Trade School or College… But, What’s Best for Me?
Many believe that attending a four-year college is a necessity for career success. But the reality is that many students are entering college after high school completely unprepared – academically, emotionally, and financially. Tens of thousands of dollars are spent on four-year universities by students who are not 100% sure why they are going. As a result, students often struggle to pay back loans with no job to support them. The irony is that there are many job options more readily available to graduates, including work in skilled trades. Many of these jobs may be obtained faster and easier than jobs from a four-year college if you get the right certification.
Going to Trade School vs. Going to College
A common argument for getting a Bachelor’s Degree is higher lifetime earnings over someone who only has a high school degree. Statistics on the future of our workforce challenge this argument. A lot of those who have low lifetime earnings may not have necessarily benefited from college. For many people, college is simply not the best place to learn how to earn a living – and that’s okay! There are plenty of opportunities in fields designed for hands-on learners, such as:
- Automotive Technology
- Heavy Equipment Operation
- HVAC Technology
- CNC Machine Operation
- …and more!
The Hidden Costs of Attending a Four-Year College
Even once a four-year degree has been earned, eligible career paths and starting yearly salary depends on the major. A good two-year degree or certification can pay better than many four-year degrees. In 2019, the annual salary for an English or Sociology major averaged out at about $36,000. The average four-year bill for a private college will run you about $100,000. That is excluding the fact you may want to live a little or keep a roof over your head. Even public colleges are expensive. For example, Ohio State costs $35,000 for four-year tuition, not including any other expenses. Also, students who attend college give up four years of full-time earnings while their student loan debt piles on. And no one is guaranteed to graduate in only four years – six-year graduations are becoming increasingly common among both non-competitive and highly-competitive schools. Due to these reasons, enrollment in a trade school can be a better option for many students than going straight to college after high school.
Top 5 Reasons For Going to Trade School:
- Learn a specific career trade instead of focusing on a broad range of academics
- Smaller classrooms for teacher-student interaction
- Hands-on training (perfect for hands-on learners!)
- Employers tend to prefer trade school graduates
- Applicants with a trade school diploma already have both the know-how and hands-on experience
- Quicker and Cheaper
- No longer than 2-3 years and as short as 6-10 weeks on average
- Tuition and expenses combined are less than a four-year College
Does Going to a Trade School Sound Like the Best Choice for You?
If you’ve decided vocational training is your best path to career success, study at Ohio or Pennsylvania’s accredited New Castle School of Trades’ locations. At NCST, you are equipped with the skills and knowledge to excel in technical careers from welding to automotive technology. Additionally, the New Castle School of Trades offers financial aid to students who qualify. Our goal is to increase the value of our students, not increase crushing debt.