As you get closer to graduating high school, you are usually presented with a decision: go to college or enter the workforce. However, there is a third option: attend a trade school. But what is a trade school? Let’s break it down.
What is a Trade School?
A trade school is a school that teaches individuals skills needed for “skilled jobs.” Students can enter a specific program and learn all the skills needed for that particular career. They are often highly tailored, offer hands-on learning experiences, and give you the knowledge you need to pursue a career in the field after graduation.
What Programs are Offered at Trade Schools?
The type of programs offered at a trade school depends on the individual institution. Some trade schools will only offer a single type or area of a program while others will have a variety. A cosmetology school or beauty school, for example, is a trade school and only offers courses in makeup, hairstyling, esthetics, nail tech, and similar areas.
Other trade schools can offer education in:
- Auto repair
- Culinary arts
- Electrical maintenance
- Massage therapy
- and more
What Are the Benefits of Attending a Trade School?
Trade schools come with a number of benefits, especially if you’re looking to enter one of these skilled trades.
- Schedules will often be flexible in order to accommodate work and family obligations.
- Career services are often offered by the school.
- They can take 2 years or less to finish.
- The courses will teach you the basic qualifications for an entry-level job in a specific field.
- The need for skilled workers in many of the fields listed above is increasing.
- You will join the workforce faster.
- You don’t have to take general classes – every course you take will have to do with your intended career.
- Hands-on experiences mean you can learn from mistakes in a supportive and safe atmosphere.
- You’ll meet others in your intended industry, making excellent connections for networking.
What Else Do You Need to Know about Trade Schools?
Before attending a trade school, you should also know these points.
Different programs vary in length and cost.. A welder program, for example, can take less than a year and cost between $13,000 and $14,000.
And just like colleges, there are scholarships, grants, and loans designed to help students interested in attending trade schools. They are often offered by the institution themselves, but you can also search online for additional options.
Is a trade school right for you? It really depends on your career goals. For many fields and industries, you don’t need a Bachelor’s degree or higher. You can instead opt for specialized programs from trade schools that help you get the education you need to enter the field with less time and costs. Explore the options in your area, and just like you would a college, compare the different schools and programs available to you.
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