For decades now, we’ve become increasingly aware of the importance of postsecondary education when it comes to building a long-term career, but traditional four-year college settings just aren’t a good fit for everyone. In fact, more and more students are turning to trade schools and career colleges for the kinds of training they need. The National Center for Education Statistics found that enrollment in vocational and trade schools almost doubled between 1996 and 2016, and those numbers continue to climb.
If you’ve been thinking about furthering your education, here are some of the top benefits of attending a career college or trade school for you to consider before you enroll.
1. Train for Work That’s in High Demand
Because vocational colleges are focused on helping students kickstart their careers first and foremost, they feature programs and industries that are in-demand. Trades like electrician and HVAC and welding are always in need of skilled professionals because we depend on them so much to help keep our homes, businesses, and infrastructure running. And fields like healthcare have some of the fast-growing careers out there because demand for medical services keeps rising. You won’t have to worry about what you’ll do with your training after you graduate; you’ll be ready to step into the workforce.
2. Go From Classroom to Career Faster
Traditional colleges can take four or more years to get from your first day to graduation, bogged down with electives and prerequisites that you may not even need. In contrast, trade schools narrow in on the skills that will benefit you the most in your future career and give you hands-on training in those areas. It’s right there in the name “career college,” after all — our mission is to prep you for the career you want, not waste your time on classes you don’t.
3. Gain Real-World Experience
There are some things — many things, even — that you just can’t learn out of a textbook or by sitting in a classroom. If you’re studying to become Licensed Vocational Nurse, for example, you can’t learn how to do a needle stick or take a blood pressure just by reading about the steps. Or if you want to be a welder, you’ll never pass your certifications if you haven’t picked up a torch. That’s why trade schools go beyond the traditional tests and homework by incorporating hands-on training and practical experience. Many also include externships in the program itself so you have the chance to get on-the-job experience.
4. Decrease the Possibility of Student Debt
One reason many students avoid enrolling in a traditional four-year university is the staggering costs involved in earning a bachelor’s degree. Graduating with your personal finances in the red can make it just that much harder to start on the next phase of your life. Because trade schools and career colleges often offer programs that take a fraction of the time to complete, they can often result in less debt, less financial burden, and a stronger start to your career. On top of that, many career colleges offer financial aid assistance.
5. Get Help Finding a Job After School
Trade and vocational schools keep the goal of helping their students find new careers at the heart of their mission. Because of this, many of them have career services departments to provide resources and opportunities when it comes time for your job search. Staff and faculty members often cultivate relationships with local employers, businesses, and organizations, so that they are constantly in the know about who is looking for skilled graduates. It’s a team that’s there for everything from practicing interview skills to following up with you as you progress through your career.
6. Small Class Sizes, Real Connections
Traditional universities often have enormous lecture halls filled with hundreds of students and professors you’d barely recognize walking by on the street, let alone get any real guidance from. Career colleges, on the other hand, keep their class sizes small, so that you have more opportunities to engage with your instructor and classmates. It allows you to build relationships and create a community as you work toward graduation.
7. Break Through the Education Barrier
At career schools, like Summit College, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to train for a successful career. Contrary to the application process for many traditional universities, which require pages of hoops to jump through, trade schools aim to make applying an easy, accessible experience. Oftentimes, they allow students to enroll even without a high school diploma and don’t require things like SAT scores or prerequisite classes.
Ready to Chart Your Career Path?
If you’re ready to take control of your future and take advantage of all the benefits that trade schools have to offer, now is a great time to check out Summit College. We’ve been providing quality, affordable education for over 30 years in healthcare and the trades. Reach out to Summit College today and one of our experienced admissions advisors will be happy to answer your questions and get your started.