Isn’t applying to college fun? Some of you will get into the university of your dreams. Some of you won’t get to choose your school; the choice will be made for you when your safety school is the only one sending you a letter of acceptance. Some of you will choose to end your schooling with your high school . Although we don’t endorse this last path, there may be some extenuating circumstances keeping you from a four-year degree, among them: time, money, and grades.
That’s where a career andcan come to the rescue. Most career and technical schools offer shorter, less expensive, career-driven education than you would find at a four-year university. There are several benefits to enrolling in a career and technical school instead of attending a traditional four-year college or university.
Finding a Technical School
There are so many technical schools out there that finding the right school for you can feel like an overwhelming task. So, where should you start looking and how can you find the best school for you? The key to finding a good fit is doing your research. There are plenty of good online resources and directories, such as TechnicalSchool.org, that allow you to select a program of interest, location, and degree so that you can quickly narrow down your list of schools and then request additional information from the schools you are interested in attending. This is a great way to get started and can help you jump start your search for a technical school!
Time for School
Let’s start with time. The average time it takes to obtain a degree from a career and technical school is two years. Because your coursework is focused on skill specific education (for example, computer programming, culinary arts, or business management), you don’t have to take classes outside of your degree to graduate (for example, geology, psychology, or music appreciation). Most classes are offered either during the day or at night for students who want (or need) to work while pursuing a degree. Less time spent in the classroom can mean less tuition costs and a quicker jump into the workforce.
It’s expensive to go to school. The average four-year degree at a public university can cost you as little as $37,000. A two-year degree from a career and technical school can start at a far less expensive $5,000, depending on the program and degree. Most career and technical schools are private, meaning you cannot obtain government grants to attend. However, these schools help with financing and student loans. You may leave with some debt, but the fact that most students graduating with a degree from a CTE find a job soon after receiving their diploma means being able to pay back school loans.
Entering the Workforce
Which brings us to job placement. The lure of the career and technical school is that they will help you find a job once you have obtained a degree or certificate. Many career and technical schools offer career and job placement services for graduates. The Creative Circus in Atlanta, a design and advertising school, boasts a 97.2% job placement rate. Also, because the majority of your instructors are drawn from the workforce, you can begin networking and making business contacts, which will help you in your job search.
Don’t Let Bad Grades Stop You
Are your grades not so good? Do you freeze up when you have to take standardized tests? Most career and technical schools offer an open admissions policy. For some schools that means anyone with a H.S. diploma or GED can apply, and for some schools it means anyone over 18 is welcome. Some schools are interested in grades, and the classes you took in high school, and some would even like to see your SAT or ACT scores, but that depends on the course of study you are interested in.
If you are still worried about actually going back to school, career and technical schools offer smaller classrooms, which means more one-to-one instruction. If you learn better by doing, you’re also in luck. Most career and technical schools offer hands on experience (either through apprenticeships, labs, or co-ops), often in cooperation with business and other organizations in the area.
Other advantages of attending career and technical schools include rolling admissions, distance learning (being able to take classes from the comfort of your own home), and some Internet-based classes.
Consider a career and technical school as a viable alternative if money, time, and grades are keeping you from a four-year school.