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Should I Go to Trade School or a University?

An auto mechanic might improve his skills at a trade school.
Students in a college class.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 August 2014
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Making the choice of whether to seek additional education at a college or trade school can often be a difficult choice. Both settings make it possible to develop talents and skills along with acquiring knowledge that can lead to a successful and lucrative vocation. If you are not sure which type of institution would be your best option, here are some points to consider.

Before you begin to consider your trade school or university options, it is important to decide what you want to do with your life. There is a good chance that you already have some idea of what type of innate talents and interests you possess. People who are happiest in their work are those who train for vocations that provide them with not only an equitable source of income but also a great deal of personal satisfaction. By identifying what you like to do, what you already display some talent for, and determining how those qualities fit into deciding on a vocation, you can then determine which educational alternative will best allow you to pursue those goals.

Time may also figure into your decision to attend a trade school or a university. People who already work in a particular vocation or career may choose to augment their experience with classes or courses that will help them become more effective on the job. However, since they are already employed, this means the classes or courses must be pursued after work hours.

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For example, a competent auto mechanic may wish to learn how to work on a new type of engine. He or she can enroll in a local trade school and take a night class that will provide certification as well as knowledge that will be helpful in the workplace. By the same token, a journalist who wishes to branch out into other areas of writing may find that taking night courses at a university will help cultivate the additional tools and skills necessary to pursue breaking into writing fiction or creating academic resources.

For people who wish to make a major change in the way they earn a living, attending a trade school or university at night may be the best way to go about the task. A white collar executive who decides that working in the landscaping business will find that obtaining the proper training at a trade school opens the way to a whole new vocation and a different way of life. At the same time, the auto mechanic who wishes to enter the field of marketing will find that taking university classes at night makes it possible to pursue the dream while still earning a regular income during the day.

In the end, the decision to go to a trade school or a university has a lot to do with how you want to live your life and what skills and talents you bring to the table. Training for something you love and can earn a living at will greatly enhance the quality of your life and the lives of those who care about you. Under the tutelage of the right professors or instructors, doors will open up to jobs that bring a lot of satisfaction on many levels, if you make the right choice of where to earn your education.

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Discuss this Article

anon355134
Post 4

University > Trade

A university makes you adaptable, should the economy start to turn. University teaches you how to adapt to the changing times and reinvent yourself. When Detroit's economy began to go sour, their population, which were generally labour intensive were unable to "reinvent" themselves and ultimately crumbled due to an inability to adapt to a changing economy. And as dependent as Detroit was on cars, New York was also very dependent on the textile (clothing) industry, though because New York's population had a much higher percentage of university grads, the city has been able to reinvent itself time, and time again.

Labour teaches you to do a skill and be a good worker. With labour you can work in an industry. With university, you can create entirely new industries. From steam power, to coal, to computers, to the internet. It took men and women trained in the sciences and liberal arts to create such things.

allienoelle
Post 3

NewsGuru- Time to complete your degree is definitely something that people should consider. I also think that lifestyle is another thing that you should consider.

If you attend a 4 year university, you will likely live on campus and attend campus activities. You will meet new people and will experience new things.

If you attend a trade school, you are unlikely to live on campus. You will likely live off campus and commute to school. Additionally, things like activities and clubs are limited at trade schools.

You will want to consider the college experience that you want and plan accordingly.

NewsGuru
Post 2

Another consideration should be how long it will take you to finish your degree. When attending a traditional university, it will likely take you 4 or 5 years to finish your degree. If you attend a trade school, it will likely take you 2 years or less to finish your degree.

If you are eager to finish school and start working, a trade school might be a good idea. If you want a more traditional college experience, you will want to attend a university.

anon89097
Post 1

Go to a trade school. I did and I absolutely loved it!

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