Comparing the pros and cons of trade school can help determine if this type of education suits a particular situation.
Trade school forms specialists referring to the type of education that involves obtaining a profession without higher education.
Sometimes referred to as a vocational school or technical school, a trade school makes it possible to create specialists in a specific field.
An even more common type of trade education in the modern world is all kinds of courses that allow you to get a diploma, knowledge, and a job. A perfect way to alter or enhance your career path!
Through a combination of hands-on and classroom learning, trade schools allow students to gain real-world, hands-on experience in their field of study.
However, they rarely offer general education or liberal arts subjects. Here are the brief pros and cons of studying in trade school.
Table of Contents
Pros of Trade School
One of the main advantages of a trade school is students, like college students, can earn a diploma or industry certificate upon completion of their program.
Many skilled trade students will be ready to work immediately after graduation, while others will need to complete additional training or prepare for licensing exams.
Some other pros of trade school include:
1. Working Speciality
Trade schools mainly teach technical skills that are in demand at all times. Having a diploma from a trade school program, a person will continually earn a piece of bread.
Still, it would be best if you did not count on huge salaries and a career ladder sharply carried away into the clouds.
2. Financial independence
A trade school education is a viable option for students to earn money and become financially independent from their parents.
Based on the education courses you choose, you can make even the salary, enough to rent an apartment from a very early age.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a qualified electrician is approximately $56,000 nationally, and specific industries can be as high as $82,000.
Salaries are slightly less for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics, with their average annual salary being roughly $46,000 to $69,000.
The starting average salary for positions requiring degrees in Engineering, Computer Science, Business, or Social Science is just over $50,000.
Some industries have the potential for six-figure salaries, particularly software development and engineering, but many, especially in social services, rarely break $60,000.
3. Less cost
According to the claims of the US Department of Education, the average cost of attending a four-year college is about $80,000. If a private college is chosen, this price can increase dramatically, sometimes over $120,000.
For the average two-year institution, which includes many trade schools and certificate programs, the tuition fees cost is less than $10,000 per year.
The added expense of a bachelor’s degree often comes with more options in terms of subjects to study. You’ll also have the potential to continue your education and earn advanced degrees in the future.
Trade schools may have limited flexibility on the subject matter, but the price is usually more manageable. Students will graduate with much less debt if loans are used to pay for school.
4. Faster career entry
As a trade school student, you will have your degree in your pocket much earlier than university graduates.
While college students have to get by with an extra income from part-time jobs, you already get a full salary.
The hands-on training of vocational programs takes a long time to catch up to the academics of four-year degrees from the community college.
An example is traditional four-year college students taking a medical technician degree versus vocational college providing technical training for physical therapist, respiratory therapist, or radiation therapist.
5. Good chances of being taken on after training
If you perform well, there is a high probability that your employer will take you on after you graduate. Those who make an effort can have secure career options in their pocket.
6. Practicality of the teachings
It is undoubtedly helpful to touch on the development of the concepts learned in the classroom firsthand.
Within a school that aims to learn through books and teachers’ experience, the idea that future workers can know the truthfulness of information received creates comfort in students.
Any in-depth studies at the level of study are thus stimulated by the possibility of being put into practice.
7. Extracurricular experience
The confrontation with the world of work at an early age can undoubtedly be complex and capable of triggering mechanisms of discouragement in those who have to face it.
In this case, facing a profession gives a perfect idea of what it will mean to work effectively tomorrow.
It will also allow possible contacts with companies ready to increase their number of workers with the necessary growth prospects.
8. Space for your creativity
The school will give you some input, and you will have to be able to develop projects. It will pay off in the long run if you come up with ingenious ideas and show them to your professors.
9. Orientation and personal development
Studying concepts without learning fundamental skills may be easier than living work experiences.
Trade school, in the name of personal practice, allows students to understand if they are interested in their learning skills.
This path is, in fact, helpful during the career orientation, which allows you to discard work positions that are not considered satisfactory in favor of those you prefer, bringing a further evolution of your professionalism and your concept of personal fulfillment.
10. Free to decide on your future
Yes, each trade school has its address for which you are educated and prepared for inclusion in the company.
Still, if you change your mind about what you want to do in your life at the end of school, you will be free to continue studying at any university address.
11. Learning new information
The experience in the field allows you to use the knowledge learned up to that moment and achieve other achievements, to a greater or lesser extent, during working hours.
It is helpful to remember that valid projects concerning trade schools are projects that do not recognize the student’s figure as a worker in all respects but accompany him through experience on a path of insertion into reality.
12. Faster Graduation
Most trade school courses are shorter than degree courses. The shorter time to graduate also means that vocational training is cheaper.
However, the quality of education does not deteriorate, as trade school graduates usually have the necessary licenses for immediate employment.
You can acquire the necessary abilities and knowledge in a short period and graduate in a minimum of two years. You can get a job two years earlier than a four-year university.
Thus, you will quickly acquire on-site experience as a member of society and improve your skills.
You will be able to think concretely and realistically about future career development from an early stage, and you will be paid two years more than college graduates.
13. Educational content directly linked to practical work
A significant advantage of trade schools is that you can acquire practical skills that you can utilize immediately after employment in two years.
There are schools in many fields such as beauty, cooking, language, music, and hospitality, and you have more practical lessons than universities.
Practical equipment is also substantial, and professionals from each industry serve as instructors, so you will be able to work immediately. Another feature is that you are focusing on qualification exam preparation.
14. A large number of jobs in specialized fields gather
At trade schools, many job vacancies are collected from companies in various fields seeking students with specialized skills.
Companies that continuously issue job vacancies every year want to be sure to hire from their school. The selection process will be more advantageous than the general recruitment test.
Also, since the company knows what students’ abilities in the school, mismatches after joining the company are unlikely to occur if you conduct thorough company research.
15. Make friends with the same Goal
Students aiming to find employment in a specific field gather at the trade school so that they can make friends with the same goals.
For example, many students have the same dreams and goals, such as pastry chefs for confectionery schools and CA for aviation schools.
While exchanging information with those friends, you can work hard every day and do your best.
On the other hand, finding colleagues who are aiming for the same job in a university with a wide range of career paths won’t be easy.
16. Class Size and Flexibility
Trade school classes are generally smaller than college classes, allowing the instructor to give each student a generous amount of attention.
Many trade schools offer flexible class hours. You can work at a job during the day while attending classes in the afternoon or at night.
Cons of Trade School
While there are advantages for young people attending trade schools, there are also disadvantages that need to be considered.
1. Opportunities for advancement are often worse
Getting into a management position with a trade school diploma is possible. However, responsible and well-paid positions are usually given to applicants who have completed a border education with an associate degree.
Many companies with job openings cannot accept professional graduates.
If you have a company you would like to go to in the future, remember to check the application guidelines carefully before deciding where to go to school.
Other restrictions include transferring to a university with a teaching profession if you want to become a school teacher.
2. Limited volume
Trade school courses tend to focus on one type of career. If you decide to change careers, you may need additional education.
3. Less free time
Unlike universities, trade schools are packed with classes daily, so it isn’t easy to take free time.
Vocational education requires much more practical dedication. You can forget about flexible schedules if you want to get the full benefit of trade schools.
4. Not many opportunities to study non-specialized fields
There are few opportunities to learn about other fields because the purpose is to acquire knowledge and skills in a specialized field, not boarder education.
It is a disadvantage for those who want to acquire a wide range of knowledge. Traditional four-year universities are the better choice for deeper knowledge.
5. Limited Scope of Job Opportunities
Due to time constraints and the narrow scope of the subject, trade school students may have difficulty finding jobs outside of their specific field.
It can be particularly problematic if your selected work declines in popularity. On the other hand, universities arm their students with a wide range of skills.
For example, if you take a communication degree at a university, you open up several career paths, including journalism, public relations, and media planning.
There is sometimes a stigma attached to vocational training and education. It can be a negative aspect of this type of training for some people, while others don’t mind it.
Although more expensive and more time-consuming to complete, a college degree is considered by some to be better than any training or education received at a trade school.
7. Difficulty in Credit Transfer
Another downside is that some credits can only be transferred to another vocational or trade school and cannot be transferred to a traditional college or university.
8. Risk of conformism
The feeling of belonging and the team spirit that trade schools cultivate can lead to conformity among all students who will find it difficult to express their differences and particularity.
In addition, some students do not adapt well to the state of mind cultivated by the establishments, which can lead to situations of discomfort during schooling.
Trade school activities can be a bit overwhelming for young people. Indeed, they will most often be among advanced professors or successful business owners.
Along the same lines, there will most likely be highly stiff competition. It should inspire students to become better. However, few young people can handle the pressure around them.
10. Make bad decisions
Young people tend to be easily influenced in decisions about their career paths. Attending a trade school can narrow their options available to what is best for them.
It gets so bad that they may not be able to proceed or explore other available options. Trade schools only offer courses in business-related areas, and there’s barely enough room to venture beyond that.
11. Can be stuck on the idea of the diploma
Sometimes people believe that a degree is all they need to excel in life. This idea influences their actions, and they do not make the most of what they have learned.
Young students are more likely to fall victim to this situation. First, they may or may not understand the value of attending trade school.
Second, they may turn down other growth opportunities and get stuck on the degree idea. Either way, the result is often not pleasant.
Quick Glance (Pros and Cons of Trade School)
|Spend little time and money on getting knowledge and a profession|
|You can quickly get to work and earn your living|
|Specialized training helps to start your own life|
|Can become self-employed after completing your education|
|Optimally combine theory with practice and directly apply what you have learned.|
|Highly regarded by employers and companies.|
|Can switch to attain higher education or a college degree|
|Knowledge may not be enough, especially when getting a promotion followed by a salary increase.|
|Not possible to obtain high-quality knowledge in such a short time|
|The upper wage limit in the profession is usually below that of college students.|
|Few managerial positions are open.|
|Structured very specifically limiting your fields of activity|
|Considered Stigma by some people|
|Credits can only be transferred to another trade school and cannot be transferred to a traditional college or university.|
The points mentioned here only address the general pros and cons of attending a trade school. Anything that has a pro will most likely have cons. The key is to weigh the good and the bad to find a balance.
You now know about trade schools, but what about community schools? Are they bad? Are they good? What are their pros and cons? Click here to know more.
(Last Updated on August 22, 2022)