Consider a Technical School
By Elijah Thomas
These programs offer a quicker, affordable pathway to a new career.
They’re particularly helpful for those looking to gain a specialized skill, or anyone attempting to earn needed credentials for work while taking care of other financial or family obligations.
Trades like electricians and welders come with robust benefit packages, while jobs in fields like nursing and dental hygiene play a critical rose in health care. All of them require certification through technical schools, which provide educational opportunities and on-the-job experience on a much shorter timeline than the typical four-year university. They’re cheaper, too.
Whether you’ve just graduated from high school or are a working adult who’s looking to make a fresh start, technical school can provide a pathway to an exciting new career.
WHAT THEY DO
Vocational or technical schools offer full-time, one- to two-year courses to prepare for careers in health care, technology, manufacturing and transportation, among others. They’re filling a critical need for people moving into the workforce, but also for retraining. Some 80% of CEOs said they were concerned about future skills training in one study by the Society of Human Resource Management.
In an era of growing, sometimes insurmountable student loan debt, technical schools provide a pathway to careers at a significantly lower average cost than any four-year school. Sometimes, tuition is literally tens of thousands of dollars cheaper per year, according to the Community for Accredited Online Schools.
Those four-year schools also have huge incoming classes, with thousands of students per course. Technical schools offer a smaller, more personalized experience. Students create intimate networks of peers who get to know each other while studying and working together. These lifelong relationships can pay big dividends professionally down the road, to say nothing of personal connections made. Smaller, local campuses make commuting and parking easier, and most classes are held in individual buildings rather than across sprawling campuses.
Getting started in a new career with no experience can be prohibitively difficult, even if you have a degree. Technical schools not only offer the required credentials, they also prepare students for many high-demand jobs by providing hands-on experience before you even begin a career. Hiring managers will take special notice of those who possess both education, certification and experience — three things that could push you to the front of the line for open positions.