For so many years, students in the US were taught that a four-year college degree was the way to succeed in life. While that’s the right path for some careers, other students found themselves with a degree they didn’t use and a mountain of debt, assuming they were able to graduate.
Now the winds are shifting as people recognize the value of vocational schools or trade schools. The benefits of attending a vocational training school extend from your wallet to your job prospects. If you’re considering this path, keep these critical advantages in mind.
Trade Schools Offer More Direct Training
When a student attends a traditional four-year university, they don’t spend four years studying their chosen field. The universities focus more on well-rounded liberal arts to teach students general skills and information. The problem is that on top of your career training, you end up with silly and sometimes unnecessary classes like pottery-making and frisbee golf solely to meet your credit requirements.
Vocational training school focuses solely on the training you need for your job. You learn the practical skills you’ll need day-to-day in your career rather than skills that are less specific.
Easier Path to Successful Careers
One of the most common myths is that traditional universities allow you to achieve more profitable careers than trade schools. The fact is that both types of education open the door to a wide range of successful career options. The income level depends on your career path rather than your degree.
Take IT for example. The median salary for the IT field is over $88,000 per year. That’s the case whether you have a four-year degree or a vocational school certification, so a vocational school is a more efficient way to get onto the same successful career path.
Faster Start to Your Career
The four-year period of traditional colleges is a significant amount of time. It’s a long time to either be out of the workforce by attending college full-time or to balance part-time college with a full-time job.
Vocational training schools, on the other hand, have more focused programs. The program length depends on the certification or degree you choose, but most trade school programs are around two years long.
Trade Schools Offer Hands-On Knowledge
Traditional universities focus more on theoretical knowledge than hands-on, practical training. That type of knowledge is great for certain jobs like engineering. However, for many people who attend universities, their education is primarily background knowledge so when they get a job, they will need to learn on the job.
Vocational training schools, on the other hand, have a stronger balance between background knowledge and hands-on training. As a result, you’re likely to be better prepared for the day-to-day tasks of your job than someone whose degree has emphasized theoretical knowledge, whether your job is in information technology, holistic healthcare, or another field.
Every school is different, but vocational training schools tend to have lower faculty-to-student ratios than traditional colleges. You won’t have the large lecture halls where your needs get lost among 200 other students.
In fact, the average class at ICOHS College has a 1:10 teacher-to-student ratio. Compare that with the national average of 1:14 among all post-secondary schools, and to the 1:22 average at for-profit private institutions.
Education at a Lower Cost
Many students expect to go into some amount of debt when they invest in their education. However, graduating from a four-year university with $100,000+ in debt means you’re starting your career with a major hurdle to overcome.
Trade schools, on the other hand, are far more cost-effective. The annual cost is often lower than it is at traditional universities, and you’re also paying for two years in most cases compared to four or more. On top of this, ICOHS College offers financial aid as well as military financing options. As a result, you can start your career with far less debt and enjoy the profits of your higher income potential sooner.
Classes for Flexible Schedules
Traditional universities are set up for full-time students who have just graduated from high school and are completing all of their education before entering the workforce. Many of them have far fewer course options for students who work a 9-5 job and want to get their education in the evenings.
Vocational training schools have more diverse options because they serve a wider array of students. They have part-time programs set up in a way that accommodates your current job and your life outside the classroom. At ICOHS College in particular, we offer hybrid programs as well which equip you with both practical and theoretical knowledge.
Strong Employment Qualifications
Part of the reason trade schools are becoming so popular is because more employers are looking on them favorably. Because of the practical, hands-on training you get at a vocational training school, employers know you’re more prepared to do the job than many candidates with four-year degrees.
As a result, your chance of getting a relevant job with your certification after trade school is very strong and you’re likely to see the financial benefits sooner. Vocational schools also focus more directly on preparing you for your industry’s certifications like CompTIA or Cisco certifications which are often required by employers.
Understanding the Benefits of Attending a Vocational Training School
While there are jobs that still require a four-year degree, that list is getting smaller. For more and more people, the benefits of attending a vocational training school allow them to start the career they want sooner and with fewer costs than a traditional college.