When you graduate high school or are considering a career change, going to a four-year college might not seem appealing for many reasons. Fortunately, trade schools have several advantages over pursuing a college degree.
Always In Demand
Unlike four-year degrees, the programs offered at a trade school never seem to go out of demand. Applied programs, such as HVAC certification or refrigeration, will always be in demand since they are a much-needed part of residential and commercial properties. When you choose a trade, you can feel comfortable that the demand for the job should not significantly fluctuate between entering the program and finishing. This is one of the major hindrances with four-year degrees. Currently, there is an influx of students for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, but this influx will inevitably over-saturate the market, leading to decreased popularity in STEM fields.
Less Time Commitment
Trade schools are often appealing due to their decreased time commitment. For many professions, a four-year degree may not be enough, which forces students to try and seek admission to graduate or professional studies. Trade programs allow you to complete a certification, often in two years or less. This means you can go out into the job market faster, which is a selling point for people who are trying to change their careers and need full-time employment quickly. The shorter program length for trade schools often translates into little or no debt upon completion. Unfortunately, many people who pursued four-year degrees graduate with substantial debt and do not find jobs that pay enough to help them repay their student loans.
Show What You Can Do
Some people prefer to work with their hands over learning about concepts. When you learn a trade, employers and customers are more concerned with your ability to fix a problem than whether you can memorize concepts or theories. Learning a trade gives you the opportunity to show people your skills and capabilities, instead of relying extensively on your educational background. In many fields, your perceived abilities are based on your education, grades, and standardized test scores, which does not guarantee you will be good at a specific job. Some people who are highly competent in their field simply do not test well on standardized tests or do not look good on paper, which can limit their options for graduate school or employment.
Going to a trade school is often a preferred route for people who are recent high school graduates or those who need to change their career path. Since there are many benefits to choosing a trade over a four-year degree, more people are choosing to work on applied skills.