Trade school education - a practical alternative

These days, getting an education outside of the university or college seems to be on a slow but noticeable steady upswing (5% annual enrolment increase since 2007). What could be the reason for this shift in career preparations by today’s young people? Aside from the usual personal circumstances, might there be some bigger motivations as well?

Fast-track education

One reason forwarded is that the usual two years spent learning a vocation in a trade school looks like a good alternative to the expensive four-year education in a university. The best part is being able to be in the job market right after graduation.

College graduates might have a wider liberal arts educational background but trade graduates themselves are highly skilled in their lines of work. Moreover, these institutions nowadays are now accredited (like regular learning institutions) and are monitored and closely supervised.

Alternative careers

While universities and colleges strive to provide the widest educational backdrop for their students in relation to their chosen professions, vocational graduates are fast-tracked to acquire job-specific skills needed right away in the market.

The most common of these are automotive repair skills, electrical and carpentry abilities, professional competence as medical technicians, culinary personnel, and many others.

Nowadays, the list of these hands-on skills needing workers gets longer. The reason is simply that more and more new specialities need competent personnel (medical assistants, information technology specialists, call centre staff, etc).


The steady flow of more young people going to a trade school to study a specific set of skills might also be influenced by a number of reasons. The first one would be in terms of costs.

The usual two-year vocational education definitely costs less than a full-pledged four-year college course. The extra time spent on regular college work is also translated as added cost.

Some trade specialities have starting salaries that are already competitive with those received by college-educated professionals.

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