Trade School vs Traditional College
Traditional colleges used to be the only possible route towards gainful employment. However, since the late 1970'strade or vocational schools have been rapidly gaining popularity. Today, the average student has many more alternatives after high school than his/her parents did.
Most people, when deciding between attending a trade school or traditional college, tend to completely advocate one and deride the other. However, both options are good in their own way. To decide which one would work best for you, evaluate your own personal goals.
What a Traditional College can do for You
Traditional colleges are an excellent option for those who can afford to spend four years in college. It is also worth considering for those who would like a 'well-rounded' education.
You will meet an extremely knowledgeable faculty and you will graduate with a thorough knowledge of your subject, especially with regard to theory. So, you can be quite sure that you will impress quite a few people!
Classes are likely to be more generic than specific, giving you a bird's-eye view of various fields. A university setting is also more suitable for those who are of an academic turn of mind and are eager to pursue research.
A university campus is also the best place to meet people from other cultures, improve your world-view and get a liberal perspective. Sororities and fraternities are great places to meet like-minded people and forge life-long friendships.
Reports also show that university students are more likely to engage in civic duties and demonstrate a better knowledge of political and societal issues. They are more active in their intellectual pursuits, compared to students pursuing other educational alternatives.
What Trade Schools Bring to the Table
If your chief priority in pursuing higher education is to find a good job then trade or vocational schools are what you should be looking at. Also read Careers in Vocational or Technical Industriesfor additional resources and information on the subject of attending trade schools.
Trade schools do exactly what they are supposed to, teach you a trade. The focus is on preparing students to enter the workforce upon completion of the course. A good trade school would balance conceptual and practical knowledge.
The curriculum leaves out a lot of generic theory and emphasizes practical training. Classes tend to be more shop-based than lecture-based. In fact, in many vocational and technical schools, the classroom environment actually resembles the workplace; even equipments and methodologies resemble those that are used in that particular industry.
Trade schools usually consist of smaller batches of students, most of who are focused about the trade they want to specialize in. This concentrated stream is instrumental in forging meaningful networks that are likely to last all through your career. It also ensures that you get personalized attention in honing the skills that you already possess.
Reports show that employers have been increasingly showing a preference for students from technical schools. Since they already possess the skills and technical know-how required for the job, employers feel that they would save considerably on training costs.
Another great reason you may want to consider attending a trade school is the huge cost and time savings involved. Since courses are of shorter duration than universities, you spend less money and time studying. It would also allow you to start earning much faster, almost 2-3 years ahead earlier than if you'd attended a university. You total savings could amount to almost 60%-70% of what you'd spend at university.
Many trade schools also offer you flexible options. You can opt to study online, enroll in evening classes, night school or study part-time. This flexibility would also make it possible for you to work as you study.
You could also take up an apprenticeship, internship or externship program, which would give you hands-on experience in a real-world setting. Explore School-directory.net for more information on the subject of trade schools.
In the Final Count...
What really matters is to follow the demands of your personality. If you have an academic bent of mind, you're better off in a traditional college. If however, your main focus is to specialize in your vocation and land a job, a trade school is by far the best bet.