Community College vs. Trade School
Making the choice to continue your education is the first step on your road to a brighter future. Once you have decided to take the next step, you will need to sort through all the types of post-secondary education that are offered. If a 4-year college or university isn’t the right option for you, you should weigh the pros and cons of both community colleges and trade schools. Taking a look at the bigger picture and narrowing down your choices this way will make the final decision easier. While choosing which school to attend is a big decision, there are big-picture choices that are even more important, such as choosing what type of school to attend. This decision will affect your educational outcome no matter where your final decision takes you.
Trade schools and community colleges each have their own draws, but when it comes down to it, what really matters is which one will foster the best learning environment for you. In order to make this decision, you will have to understand your learning style and know your long-term goals. Take a look at your previous education history to better understand what has worked for you. Once you have a clear vision, use these four key aspects of education to see if a community college or a trade school would be a better investment for you.
Type of Learning
- Trade schools like Lincoln Tech offer hands-on, career-specific training. While you will have some classroom segments, the majority of your education will involve actually doing the thing you are studying.
- Community colleges are more theory-based, and involve more lectures.
- Trade schools allow you to jump right into the coursework for your chosen profession, instead of taking general classes outside your field.
- Community colleges provide a more rounded education. Students are often required to take courses unrelated to the technical career, such as basic mathematics and writing courses. If you are still considering what you want to do for a career, community college may be the better option. Students often attain associate degrees, diplomas, certificates of completion, and/or their equivalents, and they can then use these as stepping stones to a 4-year school.
- Trade school programs are shorter in length and vary depending on the specific program chosen.
- At community colleges, two-year programs are the norm.
- Trade schools are typically a greater investment due to their specialized nature, and offer many opportunities for scholarships and other forms of financial aid.
- Community colleges can be more affordable. Some students even choose to attend a community college before attending a four-year university to get their general requirements out of the way at a lower tuition.
If a technical or trade school falls in line with your needs, check out the wide variety of programs that Lincoln Tech provides. Choose from careers in fields like business and IT, automotive, health science, skilled trades, hospitality services, and culinary arts. This type of focused education will help you become a master of your chosen craft.
Whether you choose to follow the path of a community college or that of a trade school, investing your time and energy in the school of your choice will help you to be fully prepared for your future in your chosen field. When you know how you learn best, you will be able to foster an environment that will allow you to flourish!