As the semester begins, many are thinking about the cost of education for the post high school student in their life. Is a degree really needed in this world? How can trade schools help us meet our goals and save us money? These are some of the questions I will seek to answer below.
The Cost of College
When considering colleges, the price tag is not equal from school to school. Junior college is a less expensive option to begin school. One should also take into consideration what degree you are wanting to get long term. A junior college could allow you to get a 2-year degree and allow you to begin a career. This would allow you to pay your debt off before proceeding with a four-year degree. Public colleges cost close to a quarter of what private institutions cost for in-state students. Students who are out of state attending a public college will likely pay almost twice that of their local peers. The cost of tuition, room and board, and job availability are considerations for starting your career after graduation.
The Cost of Trade School
For many decades trades schools have often gotten a reputation for being less valuable than a college degree. In our post Covid world, we might be able to see better what jobs are still used in a time of crisis, many of which are vocations. Trade school programs are often in vocations such as cosmetology, plumbing, HVAC, and mechanics. Trade schools are often 2 years rather than 4 years and cost less than a third of a bachelor’s degree from a 4-college. This would be very helpful when starting your career. There are advantages and disadvantages to each school. Let’s compare some of those differences.
Trade School Vs. College
When considering whether you should go to a traditional college or a trade school, consider what your future goals are. Trade schools will not have post graduate degrees. If you wish to teach at a university for example, you will not be able to get the schooling you need from a trade school. If you are looking for a well paying career that you can begin quickly and maintain long term, a trade school could be a great option that will give you a close starting out income as your 4-year college peers. Long term, it can vary depending on where you decide to work in your vocation.
If you seek to switch careers you may find it difficult either way, but a bachelor’s degree will give you more options across careers. Even if you’re not using the degree you have, having the piece of paper is desirable for many employers. If you choose to go the vocational route, you could always return to college after you have had a career and made a good living to learn something new. This would cost more later but will give you life skills and an idea of what you’re really wanting to do with the degree you are getting.
Going to school is a big decision whether you choose to do a vocational trade school or a traditional college. Neither is the right choice for every person. Trade school is however a great option for many, and really should be a consideration when looking at cost up front and income long term, if what you want to do is within a vocational school scope. In the end, going to school for a business degree because you don’t know what else to do could put you in a lot of debt and not give you the niched down advantage starting your career.
What choice did you make? What would you change?