College Versus Trade School: What’s Right for You?
It is not always easy to decide what path to take after high school graduation. The good news is that there is a myriad of options designed to fit a variety of preferences and personal needs.
From traditional college routes to trade school, you need to examine all of the options of each choice so you can make the best individual decision.
Here are a few considerations to make as you decide what path is right for you.
The traditional college route is a common choice for many high school graduates.
If you choose a two-year or four-year degree program, you will be challenged to push yourself academically. A traditional university experience, although quite different today, can deliver a variety of networking opportunities. However, local community college is also a great start so you can save two years’ worth of money. College students can take advantage of a wide array of campus activities.
Attending trade school is a viable alternative to a traditional college experience. Students who choose to continue their education at a technical college or vocational school can find that these options are more affordable and customizable.
It is also easier to receive your certification in a shorter amount of time than at a traditional college.
A Combination of Both
Some students find the best option is to do a combination of both trade school and traditional college education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that depending on which state you’ll be working in, you may have to pass a certification exam. Add the credentials of an Associate’s degree, and your hiring chances go up. Prospective employers may find that your skills are more valuable than a candidate with only a formal education, rather than one combined with hands-on experience. This experience can put you in a better position to find a qualified job.
Is a High School Diploma Enough?
In most places in the country, a high school diploma is not enough to earn a living wage. If money is your primary deterrent from going to college, keep mind that there are financial aid programs available to help you further your education. You do not have to go straight into college or trade school if this is not the right time for you. Everyone has a different path, and it is fine to choose a route that is more suited to your individual circumstances.
You should not make rash decisions after high school. While your choice of degree may not necessarily dictate what you’ll do for the rest of your life, this is a particular time that you will never get back. With the right research and execution, you can choose the best path for your life goals and specific situation.