find your direction and learn skills that could help you in many different careers.
Whether you go to a four-year college or choose to enroll in a trade school, it is still a big decision. You need to make sure you consider all of your options. There are benefits and drawbacks to both types of institutions.
NCI is here to answer any and all questions you may have about trade schools. And if you decide you want to get your career off the ground? Contact NCI today!