Compare technical college vs. university to weigh your options. Many find that technical school is the quickest path to a high-paying career.

Technical Education vs. University

Are you trying to decide between attending a technical college vs. university and wondering which is better for your future? For some, going to a four-year college may not even feel like a choice; it’s just assumed that it’s the best option.

If you’re focused on getting the exact training, certifications, and skills you need to start your career as soon as possible, you might find that technical school is the quickest path to a high-paying career.

Here are some key points worth considering as you ask yourself, “Is trade school better than college?”

  • Time Commitment?

    If you’re ready to graduate and start your career now, consider how long it will take to complete your program. Many students at four-year universities take longer than four years to graduate – and, in fact, on average, spend six years earning their degree! At a technical school, on the other hand, you can graduate in as little as one year and make anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000 per year – and even more after a few years in your field.

  • Cost?

    If you’re worried about the cost of college and how you’ll afford it – nonprofit, technical schools have much lower tuition than the average four-year institution, so you’ll graduate with far less or no debt! The average four-year college student graduates with $37,172 in debt. Technical school grads who started school at the same time, however, could have already been working for two years and spent two years less in tuition costs – putting them over $140,000 ahead of a four-year university student.

  • Job Potential?

    When comparing a technical college vs. university education, it’s important to consider how likely you are to find a job after earning your degree. Almost half of four-year college graduates find themselves with limited job prospects after graduation and are forced to take jobs they don’t want or that don’t pay enough to make up for the cost of that degree. A 2014 report released by the Economic Policy Institute found that almost 17 percent of college graduates under the age of 25 are underemployed, and 8.5 percent are unemployed.

    Unlike those students, trained workers with technical skills are in high demand, with plenty of job opportunities and potential for advancement. Starting salaries and job placement rates for technical jobs frequently match or even exceed the starting salaries for four-year degrees.

  • Required Classes?

    When comparing technical college vs. university, think about how you prefer to learn. In a four-year college setting, school can be widely theoretical, with lots of classroom time and teacher lectures. The focus is on creating “well-rounded” students, so you’ll likely need to take classes outside of your major, like art, foreign languages, and physical education. A technical education will keep you focused on your industry with hands-on experience in shops and labs and through relevant work-study jobs or internships. You won’t find yourself paying for lots of classes that you don’t need.

If you’re wondering, “Is trade school better than college?” – these are all important factors to consider. For many, the experience at a technical college is a better fit for them after comparing technical college vs. university education.

Technical colleges tend to offer more hands-on learning and require fewer unnecessary classes than four-year colleges. If you want some of the traditional college experience – there are technical colleges that offer on-campus dorms, intramural sports, various clubs, and other student activities. You can enjoy and benefit from the best of both worlds.

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