It seems like the whole world's talking about college. Graduation is on the horizon, and there's push to apply to universities, and get a four-year education. But, is that the right route for everyone? Of course not. Vocational schools offer advantages galore for many students. If you're considering this path, check out a few must-know reasons for choosing a career-focused educational program.
In general, you won't need to spend four years (or more) at school before you start working. Think about how many years a lawyer spends in school. There are four years of undergraduate study, and then another three years of grad school. And, that's if you go full-time. A part-time law degree could take almost a decade (both undergrad and grad) to earn. That's 10 years of working and making money that you'd miss out on. Vocational schools put you on a fast-track to getting into the workforce.
All of those liberal arts classes that the four-year colleges requires won't help you to reach your career goals. Whether you want to be a chef, esthetician, electrician or any other trade profession, you want to concentrate on your choice of field – and not on classes that you'll never use. A vocational school allows you to concentrate on what you want to do, getting specific right away.
A technical degree may mean that you out-earn your friends who chose other educational roads. Young workers with certificates and licenses (such as professional/trade licenses) earn an average of 43 percent more than those with associates degrees, according to the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). Twenty-seven percent of certificate and license-holders out-earn their bachelor's level counterparts as well. Does this mean that a vocational degree guarantees that you'll make more money than you would if you got a college degree? Not necessarily. But it does mean that you very well could.
Lower Student Debt
A four-year public college education will run you an average of $15,640 per academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). If you choose a private nonprofit college, the cost is even higher, at an average of $40,614 per academic year. Now multiple that times four, and you can see just how much debt you could get into. While the specific costs of a vocational school vary, most programs won't take you anywhere near four years. This cuts down the total tuition price, leaving you with less debt.
Career or trade programs provide plenty of pros when it comes to your future work-life. From spending less time (and money) in school to earning more and getting a focused education, these options offer advantages that you aren't likely to find in a four-year university.
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