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Why Are Vocational Schools Growing in Popularity?

You're in your senior year of high school and haven't opted to go to college yet. Did you know there is an alternative option? Vocational Schools, also known as Trade Schools, are growing in popularity. In recent years, college has increased in price and leave graduates in debt with little to no promise of employment. Some graduates complain that they don't see the value.

In the early 90s, trade schools saw a decline in attendees. However, fast forward 20-years later, and there is a fast-growing trend of high school graduates opting to go to a trade school. Not to mention, employers are requesting work-ready individuals which some colleges are failing to provide.

Trade schools—also referred to as vocational schools—prepare students for careers that call for advanced education. Phlebotomists, veterinary technicians, dental hygienists, and i.t technicians are among the professionals who attend trade school.

Alternatives to four-year schools and universities that are also highly specialized include trade school programs. For information on what to anticipate from your trade school program, keep reading. You can also look at our ranking of the top online trade schools.

There are more "last mile" vocational-education programs now that bachelor's programs are frequently too broad to accommodate the specialized training in technology that many occupations increasingly require. In the upcoming years, it's projected that the healthcare, technology, and transportation sectors will all expand, and many of them don't require a four-year degree.

Before we dive into the details on trade schools, consider it an option if you are unsure whether a four-year degree is worth it.

Let's begin!

What Are Trade Schools?

The majority of these distinctions between trade school and college will be covered below. The main distinction between the two is that trade school courses prepares students for extremely particular professions. On the other hand, college courses give pupils the broad knowledge they need to develop into well-rounded learners.

For instance, a political science major in a regular four-year college takes additional math, science, English, and other classes. Students in trade schools are not required to take courses outside of their chosen area of study. For example, a student studying to become a Certified Home Health Aide class exclusively enrolls in classes covering the clinical, skillset, work ethics, and modification of a Certified Home Health Aide.

Some People Prefer Hands-On Learning

Trade schools have made advancements in recent years to include hybrid or online learning. However, they recognize that there continue to be people who prefer hands-on learning.

For the health care certification programs, significant hands-on training is necessary. Your instructors may teach you some theory and history connected to your area of interest, but most of the time they will put you to work. Instructors usually have work experience in the area they are teaching.

During your time in trade school, you may anticipate taking part in labs and hands-on learning. For instance, students pursuing careers as mechanics use actual auto shop equipment to understand the ins and outs of automobile brake systems. With hands-on instruction, Certified Nurse Aide students learn how to take blood pressure, lift patients safety, and communicate effectively.

The many techniques and abilities that graduates will require on the job are demonstrated by instructors, who have often worked in respective crafts for years.


The advantages of a vocational education are numerous.

One is that it is generally more affordable than four-year institutions of higher learning. Graduates of trade schools typically have little to no student debt upon graduation, and over time, they tend to earn greater earnings. Most vocational programs cost roughly $5,000 per year to enroll in, and you can complete them in two years.

The average cost of undergraduate tuition and fees at public universities is $9,375 per year for in-state students and $27,091 for out-of-state students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Tuition and expenses average $32,825 per year at private schools.

Additionally, trade school students benefit from small class sizes, high graduation rates, and a promising future for skilled crafts.

Benefits of Going to a Vocational School

In addition to being less expensive than a four-year school, here are ten more benefits you can expect.

  1. Higher graduation rates

  2. Higher employer rates

  3. Student transitions to their career choice directly

  4. Relevant skills in less time

  5. Bright future

  6. Smaller classes

  7. Flexible schedules

  8. Career services

  9. Affordability

  10. Hands-on learning

How Long Are Trade Programs

Depending on the program type you're interested in. We've seen trade programs go for as little as 3-weeks.

The majority of trade school programs are completed in two years or less. Some programs, such as the one required to earn a commercial truck driving license, can be finished in as short as three to seven weeks. Depending on the institution and the standards for the profession's certification, completion times can vary.

Final Thoughts

You can't really go wrong with a trade program even if you decide to go for a degree. Trade schools can offer excellent add-ons to your resume that don't lose their value. Nevertheless, it's important to do your research and see what works best for you.

Consider the decision's full effects before deciding to attend college. One must first weigh all of the advantages and possibilities. The options include choosing a standard 4-year college, a trade school, or a vocational school. While a regular 4-year college delivers relevant knowledge mixed with elective courses, a vocational or trade school gives practical skills that may be applied in the workplace. Students who attend vocational schools are more equipped for the workforce since they are trained for a particular trade.

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