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Taking the Plunge into Trade School: Important Considerations

From career fairs to campus tours, by the time you’re a junior or senior in high school you’ve heard a lot about college. Something less discussed is trade school – sometimes referred to as vocational school or vocational college. This shouldn’t be written off as a lesser education than traditional college programs, though. The main distinction between trade school and traditional college lies in its focus.

Providing a Job-centric Focus

While college is where some students go to “find themselves,” or try on different majors for fit, trade schools are often designed for students with a clearer focus on their post-graduation goals. When it comes down to it, a main distinction between trade school and traditional college is that they genuinely focus on helping students secure the education needed to find a career in their field of study after graduation.

This isn’t to say that other postsecondary institutions don’t share some of the same underlying goals. Rather, trade schools typically have a curated education offering that supports fields where they see placement success and long-term opportunities for career growth.

Emphasis on Technical Skills

Another difference is that many programs offered by trade schools -by proxy- hone more technical skills. These technical skills can include pipefitting, skilled nursing, dental hygiene or medical coding, to name a few. The important thing is that students in these programs are securing technical skills that directly translate into employment. Even better, these skills often present different employment opportunities unavailable to the masses. Additionally, a certain level of job security often accompanies individuals with these skills. The reason is because trade school provides specific training that’s usually not offered to students in a traditional education program.

Whether you feel that trade school or a traditional college education is right for you, it’s important that you take time to assess your post-graduation career goals. While something may be fun or interesting to study in college, it’s important to evaluate if it presents quality employment opportunities after graduation.

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