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Not everyone knows what they want to do in life when they graduate from high school. Some people currently in the workforce still have no idea. If you have even the slightest inkling, you already have an advantage over those people. Knowing what you want to do is the first step. Now, you could go to a traditional four year college, spend half of your time learning things that might not apply to your chosen field and then may still have to receive on the job training. Or, you could just go to a technical trade school.
You might be asking yourself…
– What exactly is a Technical Trade School?
– Is a Technical Trade School the right choice for me?
– What are my career options?
– What should I look for in a school?
– Can I afford it?
– Will I be able to get a job after graduation?
What exactly is a Technical Trade School?
Technical trade schools are designed to fully prepare students for one of several specific career fields. Rather than focusing on generalized academics, these schools will provide students with hands-on training in real-world environments, using current industry equipment.
If you need more reasons to choose a technical trade school, here are just a few…
- Be ready for your career in less than 2 years.
- Receive dedicated, career focused training.
- Enjoy small class sizes and personalized instruction.
- Take advantage of career placement assistance.
- Receive practical, hands-on experience.
- Train in real-world settings.
- Financial aid is available to those who qualify.
- Earn an Associate Degree (Occupational) or Professional Certificate.
Is a Technical Trade School the right choice for me?
The first step in choosing what type of school to attend is deciding on which career you want to pursue. Then you must consider if this career will require more training beyond basic academics. Now think about the time you want to spend in preparation for your career. If the answer to the last question is something like, “no more than necessary,” then a technical trade school is probably starting to look very appealing.
Information and knowledge are of course very important, but if you would also like to have the practical application skills that allow you to go into your career already knowing how to do your job, then a technical trade school might be the right choice for you.
What are my career options?
There are so many career fields that are now being represented at technical trade schools. It is just the task of narrowing it down to the one that fits you the best.
Choose from a variety of careers, such as:
- Automotive technician
- Medical assisting
- Dental assisting
- Business administration
- Health information technology
- Massage therapy
- Personal trainer
- Pharmacy technician
- Computer technician
- Interior design
- Electronics technician
Just to name a few.
What should I look for in a school?
- Career Options: Of course the first thing you want to do is make sure that the school offers the career training program that you are looking for.
- Graduate Success Rates: You will also want to look into their program success rates. Do graduates tend to go on to work in their chosen career fields? How long does it take for students to find a job after graduation? Do they offer career placement assistance?
- Flexible Scheduling: Look into program hours and make sure they offer the kind of flexibility you might require.
- Transferable Credits: If you are looking for transferable credits, make sure that they do that.
- Externships: Look for schools that offer externships to expand your overall experience.
- Accreditation: Finally, find out if their accreditation is through a reputable source. You’ll want to cover all your bases before making a decision.
Can I afford it?
Financial Aid Options
Paying for a technical trade school isn’t much different than paying for a traditional college. There are many paths you can take to pay for school.
- You can choose to pay on your own either up front or through a payment plan.
- You may wish to apply for financial aid through the school’s financial aid program.
- You can apply for numerous scholarship opportunities.
- You can participate in a work study program.
- You can take out personal or educational loans, which can come from the federal government, the school, or another private entity.
- If you happen to be current or former military, you can use your military benefits, ie. GI bill to cover tuition costs.
One of the perks of a technical trade school over a traditional college is that books, electronics and supplies are typically covered in your tuition. Many of these schools will allow students to keep laptops, tablets, tools and other equipment upon completion of their programs.
Technical trade schools are a great choice for people who want a rewarding career in half the time. Whichever direction you choose to go, make sure you do your homework. Listen to your instincts and stay true to your own personal goals. In choosing to further your education, you are already ahead of the game.
“Consumer Information.” Choosing a Vocational School. Federal Trade Commission, Aug. 2012. Web. 21 July 2014.
“Vocational & Trade Schools: A Growing Trend.” Advantages of Going to a Vocational Trade School ~ GoCollege.com. GO COLLEGE, n.d. Web. 21 July 2014.