Every country needs skilled artisans, technicians, and employees with specialized skills to successfully sustain the economy. That kind of specific knowledge that an HVAC technician or medical assistant has can’t be gained from a more general four-year college program. A pastry chef would waste time, money, and the opportunity to gain real connections in the workforce if he or she didn’t attend a culinary arts program that focused on the applicable skills he or she would need to know. Attending a technical college may be a smart choice if you already know what you want to do with your life and want to join the workforce quickly. It’s also comforting to note that for those who enter a technical college, there’s almost always a guarantee that their services will be needed once they graduate, so the likelihood of finding employment is high.
What’s the Need?
Job prospects for many fields that technical colleges offer are high and the need is predicted to only increase. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by the year 2022, the HVAC field will have an over 20% increase in terms of job growth, job opportunities for bakers will increase 7% in the next 10 years, as will the demand for culinary specialist (an increase of about 9%).
It’s not just culinary fields though. Specialists in medical fields are also in significant demand. In 2015, there were almost 400,000 pharmacy technicians who worked in the United States. Between 2014-2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that medical billing and coding specialist jobs will increase 15%. Medical assistants will also always be needed by hospitals and other medical institutions.
Plumbers, electricians, and other specialized fields in the construction industry will also always need workers with the right kind of training and experience. Attending a technical college can give you a leg up and help advance your career quickly.
What Are the Benefits of Attending Technical College?
Attending a technical school like a culinary school or AC school can be significantly less expensive than getting a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college. The average degree offered by technical schools is about $33,000, compared to the cost of a bachelor’s degree, which can often be upwards of $125,000. That’s a savings just shy of $100,000! And, obtaining a job with a bachelor’s degree can often be more difficult than obtaining a job when you have a technical degree. You have a specific set of skills for an industry that most likely has high demand, versus a more general set of skills for which there is less demand.
Technical school programs also tend to be shorter in duration, which helps defray the cost of tuition, fees, books, and other money invested in your education.
Furthermore, technical schools tend to be more flexible in terms of what they look for and when classes are held. They may only require a high school diploma or GED for enrollment, so grades aren’t as important as they might be for admission into a four-year liberal arts college.
Many students who attend trade schools might not fit the conventional profile of a “student” and have families or spouses they need to support or already hold a full-time job. Online courses, night classes, and courses over the weekend may all be options to accommodate these students. Furthermore, some schools may even offer daycare services to working parents, in order to help them get the education they need.
A trade school will also be considerably more focused in the area of study. Instead of having to complete general education courses — for example, an English major will still have to take math and science courses — students at trade schools will focus on the courses they need for their career. Technical schools also usually run programs year round, so students can enroll at any point to start their program. Furthermore, the courses themselves tend to be more hands-on, which means that by the time the student graduates, they have not only the skills, but also the experience necessary, to jump right into the workforce.