60% of people is a significant amount, right? According to Student Loan Hero, that’s the number of college students (from a four-year college) that graduate with some form of student debt.
If you’re thinking about going back to school but don’t want that to be your reality, you may want to think about a vocational school training program. The average time to graduate is much lower and you’ll get into the workforce faster. Learn how a vocational school might be a better fit for you and how long it takes to complete, below.
Why Go to A Vocational School?
College was the big push for the last twenty years. And what has it gotten us? Sure, a lot of millennials have degrees, but over 60% of them have student debt. Some of the debt is crippling, leading them to work more than they live their life – or even declare bankruptcy.
When you choose a college, unless you get a scholarship, or have the financial means to pay out of pocket, you may acquire years of debt. With vocational school, you may also face debt, but in most cases you also can get into the workforce quicker than traditional college students. That means you can start your “adult” life quicker and start paying off whatever loans you had to take out sooner. Trade school is also cheaper than college when you look at a per-credit basis and in terms of length. Shorter, cheaper, and a potential for a good job outlook? Sounds like it’s time to get started.
Is Trade School Right for You? Some Questions to Ask
Knowing what to do with your life when you’re 18 years old is a lot to ask of teenagers. It’s a lot to ask of anyone, even if you’re deciding to go back to school later in life.
What you need to know, practically, to help you make that decision, are the following points.
1. Do They Offer a Program You’re Interested in?
When you go into a trade or vocational school, some programs don’t require the general education courses required in traditional colleges. That means you won’t have to explore subjects you know you didn’t like in high-school. You have to pick a category or trade you’re interested in from the start in a vocational school. If you’re having trouble with that, start with the field you want to work in, then work backward.
Which programs does the school offer in that field? What jobs do those degrees lead to? Are those something you’re interested in? Now you know where to start.
2. Does That Program Make Enough Money?
Choosing your job isn’t all about money, but it is about money, somewhat. You know what you can handle if you’re going back to school, better than someone that’s 18 years old.
If you are 18 years old, that’s fine. You should know that the average American (joint) household income is 56,000 a year. That’s the census information, and it’s an average – so there are people below and people above. So if you have a spouse that makes equal to as much as you, then you’re sitting right at the average income level.
3. How Much is School?
Tuition costs are flexible. Not in that the school changes them per student, but depending on what you may qualify for grants or scholarships, your out of pocket expenses could vary. It’s always a good idea to talk to someone in the school’s admission office and finance department about a potential program. They have information that the website doesn’t have and can give you a more personalized idea of what that option would be like for you.
4. What’s the Average Time in Vocational School?
Your time in trade school depends on what program you choose. Some programs take longer than others, just like it takes longer to get a degree in law than it does in English.
Medical Careers Through Vocational School
If you’ve noticed, there’s a lot of upheaval in the medical and health insurance world right now. That’s not to say it’s going anywhere – but it’s changing. . . and growing. It’s one of the fields with the highest potential growth rate out there.
Our school offers three programs in this field.
Healthcare Office Specialist
If you’re someone that can pay attention to detail and would like to interact with patients daily, this may be the career for you. It’s a mix of administrative tasks and customer service, in a medical or hospital setting.
Our program for this is all online, and consists of 900 credit hours. This field is predicted to grow over 20% in the next two years, which is way above average for general job growth.
More information here.
A medical assistant has a more medically involved role than a healthcare specialist does. They learn basic lab skills and assist the doctor to carry out any sort of medical procedures. The outlook for medical assistants is approximately the same – growing, and fast. You’ll still have some administrative/office work to do, but you’ll get to interact with patients and doctors.
Other Medical Programs
You could also look into our pharmacy technician program (two years) and if you’re more interested in the psychological side of medicine, check out our counseling options.
Mental Health/Counseling Programs
Want to make a difference in the life of addicts and those that struggle with substance abuse? You won’t be a full-fledged counselor (as in therapist) with a vocational degree, but you can still work in the field.
Most people with degrees from our following programs work at treatment centers or in healthcare facilities, along with a team of other medical professionals.
We have our Mental Health and Rehabilitation Technician program, which takes just about a year to a year and a half to complete.
There’s also the Alcohol and Drug Counseling Studies program, which takes a little longer than the previous. You’ll still get out of school within two years, with this program. You can start helping people with substance abuse issues get back on their feet faster than you thought was possible.
AAS in Substance Abuse Counseling – an associates degree. There are two main levels of undergrad degrees. When you go to a traditional four-year college, most people graduate with a bachelors.
However two-year degrees are called associates, and you can build on them later to get a bachelors if you want to. This Substance Use Disorder Counseling program takes two years, and you’ll get a diploma.
If the world of suits and briefcases calls your name, then you should look into our business programs. They’re all helpful in that world and they take two years or less.
Our Business Office Administration program is a popular option for people that don’t want to start their own business, but still, want to be involved in the business world. You can work in about any office with this expertise and learn more onsite.
It takes around a year to complete this program, and you’ll have plentiful job options.
There’s also our computerized accounting program, that also takes around a year to complete.
Finally, you can get an associates degree in our Business Administration program, which is a two-year commitment.
In all of these programs, you’ll learn what really goes into keeping a business (and it’s office) running. That means accounting, hiring, some HR, and operating lessons.
To succeed in any of these programs and their following careers you’ll need to be organized and cooperative.
Trade School Programs
When most people think of vocational school, they think of very hands-on learning. As we’ve shown, not all our programs are like that. There are many types of people and interest areas that vocational school caters to.
But if you’re a hands-on person who wants to go into that type of field, we have those programs too.
There’s the Electrical Training Program, which takes a year to a year and a half to complete, that can prepare you to be an electrician. You’ll still have to take a licensing exam or get a certification through the state, depending on where you live.
Then there’s our HVAC technician program. It takes about a year, and you can learn more on the job once you’re hired with a professional HVAC company.
The Average Time in School: Does it Matter?
Yes. While going to an average time four-year college may seem more traditional or what your teachers/parents are pushing you towards, it’s not the right choice for everyone. It’s a long time to be in school, and it’s expensive.
Look into vocational school too, and talk to one of our counselors. They’re there to help you find the right fit – with no pressure.
Let them help you!