Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Table of contents
- 1. Do They Have a Good Reputation? Are They Accredited?
- 2. Can They Help You Form Employer Relationships?
- 3. Is There a Career Center?
- 4. How Do They Teach?
- 5. Do They Offer Financial Aid?
- 6. What Resources Are Available to Alumni?
- Is Trade School Right for You?
- Start Your Journey to Finding the Best Trade School Today
From 1999 to 2014, trade school students nearly doubled from 9.6 million to almost 16 million. That increase has been credited to high school graduates learning that there are more opportunities available to them other than a four-year degree, and they’ve begun leaping at careers that only require a certificate. More people are going back to school after having a career and are changing their minds about what they want to do for a living. They are now interested in a change in career and in the least amount of time possible.
However, the problem that many potential students face is finding a good “fit” trade school. If you’re one of those people, then we’re here to help you get started with finding the best-fit trade school for you.
Read on for six of the important considerations.
1. Do They Have a Good Reputation? Are They Accredited?
Before you enroll anywhere, it’s essential to research the school’s reputation and accreditation. In some fields, the school you choose to attend can have a significant impact on where you ultimately get hired, and you want to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward from day one.
Accreditation is important because it means the school has been evaluated and meets certain requirements. If your school and programs are accredited, you’re more likely to attend a program whose curriculum has been reviewed thoroughly, thereby providing you with the appropriate training.
Researching accreditation is especially important if you have a specific path in mind. If you plan to train in the electrical field, but your focus area isn’t offered in the program, you want to know that well before you enroll.
2. Can They Help You Form Employer Relationships?
Internships can provide you with job prospects after program completion. Students have those opportunities because their school or instructors have some connections and can help establish work opportunities.
Internships are often offered through 4-year colleges and trade schools or vocational schools. Although those connections help a lot when it comes to apprenticeships or other programs, they are not required.
Many trade schools work closely with employers seeking to fill various positions in their organizations, including entry-level positions for those who just graduated. The employers may interview students before they graduate.
3. Is There a Career Center?
Most colleges are going to have something called a career or success center. It might have a different name at your school, but they all serve the same purpose — helping you find a job. Here are a few examples of the services you’ll be able to find:
- Interview techniques
- Dressing for Success
- Resume advice
- Email etiquette
What you’re able to find at your school is going to vary, but having one available to you can be a huge game-changer when the time comes to find a job. Having professionals on your side from the beginning is a great way to boost your confidence and your prospects.
Some career services centers will even invite employers to meet students and graduates. If the employer has positions available in their organization, they will reach out to these trade schools, vocational schools, or colleges and interview at the campus. You may want to find out what type of career services are available when the student is introduced to various workshops, webinars, and hiring events, and how often they are held.
4. How Do They Teach?
Does the school teach in a way that you can learn? Everyone has a unique learning style, and it’s essential to land in a school that caters to yours.
You might not do so well in a theoretical learning environment if you’re a hands-on learner. Instead, you might thrive in a learning space that allows you to participate physically and that the instructors teach in that way.
A lot of trade schools offer labs that do precisely this. You’ll have access to hands-on learning to support your online learning, and you’ll be confident in your ability to use equipment and other things when the time comes to start working in the field.
Extent of Training
While you want to make sure you’re attending a school that caters to your learning style, you also want to gain as much industry-specific experience as possible before you graduate.
In some industries, needing further education once you’re done is a given, but that’s not always the case. Be sure to look into just how in-depth your education will go in your time at that school, and be sure it’s the right option for you.
5. Do They Offer Financial Aid?
If you’re a lower-income student, you might want to apply for financial aid. Even if you’re not considered low income, looking into your options is still worth it. Applying for government grants and federal student loans may give you the funding you need to assist you with tuition and fees if you qualify.
Before you apply, it’s best to call the school or schedule a visit to see your options.
If you have the time, looking into third-party scholarship offers can be well worth it too. These scholarships are often smaller than government grants or loans, but they’re great for paying for additional education-related expenses you might need while you’re a student.
You might only be able to use some towards tuition, though, so make sure you double-check before applying. Search for scholarships provided to students who study in your trade, or talk with someone from the financial aid department at the school you are considering attending.
6. What Resources Are Available to Alumni?
Lastly, you might want to consider choosing a trade school that will continue to help you after graduation.
Mostly, though, the school will be able to help you find a job after you graduate. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but you want to know you will get help after graduation.
Is Trade School Right for You?
Trade school can be an excellent choice for anybody who wants to start their career more quickly. While the amount of time your course completion takes depends on you, it can be quicker than the typical four-year bachelor’s program.
To figure out if trade school is the right move for you, it’s important to consider your abilities, interests, and career choices. If you’re interested in getting involved in the construction industry, consider becoming an HVAC technician.
Trade schools offer training in a variety of fields. Before deciding what you do for fun, consider your skill set. If you can align those strengths with a career choice, you’re going to be unstoppable. Start doing your research today!
Start Your Journey to Finding the Best Trade School Today
Now that we’ve gone over a few of the most important things to consider when you’re looking for the best trade school, it’s time for you to get started. Whether you’re starting school or going back for the third time, keeping these things in mind is great for ensuring you get the best education possible.
There are plenty of options for selecting a trade school, and taking the time to research beforehand will make all the difference.
Some colleges are willing to help you get started, though. Contact us today to request more information!