What is a Technical College?

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  • Written By: Susan Grindstaff
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2019
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A technical college usually refers to a secondary education institute offering certificate programs in vocational studies. These schools are sometimes called trade schools or vocational schools. Most of the time, a technical college is more affordable and has lower entry requirements than most academic colleges. Some popular programs taught at many technical schools include cosmetology, office specialist, and automotive repair.

There are many different reasons why students might choose to attend a technical college. Tuition costs are lower and scheduling is often very flexible. Most of these schools offer both full- and part-time attendance programs. In addition, technical schools are plentiful, and it is usually easy to find one within easy driving distance, which eliminates the need to relocate while attending classes.

Technical schools are often heavily dependent on community involvement and attendance. For this reason, courses targeted at hobbies and crafts are usually offered as part of adult continuing education programs. Some of these courses could include digital photography, pottery, and weaving. These types of courses usually change with each semester and are not part of core education programs.

Certificate programs offered at most technical schools are usually very streamlined. Most courses required within a certificate program are directly linked to the core subject. For instance, those studying cosmetology typically are required to take only courses related to that field. Streamlining course work in this way usually results in the students learning a great deal of information within a very short time.


Most studies seem to indicate that students who graduate from a technical school do not have the same employment prospects as those who graduate from academic colleges. In most cases, if possible, students would probably fare better attending a university and obtaining a bachelor’s degree in their field of study. Though a university is usually more expensive than a technical college, in most cases, financial aid is easier to obtain for studies within a university system. In fact, technical schools are ineligibles for many forms of government-sponsored financial aid.

Students in high school who are considering vocational school should first speak with their guidance counselor before making a final decision. Sometimes students choose a technical college because they believe they have no other option. They may believe that they do not have the grades or the money to attend college. Sometimes guidance counselors can help students find a way to overcome these obstacles. If university is out of the question, a counselor can usually assist students in choosing the best possible program for technical college.


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Post 2
I have a relative who went to a technical college. He found a job several years before his friends, and now that many of them are just now getting out of college and struggling to find work, he is well established in his field. He doesn't have huge financial debt, either.
Post 1
Let's face it, not everyone is cut out for four or five years at a university, nor is everyone able to afford this type of education. Technical colleges are great for students who want knowledge beyond high school, but also want to get into the workforce sooner than those who attend a four year program. It is also a more affordable option.

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