If you want to further your education, you need to find a program you’re interested in. But should you consider a trade school or university? Some fields only have one option, but what do you do if you’re interested in more than one thing or a career that has both university and trade school options? To help you decide, look at the pros and cons of each.
A degree often comes with some prestige, especially if you got to a well-known university or a school that has a strong reputation in your field.
Another advantage is that some employers and some fields require bachelors degrees. If you have this degree and still develop something you’d learn at a trade school, you improve your chances of being hired.
Finally, a university degree gives you the option to pursue advanced degrees later if you want to.
One of the biggest disadvantages of a university is the time it takes to get a degree. An associate degree generally takes two years, and most bachelors programs need at least four years. This time cost can lead to a lot of students dropping out. A shorter trade school program may be more manageable.
Cost is another huge con. Most schools will put students in thousands of dollars in debt that may be hard to pay back. Student debt is one of the biggest financial stressors for people today, and some degrees may not put a graduate in a position to make enough money to pay back the cost.
Trade Schools Pros
The biggest advantage many people find in trade schools is the cost. Almost all trade school programs are less expensive than degree programs, and many trade schools have job placement services or high-paying career options that make the temporary cost worth it.
Trade schools are generally fast programs. Students don’t have as many required classes in things that aren’t necessary to the skills and field, which means students can start their careers sooner.
Finally, trade schools tend to have smaller class sizes. You can get the attention you need to succeed.
Trade School Cons
Trade schools don’t have all the options available in a university, so some students may not be able to consider trade school without reconsidering what they want to do.
Another disadvantage is that trade schools often have strict schedules. It can be hard to work or do other things while you’re in the program.
Finally, trade schools generally don’t have as many student financial aid options. It may be less expensive, but it might still be unreachable for some students without any financial help.
Trade schools and universities both have advantages. Consider what you want to do and your career goals to determine which one is the best fit for you.