Do trade schools really help jumpstart your career?
May 5, 2014

What are the benefits of attending a trade school compared to a traditional four-year university?

For many people in the US, attending a traditional four-year university seems like the automatic (perhaps even only) choice after completing high school. However, due to factors like rising tuition costs and a changing job economy, attending a four-year university might not actually be the best option for a number of people.

As a result, more and more people are choosing to attend trade schools rather than traditional four-year universities. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of attending a trade school.


  • Cost – Save $94,000 in tuition


    • One of the primary advantages of trade schools compared to traditional universities is the lower cost of tuition. According to the Idaho Department of Labor, a bachelor’s degree costs an average of $127,000. Trade school, on the other hand, costs an average of $33,000. That comes out to a $94,000 savings for trade school graduates!


  • Length – Enter the workforce sooner and earn an average of $71,440 while your peers pay college tuition


      • Another advantage that trade schools have over traditional universities is that their programs can be completed in a much shorter amount of time. Receiving a bachelor’s degree typically takes at least 4 years to complete, while most trade school programs can be completed in under 2 years. That means that trade school graduates are able to enter the workforce and start earning money in the career they trained for 2 years earlier than university graduates.
      • But what does this 2-year difference actually look like? Consider this: The National Center for Education Statistics states that the average income for trade/technical jobs is $35,720. That means that in 2 years trade school graduates can earn $71,440 while their peers attending university continue to pay expensive college tuition!


  • Focus – Only take classes that will actually prepare you for your career


    • Another advantage that trade schools have over traditional universities is the focused nature of their programs. In order to earn a bachelor’s degree from a traditional university, students are required to take a number of classes that have nothing to do with their area of study. At a trade school, students only take courses that teach them the skills needed for their new career. There will be no Victorian Literature courses for trade school students training to become HVAC technicians!

As you can see, there are in fact a number of reasons why attending trade school after high school might be a better fit for some people than attending a traditional four-year college. If you are looking for a less expensive, more focused education that takes a shorter amount of time to complete, it is probably wise to investigate trade schools in your area.