College Vs Vocational School: Which Is Right for You?

It seems from an early age that many children are steered toward the destiny of heading to a four-year  college or university when they graduate high school. While for some careers and individuals it is the right path, it is not always the best fit for everyone. There are many careers that can be fulfilling and a better fit that do not require a Bachelor’s degree, but instead are best obtained through a vocational school education. How do you know if college is the right choice for you, or whether a vocational school may be a better fit?

Advantages of Trade or Vocational Schools

College has its benefits; you can take your education and apply it to a vast number of fields and careers. However, for students that are not sure what their career goals are, it can be four or more years of an expensive education that they may not need. Vocational or trade schools are streamlined to train students in a specific field. This is a fast-tracked education that gives you specific training for a trade, usually in less than two years. Some of the advantages of choosing a trade school over a traditional four-year degree:

  • Less expense. While a four-year college degree at a private college can cost an average of over $100,000 or over $55,000 at a state college, vocational degrees can cost as little as a few thousand dollars, with an average of $33,000 for a degree.
  • Quicker route to the workforce. Some trade school degrees only require a few months of training before hitting the workforce, with longer degrees lasting two years. Most trade school grads are working in their field years before their college counterparts finish school.
  • Job availability. Most trades have a deficit of qualified applicants in the workforce. Job placement is almost guaranteed in many fields upon graduation, where some college students have trouble finding positions in their field.

The question is not whether vocational school or college is a better choice, it is which best suits the individual. For those not driven toward a certain career or field, college can be an expensive way to find their path, while trade schools offer a faster option to begin working in a chosen field.

Determining Your Best Path
At Trailhead Consulting, it is our goal to help our clients find the right path for their future. For many, college is the right choice and the best way to fulfill their dreams. For others, college may not be the right route and a vocational school makes more sense for achieving success. If you are trying to decide which road to take, contact us to schedule a free introductory session to learn more about how we can help you find your best path.