trade schools vs community college 5 things to consider

Trade School vs. Community College: 5 Things to Consider

You know that you need more skills and education to get a good job that pays more than minimum wage, but you don’t want to invest the time or money into a four-year degree. We get it. That means you’ll probably have to decide between going to a trade school or a community college. Below, we’ll look at five things you need to consider to make the best decision for you.

1. How long will it take to earn your degree?

Community colleges typically offer programs that take about 2 years to complete, but then those credits can be transferred to a four-year college or university to complete a more advanced degree. Trade schools often offer programs that can be completed in under a year, which means you could be out there in the real world, earning a paycheck, much sooner. In fact, J-Tech’s Commercial Truck Driving program is offered in a 4 or 8-week program, so you could be on the road to a new career in virtually no time.

2. How much will it cost?

Obviously, tuition costs vary according to which institution you attend, but on average, the total cost of a trade school degree is roughly equivalent to the price of a single year of tuition at a four-year college. Additionally, trade school students are as eligible for federal financial aid as college students, providing their chosen program runs longer than 15 weeks. Trade schools tend to be much more affordable than other schooling options, and trade school graduates are typically able to join the workforce faster and have less debt to pay off than traditional college students. 

3. Do you prefer classroom or hands-on learning?

Trade schools offer focused, hands-on training and experience related to a specific career (such as an Automotive Mechanic or an HVAC Technician). Community or four-year colleges tend to be more classroom based, and may have a broader curriculum designed to give you a more general education. If you prefer working with your hands and learning by doing, as opposed to sitting at a desk and listening to a lecture, a trade school may be a better environment for you.

4. How hard will it be to find a job after you graduate?

While no school can guarantee that their graduates will find employment, demand for skilled labor is at an unprecedented high in the US right now. In fact, there’s a huge labor shortage in the trades, which means that people who opt to go to trade school will have less competition and are more likely to secure employment quickly and at a good wage. Additionally, as older skilled workers retire, there are more opportunities for new skilled workers to take their place and advance to higher positions.

5. Are you ready to launch a new career through J-Tech?

J-Tech Institute can prepare you for a rewarding and in-demand career through our hands-on training programs in Automotive Technology, Diesel Technology, Commercial Truck Driving, HVAC-R, and Marine and RV Technology. If you’re ready to get trained, get to work, and start earning a paycheck, we’re ready to help. To learn more, contact us today or schedule a consultation with our admissions department.

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