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College .VS. Trade school what are the risks and the rewards for each?

Is it worth spending more money to go to college when I could go to trade school and spend less to get the same certification at a trade school?

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Logan’s Answer

There are certainly benefits/downsides to both.

College: If you/your family can support it financially, obtaining your college degree opens up many doors that would otherwise remain closed. It can allow you to obtain certain professional designations and graduate/masters degrees and help you advance to more advanced roles in your career. I would recommend getting your degree if it is a selective field that you are also passionate about. There are other options as well, such as obtaining your associates degree from a community college, and then transferring your credits to another college to finish your studies there (reduces cost). If you do not have a general idea of what type of career you'd like to embark on, take the time to decide if it is worth taking on the student loan debt.

Trade School: Much cheaper than typical universities, and allows you to gain expertise in a skill/trade that is valuable to the general public. Your career path may be more limited in terms of choices, but it also gives you the ability to start your own practice in your dedicated trade.
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David’s Answer

https://www.mikeroweworks.org/ - Mike Rowe's (Dirty Jobs, and other shows) organization offers the idea that college isn't for everyone. I do agree and advise you to study both tracks - trade and college - carefully, weighing each and their costs against your own interests and skills.

There are plumbers who make double my son's income and they graduated high school and went into a trade school for their job. My son has his Master's in education, is a High School teacher, and is in student loan debt up to his eyeballs.

College is a license to learn but it won't get you the perfect job. The rarity is someone like my older brother, now a retired physician, who knew from a very young age that he wanted to be a doctor. He had a very successful career practicing medicine, but today that same education track would cost 5x to 10x or more what it cost him in the 70s and 80s. He was tops in his classes in college and medical school and that paid off for him.

In my case, my Bachelor's degree is not related to what I do today but it did help foster my lifelong intellectual curiosity by exposing me to the highest level of learning there is.

The engineer who designs pipes, sewer systems, water filtration systems, wrenches and screwdrivers, plungers and augers, welding equipment and the like for the plumber to use may not make as much as the plumber does using those tools in the trade.

It depends on which - doing, or learning about doing and then doing something with that knowledge - interests you more.

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Sandra’s Answer

Great question trade school offer great opportunities for entry level positions and career advancement. College degree gives you the flexibility of entering other industries that my not fall under your degree. For example if you have a bachelors degree in any subject in the state of Ohio you can teach. You always want to explore your options and make yourself marketable as possible.
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Elizabeth’s Answer

Much depends on your area of interests.

College will help you gain a well rounded education within an area of study. For example, with a business major, you will need to take a variety of core classes and business classes. Those business classes will give you exposure to different disciplines of business (marketing, accounting, money and banking, economics, etc). This variety helps your sort out interests and passions from dislikes.

Trade school is a fantastic option for a specific trade. Often a two year program, very focused and hands on.
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Patrick’s Answer

Some other answers have touched on it, but deciding between college and trade school ultimately comes down to what you want your career to be. For someone who might want a job as soon as possible and wants to learn the ins and outs of an industry or area, trade school could be a great option to learn from people who have actually physically done the work and the job. College is a good way to learn about "building blocks," as I like to call them. You will learn a lot of basic level things and definitions, but there isn't always a hands on concrete way to learn stuff, so I like to say that what you want your career or career path to look like should help you decide which is a better fit for you.
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Bailey’s Answer

I spent more money going to a trade school for a medical assistant diploma compared to getting my associates degree for nursing at a community college. The trade school helped me get into the work force and start working but I finally paid off that loan 10 years later. I think it really matters on what type of trade school. I would look into the cost of the school and the pay you will receive. If it is cheaper to go to a trade school I would do it! My husband is currently in a trade school for nursing and it is extremely expensive. However, he will be done in less than 2 years. Look at all the options!
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Xavier’s Answer

Trade school can yield great results so long as you are studying a skill that you are passionate about. College, on the other hand, gives you a more ample perspective on life, the world and your prospective profession thus making you a more well rounded individual.
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Jaquelyne’s Answer

I think a trade school is a great option if are looking to get into the field as soon as possible and start getting experience. However, I would think about what your future goals are and if it is required to at least have a Bachelor's degree so that you can work towards that.
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Donald’s Answer

Very good question and one that you should be asking yourself.

There are many reasons to attend a university or college. Here are the benefits: You will receive additional/broad education to make you more well rounded. If there is something specific you that you wish to study, or pursue, find the school that is right for you in that area. The ability to network/build relationships with hundreds or thousands should not be underestimated. Specific jobs will look at the school you attended and what your major was. You may find yourself interviewing with someone who attended the same school - this is a positive! Some downsides are the following: Very expensive! You may be required to take classes that do not fit into your passions or goals for your career. It's lengthy! 4 years! I believe that much of what you learn for your career is really only taught in your junior or senior year - and even that was very broad education.

Trade schools have become very popular in recent years because of the more specific, hands on training/education that will give you specific skills to hit the ground running day one in your field. They are more cost effective and flexible to meet your lifestyle. Downside is that many corporate jobs require you to have a 4 year degree.

In conclusion, picking one is a must but you will need to decide for yourself. As specifically as possible, what you want to do with your life? Once you have that answer, you will be able to make the best choice for YOU. There is no wrong answer here. Good luck!

Donnie
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Archived’s Answer

As other have said in previous replies, there really isn't a wrong answer here. It depends on what you want to do and what you're passionate about. There isn't one road to success. You can be successful on both paths, and it depends on what you decide will best for you. It's up to you to make the most of whichever path is chosen.
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