College or Trade School- What Should I Choose?

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“What do you want to be when you grow up?” For someone in kindergarten, this is an exciting question. They perceive it as an opportunity to get as creative as possible. You can expect any response from this bunch including superhero, ninja, and princess.

For those in high school, it is motivating because it merges one’s interests and talents into a goal they can pursue in school and after they graduate. After high school, it is time to select a career path, which many will attest is a daunting undertaking. Perhaps it is because of the confusion that thousands of career options out there bring.

It could also be because of the realization that your decision may shape the course of your entire life. Of course, there may be several other factors involved. However, another choice that should be considered carefully is between joining a college or trade school.


When Do I Choose College?

Before we can delve deeper into the subject, let’s raise some questions: what are some of the reasons that make the majority to opt to go to school for four years after high school? Is it the belief that this is the typical progression? Or could it be associated with the notion that it is what the society expects of them? It stands to reason that you attend a four-year college if your career path of choice requires that you have a bachelor’s degree.

College is also an excellent option if you wish to pursue a master’s or
professional degree in the future. You must also be prepared to devote a substantial amount of funds and time to the round-the-clock college experience.

Ultimately, the student must regard education as the means to an end very highly. However, if you do not fit in the above description, you may consider trade school as an alternative. Let’s take a closer look to identify what each option has to offer.


Advantages of College

Why does the majority prefer to earn a college degree? An obvious answer which is also the basis of why we go to school in the first place is the money. It is evident that a college graduate receives more income than someone who didn’t graduate from college.

A report from the National Center for Educational Statistics revealed that a graduate earns $16,900 more each year than someone without this qualification. When computed over the long-term, you realize a $500,000 difference in wages over 30 years.

Another perk of a college education is diversification. On the contrary, trade schools are highly focused which may leave their alumni at the hands of market forces. For instance, an electrician from a trade school will be affected by an influx of electricians in the market. Conversely, a college graduate is more flexible; they can leverage their education into another line of work.


Advantages of Trade School

Although a college education may be the popular alternative, it isn’t picture-perfect. Here’s why.


Takes Less time

On average, a
bachelor’s degree takes four years, compared to two years of vocational training. Someone who goes through vocational training spends the next two years gaining hands-on experience in the field. Meanwhile, a college student is in a classroom taking classes outside their major to meet credit requirements.


Cost is a huge benefit for trade school when compared to a bachelor’s degree. The hefty price tag on college education causes students to take loans to pay for their tuition. Eventually, college students rack up weighty debts which they continue to pay long after school.

Lower Drop-out Rate

For many students, college is their first experience outside their guardian’s supervision. When the rigors of college become too overwhelming, they may stray and eventually drop out. According to the Institute of Education statistics, 40% of students attending a four-year college do not graduate. Additionally, 64% of those who remain to take longer than four years to graduate. Eventually, a substantial financial loss is incurred.

Trade School as an Alternative

Trade school is an excellent alternative which is often overlooked when people are considering their options after high school. Not everyone is interested in the regular and long academic path; evidently, four years of college may end up being too expensive.

A trade school can provide you with a career path in a skilled trade. Take locksmithing as an example. It’s one of those jobs that never gets old, besides of simply practicing it as a profession there’s the possibility of running your own company or shop which could be as profitable as any other profession which you’ve to spend a long time trying to master.

Simply following a vocational training and completing your locksmith course, you can join the industry two years earlier and start earning immediately.

Eventually, you will have saved around $94,000 in school fees, make around $84,000 before your college counterparts can graduate, and have no loan to finance. In a nutshell, keep your options open, and weigh them considerably.


You just need to have a clear vision in your mind for your future career, and for that we suggest you conduct good research, see how the things are standing in the nowadays market and follow what your mind and heart lead you towards. The bottom line here is to keep your options open, weigh them considerably and eventually, make the wise decision. So, the possibilities are countless and they’re waiting to be undertaken and channeled productively by you, thus giving birth to new specialists in a variety of professions.

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Rilind Elezaj
Rilind Elezaj is a thought leader in digital marketing, with extensive experience in the field of SEO and SMM. He has supported the growth of numerous major organizations in the U.S. and Europe through bespoke marketing solutions. Rilind has a strong entrepreneurial mindset and has devoted his career to enhancing the sphere of digital marketing.

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