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What Are the Benefits of Trade School?

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Did you know that only 11% of young Americans believe trade schools will lead to higher-paying jobs? 

This is but one of many misconceptions about trade schools. As the demand for trade-related jobs grows, so does the need for new trade school students.

Traditional universities are still the norm. However, many students receive little to no information on trade schools before graduating high school. So, what exactly do trade schools offer prospective students?

We’re here to fill you in. Keep reading below to learn about the benefits of trade school for young students! 

More Intimate Learning Setting

Everyone is familiar with the massive lecture halls found in traditional universities. It can be challenging to connect with your instructors and peers in such large classes.

One of the most significant trade school benefits is that their classes average out to 21 students. While the academic classes are larger, they still only average 24 students. Smaller classes give students a better opportunity to participate and engage with their instructors one-on-one.  Although not all trade schools follow the same class sizes (some are higher and some are lower), their class sizes have traditionally been smaller.

For students who benefit from direct feedback, smaller classes can be beneficial. Developing stronger relationships with their instructors can also give them more networking opportunities down the line.

Fewer Campus Distractions

You’ll have to consider the importance of college culture if you’re still wondering, “Should I go to trade school?” How interested are you in dormitory life, college sports, parties, and an expansive campus?

College culture is not for everyone. Trade schools eliminate many of the distractions that come with a traditional college. Many of these distractions also lower the cost of your education.

For example, some traditional colleges require students to live on campus for their first year or two. Few trade schools have the same facilities—you won’t have to deal with assigned roommates or a meal plan.

Shorter Programs

A traditional undergraduate program takes four years. But as many students work part-time jobs to sustain themselves, it can take up to 5-6 years to complete a degree. For students who want to get started with their careers immediately, this lengthy timeline can be discouraging. 

On the other hand, trade certificate programs can take less than a year, and an associate’s degree can typically take between 18 months and two years, depending on the discipline. Even a bachelor’s degree can be completed in less than four years, especially in schools that offer classes year-round.

Most trade schools also offer rolling admissions, so you won’t have to waste time waiting for the new school year to arrive before enrolling. This is beneficial for students who may have taken a gap semester and are eager to start in the spring semester or sometimes even sooner.

Schedule Flexibility

One of the challenges university students face is the rigidity of their schedules. Most classes are only offered during a one-time slot each semester.

Trade schools offer many of their classes during both the day and evenings. This makes it much simpler for students to build realistic schedules and meet their requirements quickly.

It’s also ideal for students who may be working on the side or have family obligations. There is significantly less conflict between their school life and personal life.

More Career Opportunities

One of the biggest benefits of a trade school is the chance to enter the workforce immediately after you complete your program. Most trade schools have dedicated career counseling departments. They can help students find employment to start upon graduation.

Most people are unaware that there is a great demand for trade workers in the U.S (NPR). This leads to potential higher wages for those who do choose trade positions. So, instead of working in a position unrelated to your training, as many college graduates experience, trade school students may get high-paying jobs immediately.

Affordable Programs

Trade schools can be very affordable.  Of course, the cost of trade school tuition will differ depending on your discipline.  Many trade schools are approved to offer financial aid, just as offered at a traditional college.

Fewer Filler Classes

One of the biggest complaints you’ll hear from college students is about gen-eds. General education classes can be beneficial at times, but they often seem like a waste of money and time to students. 

Certificate programs in trade schools put a strong emphasis on program-centric courses. While some do require general education classes, they may be less prevalent than at traditional colleges.

Many of the general education classes also tie in with the chosen program. For instance, some trade schools will offer classes that focus on soft skills. These skills can certainly help the student transition into their professional path.

Hands-On Experience 

One of the biggest benefits of a trade school is the hands-on learning experience. Students will have the opportunity to practice their trade while still in school and learn real-world skills.

Some trade schools also require externships, where the student works under a collaborating organization to strengthen their skills. This is both a great way to learn new skills or reinforce skills learned in the classroom.  Students can also build relationships with industry professionals that can lead to employment at the externship site if there are openings.

These hands-on learning experiences are perfect for students who want to reinforce what they have learned in traditional classroom settings. It’s significant for kinesthetic learners. Having the chance to implement their studies is crucial for a solid educational experience. 

Evaluating the Benefits of Trade School for You

Traditional universities aren’t for everyone. But trade schools are a great alternative if an educational journey still interests you. The benefits of trade school are endless—they prepare you for a real-world career and give you the tools you need to succeed.

Are you looking for more trade school tips and information? Click here to learn about InterCoast and our mission to help students achieve their career goals!

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