College Vs. Trade School

Some people might argue that higher education is a better route for getting ahead in their careers. In contrast, others feel that trade school offers more flexibility and a better chance of success. This article post will lay out the various pros and cons of college vs. trade school.


As mentioned, some people argue that higher education is the best route for a career’s future success. According to Business Week, the U.S. economy is expected to see 10 million college graduates shortage over the next decade.

Any field that requires an advanced level of understanding or knowledge will tend to grow and create more jobs, including engineering, technology, science, and math fields.

With this in mind, it can be easier to find a job and start earning a salary right after graduating college. It is feasible to work full-time and attend college full-time simultaneously; but, for some people, this is not an ideal circumstance.

Some may argue that more jobs are available in trade schools than in higher education. If a person attends trade school, they can start working as soon as they complete their training and field certification, although this may vary from career to career.


As higher education expenses continue to grow, an increasing number of students are considering trade schools. Trade school education can be accessed from a local community college or vocational school, providing the same quality of education for much cheaper.

College can also mean moving away from family and friends for some students, whereas a trade school can be enjoyed right in their hometown. Many people still believe that attending college is important, but it may not be the most logical choice for everyone.


Students who enroll in trade school training can often receive an immediate certification at the end of their training. A person who attends a trade school may focus specifically on their career field, receive a practical certification, and then find a job. Some students decide that they want to get started as quickly as possible, so taking the certification course and starting their career as soon as possible is important.

Students may also feel that higher education does not require any additional certifications beyond what is required for college-level courses.

Choosing what type of path to take will likely impact the next 20 years of your life and how happy you are. It is critical to examine the various career pathways and the necessary qualifications so that you may be confident in your decision and prepared to succeed.

The average cost of tuition for a trade school is around $37,000. On the other hand, University tuition can be as low as $6,000. This difference in affordability isn’t the only thing prospective students consider while choosing between these two school types. College degrees typically take four years to complete, while trade programs are typically completed in two.

People who go to college usually graduate with debt, and they may not even find a job easily after finishing school. Universities don’t offer as much fine-tuning as trade schools do. This is because, unlike universities, technical colleges focus on preparing you for the workforce by providing practical hands-on experience with your chosen course of study.

Most people who enroll in trade school programs tend to choose a career right after studying instead of going to university and taking random courses they don’t like and eventually dropping out with student debt. It is also beneficial for mothers, as their children can be taken care of while attending classes at technical college.

Technical colleges also have shorter class periods than universities, making it possible for students to work and study without sacrificing time for sleeping or working.

Advantages of going to college

  • Can expand your learning beyond the scope of a trade school.
  • A college degree can open doors and opportunities in more managerial and leadership type positions (e.g., supervisor, manager, team leader).
  • More job security. A college degree can also provide more and better employment opportunities than a trade school diploma.
  • Higher-income potential

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, stated that “people with bachelor’s degrees earn $57,022 per year on average nearly twice as much as those with a high school diploma ($30,545), and more than twice what those with an associate’s degree earn ($29,324)”.

  • More flexibility in course selection.

Advantages of going to a trade school:

  • Lower cost. A few examples are Home Depot offering discounts for program graduates or even funding the whole program if the student agrees to work with them for a certain period.
  • A trade school has shorter and more flexible class hours; students can use that free time to work and support themselves during their studies. Students who attended technical college will find it easier to balance school and working or child-rearing responsibilities than college students.
  • There are far more trade jobs available than there are college degrees.
  • You gain hands-on experience in the field of your choice before you even graduate (meaning you start working sooner).

Trade schools can easily be transferred to another program with little effort, making it easier to change plans without losing too much time or money. They are typically smaller, allowing students to get more one-on-one attention from instructors.

Due to the lack of employment for applicants with a degree, many organizations would recruit someone without a college diploma. You could also be hired by one company for your trade, then move on to another company or decide to start your own business. You will have the skills necessary to do so, unlike people with a degree who may still need time to develop those skills.

  • According to an economist at the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, recent studies show that more than 40 percent of employed workers in the U.S without a bachelor’s degree earn $50,000 or more per year. In comparison, only 20 percent of those with a bachelor’s degree earn that much.

The trade school programs are built on hands-on, practical learning, in which students tackle real-world challenges and lnew skills to help them progress.

These schools offer flexible payment plans, making it possible for many adults and prospective students to attend and complete their course of study even if they have other financial obligations.

In Conclusion

Whether a person chooses to attend college or trade school, both have specific benefits and drawbacks. Higher education is sometimes seen as a stepping stone to the “real world”, whereas trade school can be considered more practical and practical options.

On top of that, some trades may require certification to begin working, which means that attending college first may not always be necessary. However, as a result of this, higher education can sometimes open more doors to a person’s career, especially if they decide to go on to further education or go into a management position.

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