College or Trade: Which Is Right for Me?

During these uncertain times and with several colleges opening and closing schools due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, many students are beginning to wonder if the price of a college education is worth it. At the same time, in an employees’ job market, prospective employees are reassessing their careers and wondering whether or not they should return to school or pick up a trade skill. If you’re like many people and wondering if a college or a trade school is right for you, read on for some things to consider.

Weighing Options and Expenses


There are a couple of things to consider when trying to determine if a trade skill or college education is right for you. For starters, you’ll want to spend some time researching career options you’re interested in. If you hope to be a hairdresser, for example, knowing that will make your choice to go to cosmetology school easy where a goal of becoming a doctor will lead you in the direction of a traditional college.

Whether you’ll be searching for the best college counselors in bay area to help you with college applications or applying to trade schools to become a mechanic or electrician, it’s essential to understand how much the program, licensing, tuition, and application fees will be. If you’re meeting with college admissions officers, be sure to ask about the total cost of your potential education. You’ll want to do the same with trade schools and ask about financial aid and scholarship opportunities. While scholarships are always available at two and four-year schools, they may be harder to find for trade schools but do exist.

Considering Long-Term Goals


Once you understand your overall career goals, how you’ll get there, and have decided to attend a beauty school in Provo, UT, or a four-year school in New York City, it’s a good idea to write out a list of your long and short term goals. While it’s great to have a direction and know-how you’ll finance it, it’s also essential to plan for the logistics involved in achieving your goal. Suppose you hope to go through your trade school or traditional higher education program without breaks or challenges. In that case, you’ll need to think about how you’ll subsidize your education during your program.

One thing to consider when deciding between trade and traditional schooling is whether or not you’ll be able to work as you get your education. For some students, the answer is to complete core curriculum requirements through online programs. In getting core classes out of the way for either a trade or traditional program first, you’ll have more time to work while finalizing those goals. For some students, the ability to work while going to school is enough to help them decide on trade school versus traditional college education, too.

Self-Care and Education


If you’re like most students, your number one goal involves reaching your full potential in your chosen field. However, as you make big decisions that will impact your future, it’s easy to feel stressed out. For this reason, it’s important to take your time when making decisions about college versus trade school. Give yourself time to ask the questions you’re wondering about and write out lists with pros and cons.

You already know that having tangible goals is important, but the best way to succeed is to update those goals as things change and make decisions regularly. At the end of the day, whether you opt for a college degree or attend a trade school, following your instincts is important. Regardless of how you go about increasing your chance at the right opportunity, you are sure to do well if you create tangible goals and follow through. Best of luck to you as you explore the many options available out there. Your future is counting on you!