The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
When you start comparing traditional colleges and universities to trade schools, you will begin to see many differences. While in years past there was often a stigma associated with attending trade school, that is no longer the case. In fact, trade schools are available for many types of jobs that are in high demand and offer excellent salaries. If you think attending trade school is for you but you have little idea as to what you can expect, here are some things to keep in mind.
While you will still have plenty of time where you sit in a classroom and listen to lectures, you will do most of your learning in trade school by actually doing various tasks associated with your chosen career. Through a combination of lab sessions and other hands-on activities, your instructor will demonstrate certain tasks and help you learn the skills that will be needed on the job. Since your instructor probably worked in whatever trade they are teaching, you will get expert advice from day one.
Though you could go to a trade school and get experience in multiple fields, it is likely that you will be focusing on one type of trade. For example, if you are going to trade school to become an electrician, then all of your courses and work will be related to becoming an electrician. You will likely have a class that teaches you what you need to know to pass your certification exams. Additionally, many trade schools have classes on specific types of careers such as electrical construction, maintenance, public utilities, telephone installation, etc. That way you have experience working in what you want to do for your career.
When you are attending trade school to become an electrician, you will not be sitting in a large auditorium with hundreds of other students. Instead, you will be in a class that is much smaller. In fact, most trade school classes have between 15-30 students at the most, meaning you can get very individualized instruction. By getting more in-depth instruction and the chance to ask questions of your instructor, you can gain the confidence needed to perform even complex tasks.
In a trade school, it’s all about teaching you what you need to know in a short period of time, so that you can enter the job market and get a high-paying job in your chosen field. At almost all trade schools, you can expect to complete your training in 12-18 months.
When a trade school has an excellent reputation, employers come calling on a regular basis. This means that as you near graduation, you will have a chance to meet prospective employers at job fairs or career days hosted by your school. By taking advantage of this opportunity, you may be able to line up a job before you graduate.
If you want to save yourself thousands of dollars in tuition, graduate in perhaps one year instead of four, and learn a skill that will be in demand decades from now, attending a trade school will be one of the best decisions you will ever make in your life.