Everyone wants to land a good-paying job that they actually enjoy. This is the reason why parents would often tell their kids to get a college diploma. A degree alone won’t ensure you will get the job you want. Not all high-paying jobs require a college degree. But it can give you that competitive advantage when job hunting.
If you are about to graduate from high school or want to change careers for better opportunities, you might be torn between attending college or trade school instead. Both college and trade school has their fair share of advantages and disadvantages. Knowing what these are will make it easier for you to decide which path to take.
Here’s what you need to consider when comparing the two.
What You Plan to Study
One factor you need to consider is what you plan on studying. If your dream career requires a degree, then you really have no choice but to attend a 4-year college. This will help you prepare for a specialized career since it emphasizes transferable skills. You will cover more subjects, practice different skills, and choose a major to define your career path.
In a trade school, you are going to study a career-focused program and immediately retain the experience needed to land your desired job. For instance, you plan on exploring the electrical trade. With an electrician trade qualification, you can easily land a job as electricians are always in demand.
There is no point in studying for a four-year degree if your interest aligns with a vocational degree. The same goes with getting certification if your goal is to attain a major in engineering, science, technology, etc.
The Costs and Earning Potential
College can cost you thousands of dollars per year in tuition. Most degrees take about four years to finish. As for vocational degrees, it only takes two years or less to finish which also makes it a lot more comfortable.
Of course, the amount and how long you need to study in college or trade school will depend on your degree. College degree holders often get paid more especially if they land the job they studied for. As for graduates of vocational courses, your starting salary can be higher than college graduates since you get hands-on experience while studying.
Not everyone can afford to pay for college and don’t like the idea of acquiring massive student debt. If you choose a trade school, this lowers your need to get a student loan. This means you can keep your earnings instead of paying a considerable amount of student debt each month.
Common Perceptions About Trade Schools and Colleges
It is crucial that you learn about the common stereotypes surrounding trade schools and colleges. Here are some of them.
Getting a job
Most people say that having a college degree makes it easier to find a job. In reality, it becomes a little tricky since you studied a general curriculum. With a specific trade certification, you can land a job of your interest since you specifically studied and have hands-on training to graduate.
Quality of education
A common misconception is that colleges and universities offer a better quality of education. It really depends on the institution. But if you want more focused and smaller classes, you can consider trade school.
Some think a diploma or degree from a trade school is not a real degree. But in some cases, college degree holders use a trade school certification to continue their education. They use this to advance in their career and potentially land a better job.
Both trade schools and colleges offer varying perks and drawbacks. It can be overwhelming when deciding which one to pick. It all depends on what you wish to achieve, the risks you are willing to take, and what your personal priorities are. Consider these things and weigh both options. Rushing can lead to regret, so take your time when choosing.